As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 21 August 2014

Four Isle of Wight Bee-Eater chicks take to the air

Following up on our July report about the sighting of Bee-Eaters, this great news in from the RSPB. It’s a first, as exotic chicks fledge on the Isle of Wight.

Thanks to Sue for this latest update from the RSPB. Ed

Four bee-eater chicks have fledged on National Trust land on the Isle of Wight thanks to a joint protection operation by the National Trust, the RSPB and Isle of Wight naturalists. It is the first time the birds, who usually nest in southern Europe, have bred successfully in the UK for 12 years.

Three of the chicks fledged last week and the fourth has tried out its wings in the last couple of days. If these survive, this will be the most successful ever bee-eater breeding attempt in the UK. The last successful attempt, which resulted in two chicks, was in county Durham in 2002, the first for 50 years.

The bee-eaters made their nest (a hole in the ground) on the Isle of Wight more than a month ago on the National Trust’s Wydcombe estate. National Trust ranger and birder, Ian Ridett, noticed the bee-eaters were active on the island at a time they ought to be nesting. The nest was located and the joint 24-hour protection operation, “Operation Bee-eater” was launched.

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