Eakring Bird news
May 2005
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
May 1st
A good day to open the month, with several scarce species in the area again today. Highlight was the Short-eared Owl at 07:15h which was circling over Red Hill, gained height and appeared to move off east above the low cloud base and was lost from view.

The conditions also brought a Redshank briefly at Eakring Flash, before flying off south-east and later a Whimbrel flew high north-west at 08:42h. A very brief Whinchat was found at Penny Pasture Common, Eakring Meadows. Other migrants this morning included six Yellow Wagtail, Turtle Dove north-east, eight Sand Martin and five Swift. The only warblers to arrive today were a Sedge Warbler at Penny Pasture Common and the first female Whitethroat was noted at Eakring Flash.

A Common Buzzard was at Lound Wood all morning.

Visible migration:- North-westerly migrants today included eight Sand Martin, five Swift, six Yellow Wagtail and a single Turtle Dove, whilst 16 Swallow, three Goldfinch, four Meadow Pipit and nine Linnet went north.

May 2nd
A Whimbrel flew unseen and high north-west over Eakring Meadows this morning. In the same area were single Turtle Dove and Lesser Whitethroat (per Robin Brace)
May 3rd
A new species for the area during an afternoon visit today, with a male Montagu's Harrier over Eakring Flash at 15:55h. The bird came from the north (unseen until directly overhead) and all the time was gaining height, circling and slowly drifting off south. When at a considerable height it then veered off to the south-west and was lost from view. The bird was probably a male, but sexing was difficult due to the angle of sunlight. Most of the identification was based upon shape - appearing longer and more narrow-winged than Hen Harrier, with a relatively bouyant flight action.

This morning had been fairly quiet, but of a handful of warblers that did arrive overnight included a male Grasshopper Warbler, heard "reeling" intermittantly from a ditch near Eakring Flash. Other migrants to arrive included two Lesser Whitethroat, two Whitethroat, single Garden Warbler and a Cuckoo at Red Hill.

May 4th
Two hours of virtually nothing, suddenly produced a group of nine Arctic Terns moving low and north over Eakring Flash at 08:20h, the first Arctic Terns here for four years.

Visible migration:- North-westerly migrants today included 12 Swift, eight Swallow, six Goldfinch, eight Linnet, two Greenfinch and a single Yellow Wagtail.

May 5th
Good numbers of Whitethroats finally arrived in the area this morning, with singing males at many roadside sites. Several Blackcap and two Lesser Whitethroats were also among species to arrive. Small numbers of hirundines and Swifts were going north-west in the quite windy conditions.
May 6th
Three new Whitethroats arrived this morning, but the fairly brisk north-westerly winds ensured that a mid-morning visit was quiet, although a Garden Warbler was along the old hedge. There was some small Swift movement again, a trend that continued throughout the morning.
May 7th
A real surprise this morning, were the three Arctic Terns which flew north over Eakring Flash at 07:48h, with a group of seven Black-headed Gulls. The male Garden Warbler was again singing along the old hedge, a Cuckoo called once in the pastures area and four Sand Martin were over Eakring Flash. A male Ruddy Duck was new for the year and there were also three Teal present briefly. (per T Pendleton and Robin Brace)
May 8th
Very quiet this morning, but a Cuckoo was present around Eakring Flash during the evening, with two Herring Gull south-west over there.
May 10th
A Common Buzzard flew very high and north over Eakring Flash early afternoon. Hirundines and Swifts continue to move through the area, seemingly in small numbers but throughout the day. Now three Ruddy Duck at Eakring Flash, following the arrival of another male and a female.

Visible migration:- Northerly migrants today were, 18 Swift, six Swallow, single Sand Martin and 11 House Martin.

May 11th
Evidence of a northerly Common Buzzard passage through the area during the mid-late morning period, with three single birds moving high north and two going south-east. (Common Buzzards were also noted going north through another Notts site today) Swifts and hirundines were again passing through and a female Wheatear was around the manure heaps at Church Hill.

Visible migration:- Birds moving north-west today included, 19 Swift, 12 Swallow and five House Martin. Three Yellow Wagtail flew north and north-east whilst a Greenfinch went north-west.

May 12th
A male Quail was in the area today, heard calling intermittantly between 09:45 and 09:55h this morning. The bird was in cereal fields just north of Eakring Flash and situated close to the public footpath that runs directly north between Eakring Flash and Lound Wood. This is the first record since a brief calling male near Lound Wood in June 2002 and it's arrival has coincided once again, with an area of high pressure and easterly-biased winds. These same weather conditions brought record numbers on several occasions in 2001.

