EXOTIC bee-eater chicks have fledged on the Isle of Wight.

It is the first time the birds, which usually nest in southern Europe, have bred successfully in the UK for 12 years.

The chicks fledged on the National Trust’s Wydcombe estate, thanks to a joint protection operation by the trust, the RSPB and Isle of Wight naturalists.

Keith Ballard, site manager at the RSPB’s Brading Marshes reserve, near Bembridge, said: “We are thrilled that the bee-eaters have managed to breed successfully on the Isle of Wight.

“It has been an amazing year for exotic species breeding on the Island.”