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A number of enthusiasts recently descended on Wearside in Sunderland to check out some unusual bird activity.
According to a report in the Sunderland Echo, birdwatchers flocked to the area after sightings of two rare birds. A little bunting was spotted in Elba Park and then a European bee-eater was seen in Fulwell. Experts travelled from as far away as Cumbria, Birmingham and even London to see if they could view the creatures themselves.
European bee-eaters are generally found in southern Europe and Africa, as well as parts of Asia. Experts believe the creature was blown off course as it migrated towards north Africa for the winter.
More than 50 twitchers gathered outside Kirk Adamson’s home as the bird fed off a wasps’ nest. Clearly a little bemused by the hubbub, he remarked: “It’s been a bit weird, but the people watching have been no bother so it’s not a problem.”
Meanwhile, pensioners Roy and Linda Harvey drove 130 miles from their home in north Lincolnshire to Sunderland especially to see the small creature, no doubt with their binoculars in-tow. They spent hours watching the winged animal.
Mr Harvey stated: “It’s so rare to see a bee-eater.” He added: “They are not a resident bird in Britain and the other interesting thing about this is that it’s so late in the year to see this bird in this country. It’s been worth coming as we’ve got here with the bird still here.”
Another enthusiast, who did not reveal his name, remarked: “It’s a youngster that has been blown here. “Sometimes when they migrate they go off course and that is probably what has happened.”