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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2005, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Twitchers flock to see bee-eaters
Picture of bee-eaters by Steve Dudley
The plumage is a mix of blue, yellow, green and gold. Picture by Steve Dudley
A pair of rare birds are nesting in Herefordshire - the first recorded sighting in two years.

Bird-watchers have flocked to see the colourful bee-eaters who have set up home in a riverbank at Hampton Bishop.

Experts believe it is only the fourth time bee-eaters have nested in the UK as they prefer the warmer climate of southern Europe.

An RSPB spokesman said: "For most visitors this will be a once in a lifetime experience."

He added: "Bee-eaters are among the most stunning birds you will ever see.

"These birds are a blaze of colours and when the chicks appear it will be a stunning sight."

The birds have dazzling green breast feathers and yellow necks.

The RSPB has set up a viewing station and is handing out binoculars and telescopes.

There is also round-the-clock surveillance to make sure the nest is not disturbed.

In 2002 a pair set up nest in a quarry in Durham. Before that, the last recording of bee-eaters in the UK was in 1955.

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