Eakring Bird news
January 2003
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
January 1st
2003 opened quietly, although two Jack Snipe were with 20 Snipe at Penny Pasture Common this morning.
January 2nd
In Lound Wood, at least one Nuthatch is still present of the two found during last Autumn. Also there two Marsh Tit and small numbers of both Goldcrest and Coal Tit.
January 3rd
Very quiet this morning. A Kingfisher at Eakring Flash was noteworthy, Kingfishers generally being scarce here with most records coming from post-breeding birds in July. Wildfowl at Eakring Flash included five Pochard, including one wounded bird (a result of yesterday's late-afternoon shoot) and seven Gadwall. Meanwhile, Wood Pigeon numbers increase with around 1500 birds in the area.

Good numbers of both Herring and Common Gulls in the Eakring Flash area, mostly around the small flood pools in the Oil-seed Rape field, east of the flash. Counts of 35 Herring and 21 Common were decent for the area.

January 4th
Two Water Rail at Eakring Flash, back near waterside vegetation along their favoured eastern-side and showing well at times late morning. Some signs of cold-weather movements, with 15 Lapwing and a single Sky Lark flock of 27 moving south-west and 11 Redwing high south.
January 5th
An interesting morning, although the hoped for cold-weather movements failed to materialise. It did however, provide two excellent area records.

The first Lesser-spotted Woodpecker in the area since two at Lound Wood in November 1997, was at Tug Bridge Farm briefly. Initially in roadside trees before flying further on and continuing to feed along the hedgerow opposite the farm entrance. The other surprising record referred to a Winter-plumaged Dunlin with 23 Snipe at Penny Pasture Common. After flying round for several minutes, it eventually headed off high north-east. Dunlin are scarce migrants here and all previous records have come within the traditional Spring and Autumn migration periods. The two Water Rail remain at Eakring Flash, now favouring the western-side, where the margins remain temporarily free of ice.

January 6th
128 Pink-footed Geese flew west over Eakring village and at least two Water Rail are still at Eakring Flash, with birds along the eastern-side and at the southern-end this morning.

There were the first real signs of the cold weather taking effect in eastern parts of the country today. This was reflected by small and short-lived movements by both Herring Gull and Lapwing this morning. Genuine migrant gulls are characterised by high westerly or south-westerly moving birds. This morning's total of 68 Herring Gull west, represents a high count for the area. Lapwings started moving from around 10:00-11:00am when flocks totalled 208 moved west. Golden Plover were also moving, but local birds masked any true movement by this species. However, 26 moving high south seemed to be genuine migrants.

Finches today included 19 Linnet south-east, two Lesser Redpoll at Eakring Flash and 150+ Chaffinches still in set-aside along the Kneesall Road. Four Bullfinches were along the old hedge.

January 7th
Very quiet in the area today, but 105 Pink-footed Geese flew west over Eakring Flash at 9:10am where a quick photograph allowed accurate counting later. A Common Buzzard was at nearby Lound Wood.
January 8th
A Common Buzzard was around Hare Hill Wood this morning.
January 9th
A immature female Peregrine was at Penny Pasture Common/Eakring Meadows this morning, with plumage indicating that it is the same bird as that seen in the same area on December 16th and two other later dates the same month. 112 Pink-footed Geese flew north-west this morning, continuing the recent run of skiens moving through the area on favourable days.
January 11th
A Water Rail was in one of the small ditches in the pastures area this morning, presumably one of the relocating birds from the still mostly frozen Eakring Flash. Also in that area were 20 Snipe and 54 Yellowhammer near the sewage works.
January 13th
At least one Water Rail now back along the eastern-side of Eakring Flash this morning with 31 Teal there.
January 16th
Still large numbers of Fieldfares in the area, at most of the main favoured sites, but there are few fields that don't contain at least a small group. Cumulative counts are still in excess of 500 birds. An immature male Peregrine flew north-west through High Trees and then Eakring Flash.
January 18th
A Water Rail was at the southern-end of Eakring Flash this morning, flushed from dense vegetation.
January 19th
Two new species for the year included records of Goosander and Shelduck at Eakring Flash. A total of three Goosander (two males and a female) were present until mid-morning when they left north-west. A single Shelduck flew over Eakring Flash heading south-west, preceeding four birds which flew in later, a total which presumably included the original bird. Shelduck normally return here in late January, with most records relating to the pair which finally bred in the area for the first time during 2002.
January 20th
Eakring Flash again held four Shelduck and a pair of Goosander this morning. Good numbers of gulls in the area, attracted to several small floodpools near Eakring Flash and Tug Bridge Farm, with at least 30 Common Gull which represent a good area count.
January 21st
The second Dunlin of the year (and another unusual Winter record) was with an assortment of Gulls on the flooded field, east of Eakring Flash this morning, till flushed off by a Sparrowhawk. Among the gulls were a new area record count of 50+ Common Gulls.

At Eakring Flash, still at least one Water Rail along the eastern-side again and showing well occasionally. A Grey Wagtail flew north and three Siskin went south, with still good numbers of both Winter thrushes at most sites in the area. A Common Buzzard was at Lound Wood.

January 22nd
  A Jack Snipe was in with 37 Snipe at Penny Pasture Common this morning. Also there was a Common Buzzard and a rare site record of Water Rail around the flooded areas briefly.

Another record Common Gull count today, with a total of 83 in the area. Most were at Tug Bridge Farm, with a flock of 56 there alone. At Eakring Flash, the four Shelduck flew in mid-morning.

Small numbers of Yellowhammers seem to be heading north at the moment with four through this morning. This may well explain the low totals seen during Spring passage since 1998.

January 23rd
Two skiens of Pink-footed Geese went through the area this morning, with 106 north north-east at 09:30am, followed by 185 north-east at 10:10am. An excellent record of seven Shelduck, were present at Eakring Flash early morning, till flying off towards Bilsthorpe pit top. A single bird later returned late morning.

A Common Buzzard showed well hunting around Eakring Flash, confirming that at two birds are in the area, whilst still over 50 Common Gulls again present.

January 25th
Very quiet this morning, though large numbers of Fieldfare were around Tug Bridge Farm.
January 27th
122 Pink-footed Geese flew low west through the area this morning at 10:35am, but the real highlight was a rare Corn Bunting record, when a group of nine flew west over Eakring Flash. On Eakring Flash, a single drake Goosander was with four Shelduck.
January 28th
Six Shelduck were on Eakring Flash early morning. Elsewhere in the area today were 74 Common Gull, most of which were at Tug Bridge Farm. The same site also held large numbers of Fieldfare (500+) with other Fieldfare flocks including 100 at Eakring Flash and 400 near the Severn Trent works between Eakring and Wellow, in the north of the recording area. Smaller (though still significantly higher than normal) numbers of Redwing are associating with the Fieldfare flocks.
January 30th
Eight Shelduck were at Eakring Flash early morning only, before flying off south-west.
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