Eakring Bird news
December 2002
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
December 1st
Still at least one Water Rail along the eastern-side of Eakring Flash, early afternoon. Eight Pochard there were new in today.
December 3rd
A surprisingly productive morning, which produced single Shelduck at Eakring Flash (first December record here) and 130 Pink-footed Geese moving east. Just as unusual was the Green Sandpiper at Eakring Flash, appearing to fly off south, but was later found at a small pond in the Pastures area, before returning to Eakring Flash once more. Still at least one Water Rail present. Small (but definite movements) included a flock of 29 Redwing south-west, seven Redpoll in the same direction and five Siskin south-east. A Reed Bunting flew high south.
December 4th
Some Fieldfare movement this afternoon upon the clearence of heavy rain, with 102 flying high south over Eakring Meadows. Two Common Buzzards still in the area.
December 5th
The Shelduck again at Eakring Flash early morning, then flew off and still at least one Water Rail there. The Chaffinch flock, first noted in the Kersall area at the end of November, had relocated to near Hare Hill Wood and had increased to 250+ birds. 49 Lapwing flew south-west, indicating that the coming colder weather over the next few days might see some small cross-country movements by certain species.
December 6th
Quiet this morning. 68 Golden Plover flew south-west over Eakring Flash and still a Water Rail calling from the southern-end.
December 7th
Shelduck and Water Rail still at Eakring Flash mid-morning. Siskins still moving through the area. Today 21 flew south-east, including a flock of 20.
December 8th
Another quiet day but signs that birds are moving into and through the area with another large Chaffinch flock located in the Red Hill area. This contained around 200 birds and coupled with the 250 strong flock in the Kersall/Hare Hill Wood area, shows how the area has experienced a noticable influx over the past few days. Red Hill also held 50+ Yellowhammer, located around a set-aside strip near the sewage treatment works between Eakring and Wellow. 54 Lapwing flew high south-west through the area. With colder weather arriving from off the near continent, then signs are promising for some cold-weather movements over the next few days.
December 9th
A pair of Wigeon were on Eakring Flash late morning, till flushed by a dog-walker, with 45 Teal there and also at Eakring Meadows Nature Reserve. No sign of either Chaffinch flock today in a brief search.
December 10th
The Shelduck was again at Eakring Flash with 50+ Teal (per D Mather)
December 11th
Eakring Flash is now almost completely frozen over and likely to remain so for several more days as the cold spell continues. Currently there are higher than normal numbers of Redwing at several sites. At least one flock held around 60 birds in the High Trees area. Another good area count this morning was at least 18 Tree Sparrows, feeding in set-aside with Chaffinches and Yellowhammers along the Kneesall Road. A covey of 16 Grey Partridge at Eakring Flash emphasises the dramatic increase in the species during 2002. No Grey Partridge are released here for Estate shoots.

Some cold-weather movement this morning included 63 Lapwing south-west, with a Redshank in the same direction. 55 Golden Plover were near the ruined building along the Kneesall Road. Such numbers are scarce here between November and February. A Common Buzzard drifted over Tug Bridge Farm and a Little Owl showed well here on the roadside hedge.

December 12th
Very quiet this morning, but increased numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare around Eakring village, with counts of 100+ of the former, representing an extremely high count for December. The mixed finch/bunting flock was again in the set-aside field along the Kneesall Road and still held good numbers of Tree Sparrows.
December 13th
Eakring Flash held 43 Teal, seven Snipe and three Pochard this morning. As the ice begins to melt, numbers should begin to increase once more. Still one Water Rail there along the eastern-side. Good numbers of both Coal Tit and Goldcrest were in Lound Wood, with counts of 15+ and 20+ respectively, but two Goldcrests were also around Eakring Flash.
December 14th
Very foggy this morning and little noted in a brief survey of Eakring Flash. The Shelduck was still present along with a single Water Rail calling from water-side vegetation.
December 16th
A female Peregrine was hunting the Eakring Meadows area this morning. Also there along The Beck were four Mandarin (one male and three females) and 18 Snipe were on the increasingly flooded Penny Pasture Common.
December 17th
Eakring Flash held 86 Teal, single Shelduck and two Gadwall late morning. Three Goosander were also there briefly. Along the old hedge, two Goldcrests remained.

