Go back to normal view
The Bible tells us to “Welcome the alien and the stranger” and I am proud to say that Brookland Church did this in a most unusual way. We welcomed a rare bird (Hoopoe) normally found in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar……… but now we can add “Brookland” to his/her travels !
This obviously caused much excitement with locals and we soon found many a birdwatcher arriving with their cameras (If anyone does have a picture – then it would be wonderful if you could send me a copy please).
In many ways we should not be surprised that he should seek out a Churchyard. Hoopoes were considered sacred in Ancient Egypt and symbols of virtue in Persia.
In the Bible, Leviticus 11:13-19, they were listed among the animals that are detestable and should not be eaten ! They were thought of as thieves across much of Europe and harbingers of war in Scandinavia. In Egypt they were depicted on the walls of tombs and temples.
Hoopoes also appear in the Quran, a translation of Ovid, and were chosen as the national bird of the State of Israel in May 2008 .
Living on the marsh we are spoilt by the beauty that surrounds us; our landscape, skyline, animals and birds that give us so much colour and excitement. So our visitor was a welcome bonus, that made us once again stop and appreciate the wonder of nature.
As the weather improves ( I say somewhat hopefully) and we take walks around the marsh, let us be thankful for the beauty on our doorstep