The bird man of west Cork

Rare species of bird are often blown ashore in Ireland, and there's no better place to spot them than on Mizen Head, writes Jasper Winn.

27th April, 2013
Danny 'Feathers' Ballard scans the landscape.

Ahoopoe would look exotic even in a tropical rain forest, but when seen against the drab grey-green of a Cork field on a rainy spring day in the 1970s, the solitary upupa epops looked like a creature from a cartoon. It was a little bigger than a blackbird, but with a rose-pink head, neck and chest. Its wings and tail had contrasting black-and-white bars, and its striped crest rose up and down as it walked...

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