"Last week the surprise arrival of seven bee-eaters provided a colourful interlude to our usual routine. The magnificent, multicoloured seven turned up at East Leake CEMEX Quarry, near Loughborough, on 25 June and quickly began to draw a crowd. As with the last few times bee-eaters have shown up, we knew we needed to act.Before the Millennium, there were just two breeding records of bee-eaters in the UK. These exotic, kaleidoscopic visitors certainly look more suited to their southern European and African homelands, but increasingly they’ve been turning up on our grey and rainy isle, appearing at random in County Durham (2002), Herefordshire (2005), Isle of Wight (2014) and Cumbria (2015). Another species being pushed north by climate change, it would seem.
|With word spreading quickly on Twitter, and working with our business partners CEMEX UK, a plan was put in place to protect the colony and make sure no-one wandered into the active quarry. After speaking to a local farmer, we’d soon secured a nearby field for parking. Road signs were ordered. A Twitter shout-out later and we’d appointed volunteers to marshal the car park and point the way to the best viewing spot, and a monitor to protect the birds for the duration of their stay."|
Photography credit: Keith Bowser