26.08.21 A flock of 8 Bee-eater!

An overcast morning with a brisk NNE wind.

I’d had a look around the top of the headland where 4 Wheatear were around the RAF monument and small numbers of Willow Warbler and Common Whitethroat could be found. At about 07.50hrs I joined Al Redman in Shooters Bottom, stopping him mid sentence with the shout of “Bee-eater!” upon hearing their distinctive call. As we looked up a single bird came into view from the west quickly followed by 7 others. A short period of delirium ensued! They circled around us, low at times, looking as if they wanted to settle but after a few passes the flock vanished eastwards. We headed back towards apex of the headland in pursuit. After almost 60 minutes, they appeared again over the hollow, at first low then gaining height and being lost to view at 09.02hrs.

The number of birds involved leads one to speculate they could be the same group of birds that have recently toured Yorkshire and Norfolk. If so echoing other famous relocations the headland has hosted in recent years like the Blue-Rock Thrush in 2017 and last years Lammergeier.

It’s my third encounter with Bee-eaters since moving here involving at least 10 birds. One of the occasions was a heard only event, so the true number is hard to judge.

Unfortunately the camera battery almost immediately expired and I was lucky to get any images to document the occasion at all!

Video of the flock calling above the hollow.


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