Rare bee-eater in England

This video is called European Bee-eaterMerops apiaster.

From the BBC:

8 November 2012 Last updated at 16:24 GMT

Bee-eater is second ‘rare’ bird spotted in Sunderland

A second bird rarely seen in the north-east of England has appeared in Sunderland.

The bee-eater, commonly found in North Africa and southern Europe, has taken up residence at a house in Fulwell.

Bird watcher Paul Cook said seeing the bird in the area in November was “incredible”.

This week a Little Bunting was also spotted in Elba Park on the outskirts of the city, believed to have been blown off course during migration.

The bee-eater appears to be feeding on a wasps’ nest in the eaves of a house belonging to Kirk Adamson.

“I did see it about two weeks ago and I thought it was a kingfisher,” he said.

‘Very, very lost’

“All these people arrived one morning. I asked one of them what it was and they told me it was a very rare bird and they’ve been multiplying ever since, the people coming round.”

John Taylor, from Consett, is among enthusiasts who have come with cameras after word spread the bird was on Wearside.

Describing himself as a photographer not a twitcher, he said: “We’re looking for good quality photographs to enter competitions. We’re not really looking just to see the bird.”

Mr Cook said it was “remarkable” to see the bee-eater in Sunderland.

“That’s why there are so many people from round the country who will have seen bee-eaters before but certainly not in November.”

He believes the bird might have been blown off course by recent strong winds in the same way as the Little Bunting.

They were “very, very lost”, he said.

Origin of the scientific name Merops for bee-eaters: here.

23 thoughts on “Rare bee-eater in England

    • This one belongs in Africa at this time of the year, so it was clearly blown off course. Climate change might affect their breeding range, shrinking in warmer regions and increasing in colder west European areas.


  1. Yes, indeed, probably the first time Bee-eaters were encountered is Sweden, in October. Lost birds, hopefully they found their way to Africa or the Middle East.


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  3. Actually, I have just talked to my Brother, an old ornithologist and he had encountered Bee-eaters already in Sweden during the 70’s and 80’s. So doubt it is climate change , just blowing in the wrong direction.


    • Maybe, if bee-eaters show up more often in Sweden now than in the 1970s-80s, that might be a sign of climate change. Though it might also be a consequence of better observation now than then (that should be the case for basically all bird species then, not just bee-eaters).


  4. Wikipedia writes that European Bee-eaters are not so uncommon in Northwest Europe.Where they can even have breeding grounds, but are strongly migratory to Africa and the Middle East.


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