The pair first turned up at an undisclosed site in mid-June but news was withheld as it was felt that the site did not lend itself to public viewing, for risk of causing disturbance to the birds.
Discussions took place with staff from the RSPB who have previously been involved with setting up viewing at the breeding Bee-eaters at Trimingham in Norfolk. However, following their guidance it was decided that news would be suppressed completely.
Daytime nest watching and protection took place by a small team of local observers and it is believed that the first chick(s) likely hatched around the 13th July.
On Saturday 22nd July the Head of RSPB Investigations had intended to attend the site with the local observation team with a view to plan and potentially implement some form of public viewing once it was believed all the chicks had hatched and were near to fledging.
Bee-eater, copyright Glyn Sellors, from the surfbirds galleries
However the adult birds departed the site on 20th July. It is thought the nest failed possibly due to predation or some form of internal collapse of the nest burrow.
This represents the first breeding attempt for Bee-eaters in Great Manchester and adds the growing list of sites where these enigmatic birds have bred or attempted to breed – where next?