Bee-Eater Breeding
Bird Watching|October 2017

There was much speculation online about why a Bee-eater breeding effort in Nottingham had failed. Here, we attempt to get to the truth by speaking to those in the know…

 

John Miles

IN 2015, I WAS GIVEN the chance to watch the breeding Bee-eaters in Cumbria, only a 10-minute drive from my house. I was fascinated at such an exotic species nesting so close to home, and spent many hours watching them along with about 500 pairs of Sand Martins, and several predators including Hobby and a solitary Carrion Crow which had adapted to catch the martins in flight!

Two years later, the news of breeding Bee-eaters at East Leake (pictured below left and right), Nottinghamshire, was announced, with up to 100 people visiting the area before 28 June, when the press was told. A car park was set up with two fully employed RSPB staff manning the site, along with volunteers from RSPB, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Notts Birders Group, South Notts Ringing Group and others, too.

With seven Bee-eaters present, three pairs attempted to breed with a single ‘helper’ (Cumbria had seven birds too, but only two pairs and three helpers). By 20 July, one East Leake nest had hatched, followed by the other two, and things looked good.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BIRD WATCHINGView All

Weedon's World

Recent trips to a couple of his favourite local birding sites have resulted in encounters Mike would rather do without

3 mins read
Bird Watching
October 2017

Bee-Eater Breeding

There was much speculation online about why a Bee-eater breeding effort in Nottingham had failed. Here, we attempt to get to the truth by speaking to those in the know… 

3 mins read
Bird Watching
October 2017

Grumpy Old Birder

Bo reveals the pleasure he gets watching birds and wildlife enjoy an ‘all-you-can-eat buffet’ in his garden…

2 mins read
Bird Watching
October 2017

#My 200 Bird Year 2018

If you’ve enjoyed trying to complete our #My200BirdYear challenge in 2017, or if you’ve been watching with interest but biding your time, or if you’re a complete newcomer to  Bird Watching magazine, then now’s the time to sign up for #My200BirdYear 2018 at birdwatching.co.uk/my200 

2 mins read
Bird Watching
November 2017

HOLME

Varied habitats and one of the UK’s top observatories

2 mins read
Bird Watching
March 2018

Backbury Hill

A walk to a multi-vallate hillfort with birds on the way

1 min read
Bird Watching
March 2018

Castlemartin Corse

A relic of a once-great wetland 

2 mins read
Bird Watching
March 2018

Lend A Helping Hand

Wildlife centres can often be the only venues for many to see birds close up. Here, one volunteer explains the important work they carry out.

5 mins read
Bird Watching
March 2017

Bringing Back The Tree Sparrow

The story of how one man helped establish a Tree Sparrow colony around his Suffolk home.

6 mins read
Bird Watching
March 2017

The Urban Birder Visits Ushuaia, Argentina

A wide variety of interesting birds can be seen in the world’s most southernmost city.

3 mins read
Bird Watching
March 2017