Saturday, 1 July 2017

Bee-eaters in East Leake Quarry, Notts

With a more favourable weather forecast today, we decided to head North and take a look at the Bee-eaters that had been present since the 25th June.
Heading along the A6006 we soon spotted the roadside sign directing us to the temporary car park set up in a field close to the site. (£5 per car of which half goes to the RSPB and half to the local farmer.) Without the temporary car park, I would imagine this would be a very difficult area to park near. It's a busy road so take care when crossing it as cars seem very reluctant to slow down.

Hard to miss the car park!
Crossing the road from the car park we stopped at the first gate and got distant views of one of the Bee-eaters perched up in the large Ash tree. Walking on we went through the second gate and around the first pit and joined the growing number of birders/photographers already present. I would say there was an 80% - 20% ratio in favour of cameras to scopes. 

Just some of the many birders/photographers present

The Bee-eaters were very active and constantly flying from the Ash tree to catch various insects. Bees, dragonflies and moths were all taken, with an almost 100% success rate. During our four hour visit, I managed to see six of the reported seven birds. 

Below is a very brief thirty-second video of one of the Bee-eaters.

This was a well-organised event with a real mix of people present, from birders to photographers to curious locals. I shared my scope with a couple of locals who had seen the Bee-eater sign the previous evening and come down to see them. It was also great to see so many youngsters present during the morning.


  1. Hi,

    I went today and found that the viewing area was very narrow, room for antagonism was palatable, but never-the-less saw the unpaired individual. If the bee eaters return, then the land owners and RSPB are going to have to manage the demand. Not a complaint, just an observation.

  2. Hi Barry,
    Maybe the viewing area has changed from the time I visited? I found that you could view the Bee-eaters from several places along the designated footpath. Since they have found three active nests, maybe extra precautions have been put in place.