Cory's shearwaters ahead of the vessel but as usual they kept their distance. Mid morning saw a flypast of 3 Med gulls- two second winters and an adult, although they too kept their distance and made a mockery of my photographic attempts. Just before lunch I left my elevated viewpoint above the ships' bridge and decided to stroll aft to check the sea behind the ship. As I walked under the heli-deck I caught a flash of black and white and knew I was onto a Hoopoe!! The bird had flown over the side but re-appeared behind me on a railing. Camera out, hands shaking with excitement saw me rattle off a number of dismally ill-focused shots. Fortunately the bird was rather confiding and sat there for 20 seconds or so which allowed me to settle down and get a better shot. I have only ever seen one of these birds in the UK- Portland bill, April 1981, although I have seen a number on Gran Canaria since then. This bird was visible on the heli-deck this afternoon for a couple of hours- one of the few places that are 'out of bounds' to me so I did not manage any further shots. It eventually came down a deck and although I tried for a number of flight shots I couldn't get the exposure and shutter speed right as the camera seemed confused by the blizzard of black and white and I could not get a decent focus. (Well maybe I was confused by the blizzard of black and white). Eventually I got one blurry image which shows the general plumage layout of this cracking bird. Later a Black redstart on deck seemed rather low-key although a week ago the first one was really exciting too.