Eakring Bird news
October 2003
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
October 1st
The Greenshank was at Eakring Flash early afternoon, with a Common Buzzard over there. At least 400 Golden Plover were in fields at Church Hill.
October 2nd
The long-staying Greenshank remains at Eakring Flash with three Snipe there. Small numbers of migrants were passing south-east including 16 Swallows. Two Common Buzzards were around Eakring Meadows late afternoon.
October 4th
Still quiet, but 128 Pink-footed Geese flew south-east at 08:47am and a Peregrine was hunting Golden Plover adjacent to Eakring Flash. Two Common Buzzards were roaming the Red Hill area mid-morning. Small flocks of Lesser Redpoll in the area today, included eight at Eakring Flash and 10 around Red Hill, whilst small numbers of Siskin moved through. Three Jays moved low south-west through Eakring Flash.
October 5th
A Leach's Storm-petrel went south-west this morning. Observed near Eakring Flash, the bird was initially noted quite high and seemingly coming in from a north-easterly direction. It flew low over two observers and appeared to very nearly come down in a nearby field near Eakring village, when harrassed by a Rook. Although it was not seen to actually leave the area, a thorough search of all fields and nearby waters revealed no sign. This obviously represents a new species for the area and the second sea-bird of the year, following the Arctic Skua in August. Congratulations must go to the bird's finders Robin Brace and Tony Wardell, gaining just reward for their many hours coverage throughout the past year.

Other news on another otherwise very quiet morning, concerned 48 Pink-footed Geese north-east and 23 Redwing south-west. Eakring Flash held 35 Teal early morning. The first argentatus Herring Gulls of the year were three flying high south-west.

October 9th
A very high Autumn count of Golden Plover was made this morning, with 918 in fields around Church Hill. The same fields also held good numbers of both Sky Lark and Linnet, though the highest numbers of Linnets were recorded during some early morning movements, when several groups totalled 44 south. Other species moving through included small numbers of all the commoner finches (amongst which were three Brambling) Three Swallow and 38 Skylark went south-west and 14 Reed Bunting south-west was a high area visible migration count.

A movement of Pink-footed Geese consisted of five seperate skiens, with a combined total of 401 birds. All were going east and came between 9:00 and 10:55am. A Water Rail was at the southern-end of Eakring Flash, from where two of the three Chiffchaffs in the area today were present.

October 10th
A Shoveler was one of only five ducks on Eakring Flash this afternoon, also Chiffchaff there.
October 11th
Two Yellow-legged Gulls were in fields with numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls this morning - at first near Eakring Flash, then relocating to fields along the Kneesall Road.

80 Pink-footed Geese went south-east (per Robin Brace and Tony Wardell)

October 12th
80 Pink-footed Geese went north-west over Penny Pasture Common this morning, with migrant thrushes including 15 Fieldfare and five Redwing south (per Robin Brace and Tony Wardell)
October 13th
Adult Yellow-legged Gull at Eakring Flash late morning, in with good numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Visible migration saw thrushes moving through. Most flocks were very high and totals included 339 Fieldfare, 169 Redwing and 50 Starling south-west. 19 Brambling went north and 64 Lapwing flew high west in several groups. The area held good numbers of Sky Larks at most sites and two Chiffchaff were in the Sallows at Eakring Flash.

October 16th
Rather quiet for long periods this morning, although the adult Yellow-legged Gull was again in fields at Eakring Flash, with the Water Rail seen again.

Unusual flyover records came from both Nuthatch and Corn Bunting. More usual however, were small numbers of Fieldfare (160 south) and Redwing (14 south) over. Skylarks were moving (mostly south-east) and a total of 65 included many seen to fly high out of fields before moving off in various-sized groups. Plenty of Blackbirds also in the area, including four south-west and four Song Thrush south and south-west. A Brambling flew over the Church Hill area, where at least 800 Golden Plovers were present. These birds continue to be very mobile and commute between both Church Hill and Eakring Flash, but also fly off towards Bilsthorpe.

