Rare bee-eater bird spotted catching its breakfast in Winterton
- Credit: Mick Davis
With its kaleidoscopic plumage and long, sharp beak, this exotic visitor made a rare appearance at dunes near an east Norfolk beach.
As it sat atop an electricity cable preening itself and searching for its breakfast, this bee-eater was unaware of the joy it would bring to a group of keen bird-watchers.
The small bird is native to the warm climes of southern Europe and central Asia, which is why bird-watchers flocked to Winterton yesterday morning after it was spotted at dusk on Wednesday.
Patrick Goffin, a bird-watcher, had spotted the bee-eater and alerted other enthusiasts in the area online.
Mick Davis, 53, an amateur photographer and bird-watcher from Martham, was in the dunes near Winterton at 5am to capture the stunning image with three fellow enthusiasts.
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Mr Davis said: 'It is pretty marvellous.
'It was sitting up there on the cables and after a few minutes it started feeding on bees.'
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Mr Davis said it was a special moment in his time as a bird- watcher as it was such a rare sight in this part of the world.
All about bee-eaters
Bee-eaters are normally found nesting in southern Europe and are a very rare breeding bird in the UK.
However, visits have increased in recent years, prompting speculation of colonisation.
Mark Thomas, from the RSPB, said: 'Bee-eater sightings have really been on the increase in recent springs and we're delighted to confirm they are breeding in the UK for the second consecutive summer.
'Pushed northwards by climate change, it is highly likely that these exotic birds will soon become established visitors to our shores thanks to conservation projects.'
In 2015 a sighting of a pair of bee-eaters prompted thousands of bird watchers to flock to Brampton, Cumbria.
Bee-eaters can burrow up to 10ft (3m) and usually lay clutches of four to nine eggs.
As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat flying insects, especially bees and wasps.