Eakring Bird news
April 2006
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
April 2nd
Still one Jack Snipe and 20 Common Snipe at Eakring Meadows this morning, with the Jack Snipe easily representing the area's latest-ever Spring record (per Robin Brace)
April 3rd
Still around 20 Common Snipe at Eakring Meadows today. At Eakring Flash, four Pochard and a single Teal were new arrivals.
April 5th
The first of the Summer migrants arrived very late in the area today, with a single Chiffchaff singing in Hare Hill Wood. Normally by this date, there are about half a dozen Chiffchaffs in territory, along with Blackcaps and early Willow Warblers.
April 6th
Although generally quiet and occasionally almost birdless this morning, there were a couple of notable records. A Little Ringed Plover flew over Eakring Flash, before heading off south-west at 07:55h and a female Merlin flew over the road at Eakring Meadows and headed in the direction of Eakring Field Farm.

At Eakring Flash, five Pochard there today and 14 Golden Plover flew west over. There were few migrants around and visible migration was virtually non-existant. The first Sand Martin of the year all went south (including a single and group of three) a Chiffchaff was at Kersall and ten Fieldfare were at Eakring Meadows. Common Buzzards included one at Hare Hill Wood and three around Lound Wood and Red Hill.

April 8th
Bird of the day today was just about the first bird seen on my arrival, when an adult male Peregrine drifted north over Red Hill at 06:55h. Signs of Spring came with the first Blackcap at Oil Bore Holes, five Swallows through (including two south) and two Sand Martins north-west. Other migrants included the first Siskin of the year (south-west) 78 Wood Pigeon north-west and small numbers of Meadow Pipits. Three Pochard were on Eakring Flash, along with two Little Grebe.
April 9th
Extremely quiet again today, with virtually birdless skies as migrants still fail to appear. One that did arrive this morning, was a female Wheatear, present in the large ploughed field immediately west of Eakring village.
April 13th
Still very few migrants arriving, although the small numbers did include the first House Martin. New Chiffchaffs were at Oil Bore Holes, Lound Wood and Hare Hill Wood.
April 15th
Signs of some increased activity this morning. Visible migration consisted of mostly small numbers of Meadow Pipit, Linnet and Sand Martin (12 north and south-east) plus single Redpoll and three Goldfinch north.

Other new migrants were the first Willow Warblers, with singing males at Eakring Flash, High Trees and Red Hill and at least four Blackcaps arrived overnight. A male Wheatear was at Tug Bridge Farm (all day) with a female found in the Church Hill area during a second site visit in the afternoon. A Yellow Wagtail was at Red Hill. Wildfowl in the Eakring Flash area today included ten Gadwall and the two Teal again. Common Buzzards were at Lound Wood and Hare Hill Wood.

April 16th
Another morning when it was obvious that there were many birds on the move.

An extremely unusual arrival of three Grasshopper Warblers at Eakring Flash, included one male in full song and two other very skulking birds, one of which eventually began to sing in short bursts. With four new Willow Warblers and two Chiffchaffs also turning up at scattered sites (coupled with an increasing amount of visible migration) a check for Wheatears provided a group of five at Church Hill, plus yesterdays male was still present at Tug Bridge Farm.

104 Meadow Pipits north-west, represented a good Spring count in recent years, with a group of 29 indicating possible large-scale movement across the UK. Other counts included 18 Sand Martin, three Goldfinch, four Linnet and three Swallow all north and a White Wagtail was at Tug Bridge Farm.

April 17th
A Common Sandpiper was at Eakring Flash this morning - the species still retaining it's rarity status here.

Previous Common Sandpiper records include singles at Eakring Flash on July 28-August 2nd, August 5-6th and August 12th 1998; Two at Eakring Flash August 5th 1999; Three at Eakring Flash August 18th 2003 and one at Eakring Flash April 26th 2005.

Wheatears in the area today included three males in the Church Hill area (believed to be different birds from those nearby on 16th) and a pair of the Greenland race at the unusual location of Penny Pasture Common, Eakring Meadows.

Only one of yesterday's Grasshopper Warblers remained at Eakring Flash and the first Sedge Warbler of 2006 was singing from rough vegetation there. Only small numbers of more commoner warblers had arrived overnight and many of yesterday's arrivals appeared to have moved on.
April 18th
A rare Redshank record this morning, when one was at Penny Pasture Common, Eakring Meadows, then flew off west. More Wheatears in the area again today, with two males and a female at Tug Bridge Farm and still the pair of Greenland Wheatears remaining from yesterday's birds at Penny Pasture Common. Some visible migration today, with 28 Swallow and 49 Meadow Pipit north-west. Few new warblers in the area today, but still one Grasshopper Warbler singing occasionally at Eakring Flash.
April 19th
Very quiet this morning with virtually no overhead passage. Two Grasshopper Warblers were at Eakring Flash, whilst Wheatears in the area today included the Greenland Wheatear pair at Penny Pasture Common Eakring Meadows and two males at Tug Bridge Farm.
April 20th
Still more Wheatears arriving in the area. At Eakring Meadows, just the one male Greenland Wheatear still present this afternoon on Penny Pasture Common. At nearby Tug Bridge Farm there were six birds (four males and two females) The current total of different Wheatears is 21 birds, almost equalling the highest-ever Spring total of 23 reached in 2000.

