This is the incredible moment a beautiful Nuthatch is caught admiring its own reflection using a pool of still water – as a MIRROR.
Photographer Mark Hancox waited for a MONTH in a specially built hide just yards from the pool for the opportunity to get the perfect shot.
He snapped the bird as it balanced upside down on a rusty hook just millimetres above the pond at a private woodland in Hanbury, Worcestershire.
Mr Hancox, 48, of nearby Hartlebury, said: ”I had seen the Nuthatches foraging around in the area for a while and wanted to get a shot of one of them perching on something.
”They are distinctive because they are the only British bird to climb down trees head first and I wanted to capture this somehow.
”One of the birds flew onto a hook above a pool of completely still water and just bent forward.
”I thought it was going to take a drink of water but it remained completely still, almost transfixed, by its own reflection before it broke the surface of the water with its beak.”
The Nuthatch is often confused with Kingfishers because of their distinctive colouring but they are actually from the Woodpecker family.
They get their name by the way they wedge nuts and berries into crevices in trees and ‘hatch’ them with their powerful beaks.
There are around 130,000 breeding territories in the UK, mostly in the south, central and western areas.
They live all year round in woodland areas and communicate using a variety of whistles, trills and calls.
An RSPB spokesman said: ”The birds are not rare but stay in the woodland so can be difficult to spot.
”To see one in the open like this is quite rare because they move around very quickly and prefer to stay under cover of bushes and trees.”