The Bee Eaters gave up on the nesting site………but moved just a few hundred metres away!

There has been no activity at the “hole” for a few days and it seems as though the Bee Eaters gave up building there. Possibly due to the ground being quite hard. This morning, I was up before the sun and thought I’d go and hide myself in an area they seemed to like to catch their food near the river that flows through our land.

To my surprise, I stumbled across their new nesting site and the earth seems a lot softer. The crazy thing is, it’s in a bank which is only there due to a public dirt track that cuts through to cross the river.

Not many vehicles use it, but it is a way through to some of the houses on the other side of the river. I hid myself away under my bag hide and waited.

Once the sun was up, the Bee Eaters came and spent about 2 hours catching food. The males living up to their reputation for giving anything large to their female partners to eat. Eventually, after a 2 and half hour wait, they started to come down to the nest sites to continue their excavation work.

There was some thick cloud cover this morning so the light wasn’t the greatest, but I was determined to just sit and watch and snap some pictures, albeit not with an ideal exposure.

Here is one of a male (I think, due to the yellow shoulders) at it’s nest hole.

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European Bee Eater - Abelharuco

It’s not really viable to leave my pop-up hide in this location, so I’m going to knock up a temporary small wooden hide I can place here, watch this space!

European Bee Eaters Nest Building (Video)

Yesterday morning I managed to get to the “hole” where the Abelharucos (Portuguese for Bee Eaters) have been building their tunnels and place a Bushnell NatureView Camera to capture any more visits.

I woke up this morning and stepped outside to drink my (required) morning Coffee to a loud reception of Bee Eater chatter. They were all gathered on trees surrounding the “hole”.

This evening I managed to swap the memory card in the camera and couldn’t believe how much footage was recorded from the 2 days.

I have used a small selection to create this short film of them busy building. As you can see it seems that the whole colony is building tunnels, which is normal behaviour.

European Bee Eaters make tunnels around 1 meter long with a chamber at the end where the female will lay between 5 and 8 eggs. It’s obvious from the film that it takes a longtime to complete, around 20 days.

The clips are a selection from the 2 days, towards the end, the light levels improve as the bank is South West facing so keep watching to really appreciate the stunning colours of these birds.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}

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The Bee Eaters have started to make a nest, but not so sure they are staying

Early this afternoon, the Bee Eaters (Abelharucos in Portuguese) were absent from around the house so I decided to take a quick look at their handy work and also quickly erect a pop-up hide.

I sat in the hide for a short while and a breeding pair turned up. They seemed a little nervous around the area, possibly with the hide there, but did visit a few times.

Only once did the male (I think it’s the male) go to the hole that they have started but then the pair flew away. It takes up to 20 days to build the nest so hopefully they will return to complete it. I have also left the hide in place for them to get used to it being there.

You can just about work out the start of the hole on the live view on the camera;

In the hide

I did manage to get this shot of one sitting in a nearby tree.

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Surrounded by Bee Eaters

When we decided to move to the Algarve I kept saying that I hoped to see and photograph one of the most stunning birds on the planet, the European Bee Eater.

You can imagine how chuffed I am to wake up a few days ago to find the local area heavily populated by returning Bee Eaters. They are everywhere! This morning, four of them were feeding right here at the house.

So I grabbed the camera for some quick “record” shots and got this pair with one who had caught a Bumblebee. Midday sun in the Algarve is not really too kind for photography as it’s so strong, so I’m looking forward to getting some early morning/late afternoon shots over the next few weeks.

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Pair of European Bee Eaters lunching - D810, AF-S 500mm f/4 with TC-14III @ 700mm, f/8, ISO320, 1/2000sec - {Flickr Link}

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