Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Brampton Bee-Eaters

On the way back from York I decided to nip in on the bee-eaters that set up home just outside Carlisle. Two pairs had set up burrows amongst a thriving colony of 500 sand martins in an active quarry. The RSPB had wisely suppressed their presence until the eggs hatched, however, one of the nests failed due to a cliff slide. Since news of the nest was released the remaining pair and their helper had been incredibly popular.

When I arrived today the quarry couldn't have been more like the Mediterranean; the weather was warm and windless and the steep quarry sides radiated the heat back - it was baking. In my eagerness to get to the view point I passed three groups of slogging birders heading up the slope, and by the time I reached the first stop I was toasted. 

Happily, one bird dropped in as soon as I arrived, and the adults were visiting the nest every 10 minutes or so. Not only that, we had great views of a hobby hunting martins over the quarry. I snapped away for an hour before heading back to the car for the last 4 hours in the car.

The pictures aren't amazing as the birds kept their distance from our side of the valley, but the views were great. 

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