October 18th
Despite a run of easterly winds and being mid-October, the area is still quiet. Even what's normally the busiest time of year for visible migration remains unusually poor. Many species are moving through, but not in the decisive manner so often recorded. Small numbers of thrushes such as Fieldfare and Redwing were heading in two general directions today, with birds passing high south-west and generally low north and north-west. Groups moving in the latter direction are probably relocating birds, moving north after a coastal arrival well south of a line east of Nottinghamshire to the coast.

Brambling are now passing through daily, today three went south-west.

The Water Rail was still at Eakring Flash with at least three Snipe and a Grey Wagtail there. a Common Buzzard was at Lound Wood and three Mandarin flew down The Beck and over Eakring Meadows.

October 19th
Adult female Peregrine in the area early morning, with nine Wigeon at Eakring Flash briefly. Regular disturbance and shooting at Eakring Flash are ensuring that wildfowl numbers are at a minimum.

Some migration this morning with small numbers of all the expected species. 151 Fieldfare went west, including a group of 25 that were so high up, that they were only detected whilst watching one of 10 Herring Gull south today. 63 also went through north and north-east. Small numbers of Black-headed and Common Gull were moving through.

Eakring Flash continued to hold single Chiffchaff and Water Rail, with 12 Teal dropping in there late morning.

October 20th
21 Teal at Eakring Flash late morning, with a Chiffchaff still along the old hedge.
October 22nd
A count of the Golden Plover flock revealed that a minimum of 434 were in the Church Hill area. This count is much higher than that of the last few days when numbers had dropped from the record counts of earlier in the month.
October 23rd
Still incredibly quiet again. The Water Rail was along The Beck, at the end of the old hedge and 22 Teal were at the southern-end of Eakring Flash. The small Lesser Redpoll flock here had increased to 20 birds, with part of this group flying off and leaving just eight by mid-morning. 283 Starling flew west, but other visible migration was today virtually undetectable amid the regular commuting birds in the area. There was an increase in the Common Gull numbers today, with birds also noted flying high south-west, along with small numbers of Herring Gulls. A Common Buzzard was again in the Lound Wood area.
October 26th
October suddenly and rather unexpectedly sprung to life today and a mid-morning visit to Eakring Flash produced Wood Lark, Water Rail, Jack Snipe and a female Common Crossbill briefly.

Representing only the fourth Wood Lark record here, a single bird was found in fields adjacent to Eakring Flash (above left) It showed well throughout and was still present when I left the area. All the area's previous records had come within the period September 30-October 11th, this now being the latest record here. Another surprise was the Common Crossbill, which came in from the north-west before heading off north after briefly landing for a drink at the southern-end. This is the first record of Common Crossbill since 2001 and comes despite no apparent influx of the species elsewhere into the UK this year.

Around Eakring Flash itself, the Water Rail was along the western-side and a Jack Snipe fed out in the open at the southern-end and afforded good views initially, before flying into cover. At Eakring Meadows, a large Fieldfare flock numbered at least 450 birds and around 200 Golden Plover were in their favoured locality of Church Hill.

October 27th
298 Pink-footed Geese flew north-west over the area mid-morning.

Visible migration again remained very limited but signs were there with 34 Skylark and 154 Fieldfare moving south-west. A conservative estimate of at least 80 Meadow Pipits were in fields around Eakring Flash and the Wood Lark was probably still present nearby and possibly heard to call once, but was not in the same field as yesterday.

October 28th
A Merlin was the highlight of the morning, flying west over Eakring Flash early am, with a drake Goosander later flying high north-west. A slight improvement regarding visible migration today, with 535 Starling through west.

Of interest were the four Bullfinch (two males and two females) present briefly at Eakring Flash along the old hedge, before flying off west over Red Hill. An hour later, another female arrived in from the north-east. Bullfinch are very rarely recorded here (only twice since 1998) actively flying over open countryside and I have never observed them during visible migration watches conducted at other sites, flying through in the manner associated with most finches.

The Water Rail was again calling this morning, along the western-side of Eakring Flash.

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