Bee-Eater Wake-Up Call

I’ve mentioned on many occasions about the colony of European Bee-Eaters that use to establish every year around the quinta but for unknown reasons have been absent for 2 summers. However, over the last few mornings as daylight starts to break a flock of them arrive outside the bedroom window and every day the numbers are increasing. I suspect it is groups from various colonies that have finished breeding joining together. A quick guestimate is that the group is between 50, maybe 60 birds.

Tonight they even came for an evening communal hunt and whilst we eat alfresco we were surrounded by them swooping just a few meters away. If this happens again tomorrow I will be ready with a camera for some sunset backlit shots. Photographs in the early mornings have been hindered by some hill fog (that clears very quickly once the sun rises) so morning shots have been difficult. However, here are some from yesterday morning.

First up, 2 adults and a juvenile (on the left)


Adult feeding a juvenile


The local population of House Sparrows are not as happy to see them arrive and can attack the Bee-Eaters, with very little effect.


This last photo really shows the difference between the (male) adult on the left and the juvenile on the right. You can notice an overall lack of colour saturation in the feathers and also the not yet developed red eye.


If they continue to keep showing up, I will be grabbing more shots.

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