BIRDWATCHERS flocked to Wearside after two rare sightings.
A little bunting was spotted in Elba Park, off Chester Road, Sunderland, bringing in birders from across the UK, and enthusiasts travelled from as far afield as Cumbria, Birmingham and London to catch a glimpse of a European bee-eater in Fulwell.
They are generally found in southern Europe and Africa, as well as Asia.
They survive on a diet of insects, specifically bees and wasps.
It’s thought the bird was blown off course as it migrated towards North Africa for the winter.
More than 50 twitchers gathered outside Kirk Adamson’s Dartford Road home as the bird fed off a wasps’ nest at the gable end of the property.
“It’s been a bit weird, but the people watching have been no bother so it’s not a problem,” said Mr Adamson.
Pensioner couple Roy and Linda Harvey drove about 130 miles yesterday morning from their home in north Lincolnshire to Sunderland to see the bird.
“It’s so rare to see a bee-eater,” said Mr Harvey, who spent hours taking photographs and videos of the bird.
“They are not a resident bird in Britain and the other interesting thing about this is that it’s so late in the year to see this bird in this country.
“It’s been worth coming as we’ve got here with the bird still here.”
A 37-year-old birdwatcher from Fulwell, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s a youngster that has been blown here.