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Thursday, 23 July 2009

The Kent BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER




















Tony Morris really did make the right choice of moving from London to St Margaret's-at-Cliffe as yesterday's events proved. His delightful images above show the true beauty the majority of us missed.

With claims from Suffolk of the BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER being at Sizewell Power Station perimeter fencing on 12 July and then flying high south over Landguard NR a few days later, yesterday's sighting at Bockhill Farm, St Margaret's (East Kent), can be put into perspective.

It is just three weeks since an adult BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER was photographed at Needs Ore Point in Hampshire. This bird at the time was a fairly straight forward bird in typical plumage, with rich green upperparts.

The fabulous selection of photographs obtained by Tony Morris of the Kent bird present for just under four hours yesterday clearly show an extremely bleached bird, with turquoise-blue rather than rich green upperparts. This is fairly typical of a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater living in Turkey or Iran - the feathers becoming extremely bleached by wear and bright hot sunshine. This would indicate that this is a new arrival rather than a relocating bird previously wandering the South Coast of Britain.