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The Nesting Site Of The Local European Bee-Eaters


This morning I awoke to thick hill mist but knew as soon as the sun peaked above the ridges it would burn off quickly. I didn’t really have a plan with so much going on around the Quinta. I knew the Bee-Eaters wouldn’t be around until the mist completely cleared so headed briefly down to the Kingfisher perch. I stayed for an hour but none appeared and soon enough I heard the Bee-Eaters waking up.

I headed to the location where they have started to build their nest tunnels and set myself up inside a large bush camouflaged out of sight. These long tunnels keep the eggs (can be up to 8!) safe from predators. It’ll take them a while to dig the tunnel in preparation for laying at the beginning of June.
I tried something new this morning as not to scare them away. I used the Nikon D850 in live view mode with silent shooting. The D850 actually is totally silent in this mode. I’m not a big fan of the D850’s live view autofocus and rarely trust it, but it seemed to do the job OK, albeit not as pin sharp as it should be.

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Male European Bee Eater - Abelharuco (macho) - Merops apiaster

Unfortunately, the edge of the banking cast a shadow across the nest site so not the photos I was hoping for. I waited until the sun moved into position, the birds had left to feed by this time. I did however, grab 2 shots of a Male at the site. You can see the start of the tunnel level with his chest.

I will not visit this location until after the tunnels are complete where I hope to get some great photos.

Male European Bee Eater - Abelharuco (macho) - Merops apiaster

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