The most notable feature of the morning, was the distinct northerly Redwing movement. Flocks containing up to 70 birds, eventually contributing to a full total of 256 north. Such movements are almost unknown here and the only other previous December Redwing movements, have been to the south and cold weather related.

December 18th
276 Redwing flew north this morning, in a manner similar to yesterday's movement. There were also 80 Fieldfare heading the same way. Nine Skylark flew west over Eakring Flash, with two Water Rail there and four Bullfinches along the old hedge.
December 20th
Two Water Rail at Eakring Flash (possibly three). The Kneesall Road finch flock now contains around 150+ Chaffinch, with smaller numbers of Yellowhammer. Other smaller Chaffinch flocks also at several other sites in the area this morning.
December 21st
Two Shelduck at Eakring Flash, still with two Water Rail there.
December 22nd
Two Shelduck again at Eakring Flash early morning, with over 400 Fieldfare and 100 Redwing there.

Some notable gull movement this morning with 16 Common Gull and 23 Herring Gull all south-west.

85 Golden Plover were in the area, but very flighty.

December 23rd
The area is still holding large numbers of Winter thrushes, with over 200 Redwing and 300+ Fieldfare around. Most of these were in the Eakring Meadows area, but flocks were also noted coming in from the west, then moving off east. Around the whole of the Eakring Meadows site, Song Thrushes were present in good numbers and most hedgerows held at least one. This is somewhat similar to after an October influx. Up to five Goldcrests were present.

At Kersall, the Chaffinch flock has now increased to around 300 birds and smaller flocks still remain at favoured sites.

Gulls also continued to move through. Continuing on from yesterday, smaller numbers of most species were moving both south-west and east.

December 24th
Some visible migration early morning, with several small groups of Redwing moving south. The largest group (amongst a total of 77) was one of 28 birds. Other migrants included two Yellowhammer west and a flock of 23 Siskin moving south-east.

Thrushes were present today in much higher numbers than of late, with two Fieldfare flocks feeding in fields producing counts of 565 and 378. One of these was in Oil-seed Rape along the Kneesall Road, which also saw a high area Tree Sparrow count of 30+, in with numbers of Yellowhammer and Chaffinch.

Good numbers of Teal again at Eakring Flash, with 80+ there this morning.

December 26th
Large numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing in the area again, with 1 465 Fieldfare and 309 Redwing counted in two flocks at Eakring Flash and along the Kneesall Road. Both were feeding in Oil-seed Rape. Grey Partridges included 15 in the Pastures area.
December 27th
The large Fieldfare and Redwing flock was again in the Oil-seed Rape field adjacent to Eakring Flash, with at least 1 000 birds present.
December 28th
189 Pink-footed Geese flew south-east (19 at 9:05am) and east (170 at 9:35am) over Eakring Flash this morning, with two Shelduck there briefly and the two Water Rail along the eastern-side of the flash.

Large numbers of birds still in the area, with over 1500 Fieldfare and around 400 Redwing at most sites. The Redwing total is an unknown count for this time of the year here, when counts barely reach 30 birds. Still several Chaffinch flocks containing 300 birds at both Kersall/Hare Hill Wood and along the Kneesall Road. 30 Siskins were in Alders near Kersall village. Good numbers of Yellowhammer and Tree Sparrows also in with the finch flocks.

December 30th
A female Goosander flew west over Eakring Flash this morning, with Water Rail there.
December 31st
109 Pink-footed Geese flew north-west at 9:30am. Still good numbers of thrushes throughout the area, including many Redwings.
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