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