'Amazing' bee-eaters draw bird watchers from across the country

Bird watchers at the quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds are now nesting.

Bird watchers at the quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds are now nesting. - Credit: Denise Bradley

A colony of rare and beautiful bee-eaters has drawn scores of birdwatchers to the north Norfolk coast. 

The flock of seven of the birds - who are normally at home in the Mediterranean and are only rarely seen in Britain - has taken up residence at a quarry in Trimingham, near Cromer. 

A bee-eater at Trimingham, near Cromer in north Norfolk.

A bee-eater at Trimingham, near Cromer in north Norfolk. - Credit: Tom Whiley tomwhileybirdart.blogspot.com

Mark Thomas, head of species protection at the RSPB, said: "With climate change these birds are increasingly moving north. This is  the sixth breeding attempt in the UK but the first for Norfolk."

Among the bird watchers there on Friday was Keith Savage, from Caister-on-Sea, who said: "I’m a regular bird watcher and this is a life tick for me. I haven't seen one before. 

Mark Thomas, RSPB head of species protection, at the quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds

Mark Thomas, RSPB head of species protection, at the quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds are now nesting. - Credit: Denise Bradley

"Pleased to see five together and to be told they are nesting is amazing. 

"I have travelled about an hour to get here today."

Also there were birders Phil and Linda Morris. Mrs Morris said: "We’re from Leicestershire on holiday at the moment, we do do some birdwatching and this is quite a location to see the bee eaters and so we had the chance to come down today."

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And Maurice Bunn, from Lowestoft, added: "My friend and I travel around the country watching birds. We saw bee-eaters years ago which was first time we’d seen them."

Bird watcher Keith Savage, from Caister On Sea, at the quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater bird

Bird watcher Keith Savage, from Caister On Sea, at the quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds are now nesting. - Credit: Denise Bradley


The birds' presence has garnered national attention, not only from this newspaper, but also from the BBC show Spring watch, on which they were featured on Thursday evening. 

Springwatch presenter Michaela Strachan said: "The exciting news is not only have they been seen, but they have been seen to be nesting. So it's highly likely they might start breeding. It's the first time in Norfolk and people are super excited about this."

Mark Thomas from the RSPB said: "These seven bee-eaters are certainly the most colourful and exciting birds you can see in the UK right now.

Bird watchers at the quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds are now nesting.

Bird watchers at the quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds are now nesting. - Credit: Denise Bradley

The RSPB and the North East Norfolk Bird Club have set up a viewing platform, and visitors can park at the site for £5, to help pay for monitoring costs. 


A pair of colourful bee-eaters at Trimingham, near Cromer in north Norfolk.

A pair of colourful bee-eaters at Trimingham, near Cromer in north Norfolk. - Credit: Mike Edgecombe

Bee-eaters in the trees at Trimingham, near Cromer in north Norfolk.

Bee-eaters in the trees at Trimingham, near Cromer in north Norfolk. - Credit: Mike Edgecombe

The quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds are now nesting.

The quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds are now nesting. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Bird watchers Roger Conner from Bunwell, left, and Maurice Bunn from Lowestoft, at the quarry in Tr

Bird watchers Roger Conner from Bunwell, left, and Maurice Bunn from Lowestoft, at the quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds are now nesting. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Bird watchers Linda and Phil Morris on holiday from Leistershire, at the quarry in Trimingham where

Bird watchers Linda and Phil Morris on holiday from Leistershire, at the quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds are now nesting. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Bird watchers at the quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds are now nesting.

Bird watchers at the quarry in Trimingham where the bee-eater birds are now nesting. - Credit: Denise Bradley