Other birds today included a Common Buzzard and three Yellow Wagtails at Tug Bridge Farm and a Whitethroat at Eakring Flash.

April 21st
Very foggy in the area this morning making viewing difficult and also meant that little arrived or left the area overnight. The six Wheatears remained in the bare field at Tug Bridge Farm, but there was no sign of the Penny Pasture Common bird in a brief search. At Eakring Flash, one male Grasshopper Warbler singing at the north-east end.
April 22nd
Notable Spring movement of Swallow and Meadow Pipit through the area this morning. Although the totals may seem insignificant, at this time of year and the manner in which birds were moving through, suggests that a broadscale movement took place today involving these two species.

Some 96 Meadow Pipit and 78 Swallow flew mostly north-east, with smaller numbers of both Goldfinch and Linnet. Four Yellow Wagtail flew west. 66 Golden Plover flew high west over Eakring Flash.

Rarer birds seen today included two Curlew low south-west over Eakring Flash and a Little Ringed Plover south-west over Penny Pasture Common. There were eight Wheatears at two sites in the area today, with a female briefly at Eakring Flash, plus seven (five males and two females) at Tug Bridge Farm.

There were two male Grasshopper Warblers at Eakring Flash this morning, including a new arrival (the fifth this year) which took up residence along the hedgerow running north from Eakring Flash towards Lound Wood.
April 23rd
Much quieter in general this morning. The seven Wheatear were still in the bare field at Tug Bridge Farm and a female was at nearby Church Hill. Still two Grasshopper Warblers singing in the Eakring Flash area.
April 24th
Four male Wheatears remained at Tug Bridge Farm this morning, but appeared to have left by 09:30h. Good numbers of warblers in the area today, with the first Lesser Whitethroat at Eakring Meadows and still two Grasshopper Warbler at Eakring Flash this morning, but a late evening visit produced a third (new bird) in the pastures area. (per T Pendleton and Robin Brace)
April 25th
A mid-afternoon visit to the area today. Two male Wheatears were still in the bare field across the road from Tug Bridge Farm.
April 26th
Plenty of warblers in the area this morning, with at least 14 male Whitethroat and a single Lesser Whitethroat "new in". Two male Wheatears at Tug Bridge Farm today included one Greenland Wheatear which was an obviously larger and more strikingly marked bird than the other. Only one male Grasshopper Warbler was singing occasionally at Eakring Flash and watched prospecting suitable nest sites, after having attracted a female. Two Swifts low west over Penny Pasture Common, were new for the year.

There was virtually no visible migration again today, but three late Fieldfare north and a male Goosander west over Eakring Flash were notable.

April 27th
More Wheatears arrived again this morning, still in the bare field opposite Tug Bridge Farm with five birds present early morning. The group consisted of four males and a female, with the male Greenland Wheatear again present (per Tony Wardell and Robin Brace) When I visited the site mid-morning, just three males were present (including the Greenland bird)

At Eakring Flash, one Grasshopper Warbler singing and Whitethroats continue to arrive in good numbers.

April 28th
Pretty quiet in the area this morning, but a Little Ringed Plover north at 06:50h, followed by five Arctic Terns north at 06:55h, were very good site records.
April 29th
Two Wheatears in the Church Hill area with two Hobby east over there. A Grasshopper Warbler was still north of Eakring Flash and two new Lesser Whitethroats were new arrivals among a scattering of migrants. Very few birds on the move this morning in the breezy conditions.
Right:- Primary projection of the recent male Greenland Wheatear at Penny Pasture Common, Eakring Meadows and one of the females at Church Hill on April 29th.

The photos clearly show the six visible primaries considered to be the best indicator of Greenland race (Oenanthe oenanthe leuchorhoa) birds, compared to the five of Oenanthe oenanthe oenanthe birds.

April 30th
A very quiet day to end a varied month. A Garden Warbler at Eakring Meadows represented the 100th species for the year to date and a Common Buzzard was high over Lound Wood and Red Hill. Just the one Grasshopper Warbler singing very occasionally from the hedgerow that runs north from Eakring Flash. Virtually nothing moving overhead again today.
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