Page last updated at 10:33 GMT, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 11:33 UK

Bee eater brings colour to isles

Bee eater (Pic: RSPB Images)
A bee eater pictured in a more familiar Mediterranean setting

Colourful wild birds have been "overshooting" usual haunts on the Mediterranean and ending up on the Western Isles, RSBP Scotland said.

The conservation charity said warm weather may have "duped" a bee eater, hoopoes, a night heron and golden orioles to fly north.

The bee eater seen on Barra was the first recorded sighting of the bird for the Outer Hebrides.

It was also said to be the same bird spotted in Lochmaddy and Dalbeg.

People reported seeing the bird catching bees from an overhead power cable.

It was thought to have flown on to Elgol on Skye.

The RSPB said ornithologists recognised the term "overshooting" as relating to birds, usually males, being encouraged by a combination of hormones and weather to migrate further than normal in spring.

A spokesman said: "They are tourists and are likely to head back south when they realise the error of their ways.

"They have added a splash of colour and excitement to what has been a beautiful spring on the islands.

"It is hoped that they will re-orientate themselves and return to southern Europe to bred successfully."


SEE ALSO
Snowy owl breeding hopes fading
17 May 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Hope of first owl chicks in years
13 May 08 |  Highlands and Islands

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