The Hoopoe was first seen on the 7th September by Susan Patterson, who reported the sighting by email. It was typically elusive with the bird disappearing before Susan could get her camera onto the subject!. Luckily it reappeared, and has been seen by lots of lucky observers.
Hoopoes are a scarce migrant into Highland and occur annually, with at least one every year for the last 20 years. The numbers however vary from year to year, with 26 in the last ten years (2007-2016), it averages at just less than three a year. Most are only seen fleetingly, and its one of those species that is just as likely to be seen and found by non-birding members of the public.
However the picture is changing with Hoopoe becoming more of a bird associated with autumns than spring in Scotland since 1980. There are also signs that despite increasing observer coverage that the number of Hoopoes arriving in Scotland since the mid 1990's is declining, and this may reflect a further reduction on the west European population (BoS 2007).
Spring birds are overshooting breeding grounds in France and Iberia in suitable high pressure migration conditions. Autumn birds with more of an easterly bias are more likely to originate from Northerly populations and have been blown of course by easterly winds on southern migration.