Re:Hoopoe records and the Clergy

Subject: Re:Hoopoe records and the Clergy
From: John Clifton-Everest <>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 13:40:34 +1000
I am sure that this is so, and also that the gentlemanly-vicars they had in the

past were the sort to write these things down and do something with the
record.  My sister, who lives in Sussex, tells me her local vicar managed to
get at least three wholesome Sunday sermons from having found a Radde's Warbler

in his garden -- and of course from the moral-theological implications thereof.

On Hoopoes, I have found them in Croatia (a pair), Romania (many) and Italy,
(nearly Austria, just 1).
The last was particularly interesting.  I was travelling by train from Rome to
Munich at the end of April.  We crossed the plains of the Po in brilliant
spring weather, and as we approached the head of the Brenner Pass it was still
sunny.  The train stopped briefly there, in a tangle of marshalling-yards, and
between the tracks to one side I saw a hoopoe gambolling about.  When I looked
out the window to the front, there was an enormous black cloud.  It was snowing

at the top of the Pass, and blowing a real blizzard by the time we reached
Innsbruck.  No snow in Munich (two hours late), but temperatures were below
zero.  At least the hoopoe had the sense to wait in the marshalling yards for
better weather, before attempting its final crossing of the Alps.
John Clifton-Everest

Syd Curtis wrote:

> Part of the explanation could be that in days of yore, bird-watching and
> botany were among the few hobbies deemed respectable for clergymen.  I
> surmise that in these enlightened days Vicars are permitted a wider range of
> activities.
> Syd Curtis in Brisbane
> > From: 
> > Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 20:05:08 +1000
> >
> > The point was that a large proportion of Hoopoe records in
> > England were from vicarage gardens. Now I suppose there are no
> > gardens and they are twitched somewhere else.
> >
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Associate Professor John M. Clifton-Everest
Department of Germanic Studies
University of Sydney
(61) (2) 9351 2262
Fax (61) (2) 9351 5318

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