Seven bee-eaters have been found at a quarry in Nottinghamshire, raising hopes that they might breed.
They were first spotted yesterday (25 June) at East Leake Cemex Quarry. The birds have already drawn a crowd, and a viewing area and car park has been set up for birders seeking the best views of the birds. This can be found at Lings Farm, LE12 6RG.
Colourful and unmistakable, bee-eaters are rare visitors to the UK and normally nest in southern Europe. The last time they nested in the UK was 2015, when two pairs set up home in a quarry in Cumbria. They have also nested on the Isle of Wight (2014), Herefordshire (2005) and Country Durham (2002). These beautiful birds may stay for the next couple of months should they breed.
Mark Thomas from the RSPB said: “We are delighted to confirm that seven bee-eaters are currently making themselves at home in East Leake, Nottinghamshire. The birds have been seen mating, so it’s likely they will nest here.
“Bee-eater sightings have been on the increase: pushed northwards by climate change, these exotic birds will likely become established visitors to our shores, and thanks to partnerships like this one with Cemex we can provide the right habitats to accommodate them.”
Bee-eaters are a schedule 1 species, which means that intentional or reckless disturbance of their nests is a criminal offence. RSPB volunteers have been deployed to monitor and protect the nest sites.
Car parking costs £5 (50% of proceeds going to RSPB, 50% to the farmer). Please park only in the designated area, and note there is strictly no access to the quarry.
Awesome. There has to be a small upside to climate change and I guess this is it. Seven birds but how many pairs? At least one of them is going to be unlucky.