Bee-eater breeding attempt fails
The RSPB has confirmed that all three European Bee-eater nests in Nottinghamshire have failed, and the birds have now left the nesting site at East Leake Quarry.
Initially posting on the RSPB Investigations blog, Mark Thomas explained: "Since Tuesday [1 August] the behaviour of the bee-eaters has changed markedly and it appears that at least two of the three nests have failed.
"Instead of individual birds regularly flying into the nest holes with food, the birds are now increasingly staying as a tight group of six birds. We have reviewed the nest camera footage and the frequency of nest visits leading up to Tuesday is also well below the 30 visits-per-hour expected at this stage in the cycle. There is no sign of any disturbances at the nests and despite foxes being present in the quarry these have been successfully deterred during night time hours.
"We suspect this is a natural failure probably linked to food provision for the young. Despite being able to lay up to nine eggs, bee-eaters typically hatch three to four eggs and if a helper is not assigned to a nest then it is only expected that one or two young will survive, even in good weather with a profusion of insect prey."
On Friday it was confirmed that the all three nests had failed. With no sign of the birds over the weekend, the RSPB has now closed the temporary car park opened specifically to host visitors to the site.