A RARE bee-eating bird, usually found nesting in southern Europe, appears to have been blown off course after being spotted in Haltwhistle.

The European Bee-Eater breeds mainly in southern Europe, migrating in winter to tropical Africa.

But a local photographer has captured snaps of one of the birds in Haltwhistle.

Joel Ireland said he had spotted the bee-eater at Bellister Bridge and Wydon Terrace over the last five days.

As their name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps, and hornets, and the birds are rare visitors to the UK.