Eakring Bird news
April 2007
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
April 1st
Still very little moving through today, but a welcome wader record involved two Ringed Plover moving north, followed by the first Wheatear of the year going north a little while later.
April 5th
Daylight hours are providing little at the moment, with the fine conditions making migrant birds fly higher and out of sight. New Chiffchaffs included birds returning to regular territories at three sites, but the morning highlight was a Barn Owl disturbed from it's daytime roost. Late Winter thrushes saw four Redwing at Oil Bore Holes in Eakring village and four Fieldfare north-west, but during a return visit late in the evening, 183 Fieldfare climbed high into the darkening sky heading north-east. The total was made up of four flocks and also included four Redwing. 23 Redwing had earlier flown south-east over Eakring Flash. Despite many such visits to the area, I have never before seen Fieldfare setting off at the start of an overnight flight.
April 6th
Two Shelduck were again on Eakring Flash late evening and 26 Fieldfare again set off north-east at dusk.
April 7th
Still virtually nothing moving through again this morning apart from a few Meadow Pipits and a single Sand Martin north. 84 Fieldfare were at Tug Bridge Farm and new Chiffchaffs today included singing birds at Eakring Meadows and Red Hill, with a brief male at Eakring Flash.
April 11th
First Swallow of the year arrived back at Pond Farm in Eakring village today (per Roy Haynes)
April 12th
Despite the fine and sunny weather, there was little that was 'new in' today. The first Willow Warbler of the year was at Red Hill, with a male Blackcap fresh there and a Chiffchaff was at Eakring Flash. Four Common Buzzards were very high over Lound Wood and Eakring Flash at mid-day. A second Swallow returned to it's usual territory in Eakring village today.
April 14th
Some warblers arrived overnight, with new birds including male Blackcaps at Hare Hill Wood, Kersall and Eakring Meadows. There were two new Chiffchaffs at Eakring Meadows and another two singing at sites around Kersall, where the year's first House Martin was present. An increase of returning Swallows was noted today, but the highlight was a Little Ringed Plover which flew high north over Kersall at 11:12h. Good numbers of Common Buzzards around today. There were multiple sightings and a minimum of six birds. However, at least two of these were different from the regulars and were likely migrants.
April 15th
More warblers are filtering into the area. Today's arrivals included four Blackcap, four Chiffchaff and three Willow Warbler. A Yellow Wagtail moving north-west over Red Hill, was the first bird seen flying above the thick fog, that severely hampered any meaningful viewing this morning. Seven Fieldfare were briefly in the Hawthorns on Red Hill before flying off south-west, whilst other odd sightings were a very brief Treecreeper at Eakring Flash and similarly brief Jays at Red Hill and Eakring Flash.
April 16th
Summer migrants continue to arrive. At Eakring Flash a male Grasshopper Warbler was reeling occasionally and equalling the area's earliest ever date for the species, whilst there were the first Lesser Whitethroats of the year at Eakring Flash and at Eakring Meadows. Only small numbers of other common migrants arrived overnight, but the surprise of the morning was the earliest ever Hobby over Kersall village.
April 17th
Very quiet again this morning. A few warblers again arrived early morning, including a second male Grasshopper Warbler at Eakring Flash. 43 Golden Plover were the only other birds of note.
April 18th
There was slightly more in the way of visible migration today, but the totals were still meagre. Six Fieldfare included five over Eakring Flash and another at Eakring village. Only one Grasshopper Warbler was present at Eakring Flash (no sign of yesterday's bird) a male White Watail and a single Yellow Wagtail flew north-west over Eakring Flash and there were better number of warblers arriving today.
April 19th
An overall improvement this morning, with the first real indication that areas likely to hold migrants are worth checking. There were two male Redstarts in the area today, at the Kersall end of Eakring Meadows and near Kersall village itself. Both birds were favouring the large hedgerows in that general area. A male Wheatear at Eakring Flash was seen only briefly before it went into the set-aside field and then promptly disappeared.

New warblers included three Blackcap, two Lesser Whitethroat and a single Willow Warbler. Eight Fieldfare were on Penny Pasture Common, before moving to the Kersall end of Eakring Meadows, where a Tree Pipit (still rare here in Spring) flew north.

