Eakring Bird news
April 2003
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
April 1st
A male Ring Ouzel was at Tug Bridge Farm late morning, in the newly-sown pasture just west of the farm. This is the fifth record here since 1997 and the first since 2000. All have come in April, but this represents the earliest arrival date in the area.

It was surprisingly not associating with the 120 strong flock of Fieldfare in the same area/field and fed in the shelter of the hedgerow. Another Fieldfare flock of 130 birds were in fields around Red Hill.

April 2nd
Two Common Buzzards were over Lound Wood and Eakring Flash late morning.
April 3rd
A female Wheatear was at Eakring Flash all morning at least, with 56 Meadow Pipit north and north-west through there today. Two Common Buzzards were over Parkhill Plantation late morning.
April 5th
115 Meadow Pipits flew north and north-west this morning along with 21 Linnet and two Siskin. Still 136 Fieldfare in pastures at Tug Bridge Farm, with a White Wagtail there.
April 6th
Northerly migrants this morning included 93 Meadow Pipits, small numbers of finches and 49 Fieldfare, with 175 Fieldfare also present at Tug Bridge Farm. Both Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler briefly appeared, moving north through Eakring Flash.
April 7th
Very quiet this morning, with virtually no visible migration of any kind. 89 Fieldfare were at Tug Bridge Farm, a male Blackcap was singing near the Centre Parcs offices in Eakring village, being a late first for the year and a Willow Warbler was very brief, moving north through Eakring Flash.
April 8th
Very quiet again today. Fieldfare in the area included 80 at Tug Bridge Farm and 330 in fields at Kersall. The now resident, but still elusive Mandarin pair, were seen flying east along The Beck at Eakring Meadows. A Common Buzzard was very high over the Red Hill area.
April 9th
A Redshank flew west over Eakring Flash on an otherwise extremely quiet morning here again.
April 10th
Two Redshank through this morning, briefly at Eakring Flash before appearing to head off high north-west. To have two Redshank records within the space of two days, probably indicates a pair in territory outside the recording area and visiting other possible breeding localities.
April 11th
Six Sand Martin through north-west were the first for the year and provided a new latest arrival date and a Swallow was new in Eakring village. Little else around, just three Fieldfare now at Tug Bridge Farm, whilst visible migration still remains virtually nil.
April 12th
Three Willow Warblers were new at Eakring Meadows and at Eakring Flash (two) this morning, along with a Chiffchaff at Eakring village. A second Swallow arrived this morning at Tug Bridge Farm, with 17 Fieldfare there and two at Kersall village.
April 13th
Two Wheatear in the area this morning, with the female (pictured below) at Eakring Flash and a male near Eakring Field Farm. Willow Warblers continue to arrive here in small numbers, with two new birds singing this morning. Surprisingly however, only three Blackcaps have been noted to date, with only one of these currently holding territory in Hare Hill Wood. A Common Buzzard was again in the Red Hill area.
April 14th
An excellent morning, although typically much of it was very quiet. Two male Wheatears arrived within half an hour of each other at Eakring Flash this morning, but the real highlight was the male Ring Ouzel which flew north over there at 7:57am, providing the sixth record for both the area and April as a whole since 1997 - whilst also being the second bird this Spring. With peak migration for both species due later in the month, it is perhaps possible that current weather conditions are allowing an earlier migratory peak. Consecutive Wheatear records of today and yesterday are unknown here in mid-April - a time when few records are usually produced. At Tug Bridge Farm, the Fieldfare flock once again had built up to 131 birds.

Later in the evening, nocturnal passage included an Oystercatcher heard calling several times over Red Hill at 9:55pm.

April 15th
There was a significant overnight arrival of warblers into the area. This consisted mostly of Blackcap, with seven singing males at sites throughout the area, Chiffchaff (three) and Willow Warbler (four) Most notable however was the area's earliest-ever Whitethroat which was in Blackthorn scrub along the Kneesall Road and beating the species' previous earliest date of April 21st by nearly a week. In contrast, the first Yellow Wagtails of 2003 provided a new latest date, with three birds moving through during the late morning period.

Elsewhere in the area this morning, two female Wheatears replaced the two males at Eakring Flash, which departed overnight. Five Common Buzzards included four together over Tug Bridge Farm (where around 40 Fieldfare remained) with another around Eakring Field Farm.

Some late news concerns the lingering Red Kite, seen again recently on both April 2nd and 11th. The daily routine this bird is adopting is interesting. Each time it has been seen (at least four times since late March) has been during the mid-late afternoon period, most frequently quartering or perched in an area centred around SK 670625. This point is along the hillside on the western edge of Eakring village, as approached from the A 614.

April 16th
More warblers again arrived overnight and in significant numbers, with ten Blackcaps, four Willow Warblers, four Whitethroats and two Chiffchaffs.

Fieldfare are still lingering around Tug Bridge Farm (53) with 27 at Kersall village and migrants through this morning included a single north and 21 north-west. Redwing on the other hand are typically scarce for such a date. Three went high south-west and a single was at Eakring Meadows.

April 17th
A Greenshank was at Eakring Flash this morning, where it was present until flying off high north-east at 8:12am. This bird represented the first April record and only the third here in Spring. A Whimbrel went over the same site south-east at 7:45am.
April 18th
Three Green Sandpipers were at Eakring Flash early morning, till eventually flushed by a Sparrowhawk, with a Little Ringed Plover through. Highlight of the morning was the Tree Pipit which flew low north-west, providing a rare Spring record. Small numbers of finches are moving through (mostly Goldfinches and Linnets) but there have been ridiculously few hirundines through here so far.
April 19th
A Green Sandpiper flew north through Eakring Flash, continuing the recent spate of wader records. Also there, the first Sedge Warbler arrived on site, at the same time providing a new earliest arrival date by three days.
April 20th
A morning which was extremely quiet and produced very few notebook entries, yet still produced a new species for the area when a group of nine Little Gulls flew low north-east over Eakring Flash at 7:30am. The group consisted of eight adults and one immature and is a record that may surprise a few people due to the nature of this site.
April 22nd
Cuckoo and Lesser Whitethroat were both new in this morning. In general, good numbers of warblers were appearing, including Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Whitethroat all briefly though Eakring Flash. This occurred on the back of a change in wind direction to south-westerlies. Two Fieldfare were still at Tug Bridge Farm.

News from late evening where at Lound Wood, a Woodcock was roding. This record is only the second here since 1998, outside of the period November-February. A new latest ever Redwing last date was set tonight, went one flew north-east over the same site at around 9:00pm.

April 23rd
The year's first House Martin arrived back in Eakring village this morning and a female Wheatear was at Tug Bridge Farm, but otherwise the area was quiet, aside from some small Sand Martin movement which included five north.
April 26th
After a quiet couple of days, things picked up this morning. Two Wheatears included a female at Tug Bridge Farm and a male in fields near Park Farm. Four Fieldfare were at Eakring Meadows and the Mandarin pair were seen around The Beck and Eakring Meadows area. Migrants today included a Tree Pipit north-west over Eakring Flash and the first Turtle Dove of the year south-west over there. Three Curlew flew high north-west with a single Whimbrel.
April 27th
Two Swift through Eakring Flash this morning were both the first of the year and the earliest ever for the area.
April 29th
First Garden Warbler in the area today at Eakring Meadows. There was a small but noticeable arrival of warblers again this morning, among which also included two Lesser Whitethroats. Five Swift went north-west along with small numbers of hirundines. Some late evening news concerned a Barn Owl in the Red Hill area, perched briefly in a roadside tree and the Woodcock was again roding over Lound Wood.
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