Sunday, 17 August 2014

Bee-eater finally makes it on the list

Today I picked up the Jim's and headed down the M3 to pick up the 7.15 ferry from Lynmouth to Yarmouth on the Isle Of Wight. I booked the ferry last night for the car and three passengers at a cost of £60 and the 120 mile drive down took a couple of hours. The ferry crossing was smooth and we then made the 17 mile drive south to Niton (postcode PO28 2NY to be precise)

We pulled into the sign posted car park (field) at 8.15am and spoke with the volunteer on duty who told us that seeing the birds would be difficult with todays overcast and windy weather but within seconds of getting the scope up we'd picked up a couple of splendid Bee-eaters sitting in a dead tree and although distant we enjoyed good scope views for the next three hours as three birds came and went. One bird flew towards us and could be heard calling as it circled overhead. The Bee-eater has to be the most spectacularly coloured on the British list and I'm delighted to have finally added it to my list having seen them abroad but never finding one over here to tick before today.
The tick is made all the sweeter by the fact that these birds are only the third to breed in Britain.

The news from the site is that the birds (actually four adult birds here) nested in an old Rabbit scrape and have so far fledged three young with another still to leave the nest. The nest has been protected by an electric fence to keep the local Fox at bay and volunteers have kept a 24/7 watch over the nest to protect it from egg thieves. Good work all round.

Penguin in Yarmouth harbour

Year list now at 237 and the life list moves to 346 

Other news: I enjoyed at day at the emirates yesterday with my youngest!

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