April 20th
A Grasshopper Warbler was at Eakring Flash late evening and is a new arrival, following the departure of the other two males a couple of days ago.
April 21st
A typical Spring morning, with almost nothing recorded moving through. Only a handful of passerines did go north today, but as is so often the case here in Spring, patience pays off. Today it was in the form of a Red Kite, which drifted low over fields at Tug Bridge Farm before circling and then gaining height as it drifted north over Park Farm. This was the ninth record for the area.

A male Redstart in the Hawthorns at Penny Pasture Common, was another excellent record and there have now been 38 different Redstarts here since 1998. Yesterday's new Grasshopper Warbler remained and first Swift of the year (and earliest ever) was over Eakring Flash for several minutes before going north. Otherwise it remained extremely quiet today.

April 22nd
Another good day, which on initial evidence was going to be very quiet again. A Whimbrel went over Eakring Flash at 08:40h and appeared to come down in the nearby set-aside field, but must have continued on north-west. However, it was a very welcome year tick and marked the start of a good morning.

Arriving warblers suddenly appeared at the southern-end of Eakring Flash and included two Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler (both new for the year) and a Lesser Whitethroat, followed quickly by yet another Grasshopper Warbler. None of the previous Grasshopper Warblers that arrived earlier in the week have stayed longer than one or two days, so this was another new bird.

Around Eakring Meadows, one of the male Redstarts found on the 19th remained along the roadside hedge. In the same section was the second new Grasshopper Warbler of the morning and another new Lesser Whitethroat. There was no sign of yesterday's Redstart at Penny Pasture Common, but there were two confiding male Whinchats (one inititally reported per Robin and Rosemary Brace) Seven Fieldfare were in pastures at Tug Bridge Farm.

April 23rd
The area's earliest ever Garden Warbler was present in the Red Hill area this morning, with two reeling Grasshopper Warblers at the northern-end of Eakring Flash. One (possibly two) Hobby were in the Red Hill and Lound Wood area. There was no sign of either Whinchat or the male Redstart at Eakring Meadows today.
April 24th
A quiet morning, although a 1st Summer male Greenland Wheatear was at Tug Bridge Farm and at least one Grasshopper Warbler was present at the northern-end of Eakring Flash. 68 Golden Plover flew high north-west over Red Hill at dusk.
April 25th
The 1st Summer male Greenland Wheatear was again present at Tug Bridge Farm this morning, around the manure heap in the large pasture field, east of the farm entrance. Just one Grasshopper Warbler at Eakring Flash this morning.

For the first time today, there was some signs of an increase in the number of migrants moving through, with 20 Swallow and three Sand Martin north-west, five Yellow Wagtails (all singles west) and two Swift north-west.

April 26th
Another often quiet morning, but which produced some decent records.

Single Tree Pipit and Yellow Wagtail both flew north-west over Eakring Flash, whilst at Penny Pasture Common, there was a female Whinchat on the fence posts around the pool and a 1st Summer male Greenland Wheatear. Through photographic comparison, this was probably the Tug Bridge Farm Wheatear relocating, but was extremely elusive and only seen twice.

New Whitethroats were at Red Hill and Tug Bridge Farm (all males)

April 27th
North-easterly winds and overcast skies meant conditions were promising. An Oystercatcher was a welcome record, circling over Eakring Flash for several minutes before moving off south-west at 07:30h. The Grasshopper Warbler was again singing early morning. The only migrant birds passing through were two Goldfinch, two Swallow and a Swift. The female Whinchat was again present at Penny Pasture Common and the male Greenland Wheatear was again at Tug Bridge Farm.
April 28th
The 1st Summer male Greenland Wheatear was again present around the manure heap in the large pasture field at Tug Bridge Farm this morning, with a female Wheatear also there briefly, before it flew off high and landing at the top of a nearby electricty pylon.

Today was generally quiet, although there were good numbers of newly arrived warblers, including five Whitethroat, three Lesser Whitethroat, five Blackcap, two Willow Warbler, a Garden Warbler and a Chiffchaff.

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