More migrant Common Buzzards were again noted today, with three birds heading high north-east. A total of eight migrant birds have now passed through here within the last three days. A single Whimbrel flew north over Eakring Flash at 09:45h and there was a small arrival of warblers in the area today.

Visible migration:- North and north-easterly migrants included 16 Swift, single Swallow, four House Martin, single Sand Martin and two Linnet.

May 13th
Two male Quail in the Eakring Flash area this morning, with yesterday's bird heard to call briefly at 06:17h and then again at 07:50h. Another was then located, calling once at 07:20h from the southern-end of Eakring Flash. There was no sign of these birds during the evening, but I did leave the area before previous birds have normally started calling at around 21:15h.

The regular (unpaired) male Common Buzzard was again around Lound Wood and a Hobby flew north-east during the early afternoon. At least 65 Swallows were over Eakring Flash late evening, most of which are presumed migrants, as resident birds only total around 20, including those from nearby farms and other likely sources.

Visible migration:- Migrants included 20 Swift, ten Swallow, 11 House Martin, single Yellow Wagtail, two Goldfinch and three Linnet all mostly north.

May 14th
Quail were again calling only very briefly in the Eakring Flash area mid-afternoon. A late evening visit also saw little calling from each birds and there is the possibility that there are indeed three males present. They are best listened for from the bridge at the northern-end of Eakring Flash.

Other sightings today, included two Common Buzzards north-east and a new Lesser Whitethroat was at Penny Pasture Common (per Robin Brace)

May 15th
A quiet day, but a male Reed Warbler along the western-side of Eakring Flash, was only the second Spring record here. Several Buzzard sightings during the morning, probably involved at least two more migrant birds, bringing the recent total to 12 birds.

At least one male Quail was again present at the northern-end of Eakring Flash late evening. It called once at 21:18h, then more frequently from 21:35-21:40h. Two birds are still likely to be in the area.

May 17th
The male Reed Warbler was again singing from water-side vegetation during the mid/late afternoon at Eakring Flash. The bird remained concealed and was not seen despite over two hours watching. Indeed, the only sighting I have had to date, is of a very brief flight view on May 15th.

Visible migration:- Hirundines continue to move north-west during the late afternoon/early evening, with 35 House Martin, five Sand Martin and 13 Swallow all passing through Eakring Flash, along with 36 Swift.

May 18th
A late evening visit (21:15-21:45h) proved fruitless in terms of any calling Quail, but did provide views of an Owl hunting the Eakring Flash area. Because of the poor light conditions, conclusive identification was impossible. The general feeling by the four observers present however, were that Long-eared Owl was most likely candidate (most especially) based on time of year, but also on the apparent lack of any white trailing-edge to the wings from the views that were obtained. The area's two previous Long-eared Owl records occurred back in mid-July 2001 and mid-June 2002.

The male Reed Warbler was again heard to sing briefly at dusk, in the Bulrushes along the western-side of Eakring Flash.

May 19th
The male Reed Warbler was still present this morning, singing occasionally along the old hedge at Eakring Flash.
May 26th
Very quiet in the area today. The Reed Warbler was again singing from territory at Eakring Flash.
May 27th
Three Swallow went north late morning, an indication that migrants still continue to move until the end of May. Another indicator, was a new Sedge Warbler which arrived overnight and was singing in territory adjacent to the male Reed Warbler. A Common Buzzard was in the Lound Wood area. A Grey Wagtail was unusual (for the time of year) at Eakring Flash and four Black-headed Gull flew south-east.
May 29th
The Long-eared Owl was finally seen again this evening, some 11 days after the initial sighting at Eakring Flash. At 21:05h, the bird was quartering meadowland at Red Hill in the late evening sunshine and showed very well. Back at Eakring Flash, the Reed Warbler was still singing in it's favoured spot, whilst a possible second bird was at the southern-end of the flash.
May 30th
The Long-eared Owl was again in the Red Hill area late evening - tonight flying over the road and from the direction of Eakring Flash at 21:25h. A count of approximately 230 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a single Herring Gull, flew north-east to roost over there.
May 31st
Confirmation this afternoon that there are indeed now two male Reed Warblers at Eakring Flash. The original male which arrived on May 15th is seemingly paired with a newly arrived female, whilst the male at the southern-end of the flash, so far seems un-paired, but only arrived two days ago. It is quite remarkable that after just one Spring Reed Warbler record over the past seven years, two pairs could suddenly turn up and now look set to breed here for the first time. However, they are incredibly difficult to see, but were singing for most of the early afternoon.
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