Sunday, 16 August 2015

Bravo, the Bee team come to Cumbria

Member of the B team

On Friday 7 August Rhodie, Ann, Chris Melia and myself started out at the crack of 08:30hrs and headed North up the M6 to see the quite rare Bee Eaters who had made their nest in the bank of a sand quarry near Carlisle. We arrived at the quarry after 10am to find that there were about 20 other cars there already.
Fortunately the other week, the quarry workers had reported seeing unusual colourful birds that were flying in and out of a nesting hole in the face of the quarry bank.

They called the RSPB who identified the birds as Bee Eaters and was quite a rare site to see.
The quarry owners kindly allowed the RSPB members to have access onto their land to be able to enjoy the rare sighting.

A small donation was collected by the organisation to help funds for future projects.
We followed the fenced path around the quarry to a vantage position where we could see the birds flying in and out of the nest hole and without disturbing them.
The nest was on the other side of the quarry, quite a few hundred meters away but was quite visible with scopes and binoculars.

Bee eater

We didn't have to wait long before there was one perched on a fence post above the nesting hole and actually eating a Bee.
Apparently there had been two pairs of Bee Eaters but one nest had unfortunately failed.

Red Legged Partridge

While waiting for the birds to return from foraging for food, some Red Legged Partridges appeared on the top of the bank.
Sadly it was very overcast and grey morning, so all the birds beautiful plumage didn't really stand out.

From there, and not to waste a 300 mile round trip, we called in at Leighton Moss on the way back, which was quite, due to the time of year but was rewarded by seeing some nice Emperor Dragonflies
and a bonus of a Dog Otter swimming a feeding on eels.

Otter - Leighton Moss

After a few hours there we made our way back down the M6 and called into the Preston Dock to see the Ring billed Gull and again we found it with ease, as there were quite a few people who had scopes trained on it and could point it out to us.
Ring billed gull

So all in all, it was a very good and productive days spotting.


RSPB Liverpool Local Group. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no' 207076, Scotland no. SC037654 said...

Another good twitch

The Low Gelt Quarry can be found at postcode CA81SY, just SW of Brampton off the A69. Bee-eaters can be seen from the car park and from a viewing area 200 m away from the nest but the track to this is uneven and uphill in places.

Bee-eaters are a schedule 1 species, which means that intentional or reckless disturbance of their nests is a criminal offence.

Ann Tomo said...

Thanks Neil, for your account of a wonderful day.

Ann Tomo