Midsomer Murders (1997– )
4 user 1 critic

A Rare Bird 

Barnaby and Jones investigate whether competition between ornithology enthusiasts led to murder.


(as Nick Laughland)


(screenplay), (based on characters by)

On Disc

at Amazon



Episode complete credited cast:
Kate Wilding
Nina Morgan
Alexander Hanson ...
Patrick Morgan (as Alex Hanson)
Paul Bigley ...
Tim Whitley
Dr. Markham
Amanda Lawrence ...
Ella Al-Khalil Coyle ...
Aimee Whitley


When bird-watcher Ralph Ford claims to have seen a blue-crested hoopoe - thus winning him the year's list contest - other members of the Midsomer-in-the-Marsh ornithological society are angry, especially society chairman Patrick Morgan, who, later that night is lured to his death by a call on Ford's stolen phone. Morgan was generally unpopular in the society and farmer George Napier benefits by the death as Morgan intended to save wetlands he intended to drain whilst his Russian widow Nina, a former ballerina, is pregnant, and since her husband had had a vasectomy he is not the father. The real father is the next victim - will a third person meet their death at the hands of one who has killed two people as well as a rare bird? Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 January 2012 (UK)  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


When Barnaby and Jones find the stuffed Blue-Crested Hopoe in Ralph's back room, Jones say it's "dead....as I don't know what." He's looking right at what appears to be a stuffed Dodo (which Ralph couldn't have stuffed since they've been extinct for centuries (widely accepted since 1662)) oddly he doesn't seem to recognize it as surely it would have triggered him to remember that the common phrase is "dead as a Dodo." Barnaby does seem to recognize it though, giving Jones an odd look before the scene ends. See more »


The hoopoe is not a nocturnal bird, nor a forest bird - it's a daylight lover found in open areas. So why are they crashing around the woods at midnight recording it? See more »


[first lines]
Patrick Morgan: There we go. You're a beauty, aren't you?
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User Reviews

Murder among ornithologists
3 April 2016 | by See all my reviews

This is a good entry into the very long Midsomer Murders series.

The Midsomer-in-the-Marsh Ornithological Society has an annual contest. The winner must have spotted a rare bird. Ralph Ford announces that he has seen a blue-crested hoopoe, not indigenous to the area, and declares himself the winner.

No one else goes along since he has no proof. Ralph is furious. That night, Patrick Morgan is murdered when he meets Ralph after he receives a text from him. Except that it was someone else using Ralph's phone.

Barnaby and Jones are on the case, and find out soon enough everybody hated this guy. His widow, Nina, is a stunning former Russian ballerina who is now pregnant. However, Ralph had a vasectomy so he is not the father.

Then there is another victim. And there are plenty of suspects.

I really enjoyed this one, but I have to agree with another reviewer - the new Barnaby does nothing for me. And you can tell the writers are trying to stuff him down our throats because they added a scene with his wife where they decide to have sex. Sorry, but they don't seem like husband and wife, and while I love their dog, this is not the same wonderful household of Joyce, Cully, and Tom Barnaby.

Also, I think this Barnaby is a little nasty to Jones.

The reviewer suggested the combination of Troy, Tom Barnaby's old assistant, and Jones. I second that suggestion. I know Neil Dudgeon is a good actor, but he doesn't have John Nettles' warmth, and he doesn't infuse the humor into his lines that Nettles did. A lighter and warmer touch was called for.

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