Eakring Bird news
February 2007
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
February 1st
A quiet morning, but 49 Pink-footed Geese flew west over Eakring Meadows at 10:00h and a Water Rail was at Eakring Flash. The fine weather meant that most male Sky Larks were singing for the first time this year.
February 2nd
An adult Peregrine was perched distantly in dead trees in the Park Farm/Hare Hill Wood area this evening and is probably the bird seen on two occasions in January.
February 3rd
A very frosty and sunny morning went on to produce the area's best ever birdwatching for a February day.

After remaining totally elusive throughout January, the Water Rail was again along the western-side of Eakring Flash. Judging by the Wood Pigeon activity, the adult Peregrine was again in the same area as yesterday evening, whilst nearby Fieldfares and Starlings feeding in fields opposite Eakring Field Farm, were put up by a smaller falcon in the form of a female Merlin going north-west.  February is now easily the best month for Merlin here and sightings are still becoming increasingly regular.

Other raptors included a Common Buzzard that went north over Hare Hill Wood mid-morning, but this may possibly have been one of the local birds.


A return visit to the Hare Hill Wood area in the afternoon saw a total of three Common Buzzards present. This second visit also produced two Long-eared Owls which were located in a daytime roost near Kersall, and with the Jack Snipe still at Eakring Meadows and 21 Teal on nearby Penny Pasture Common, this proved to be an exceptional day.
February 4th
Despite being considerably quieter than yesterday, ten Pink-footed Geese west over Hare Hill Wood at 10:05am and at least one Long-eared Owl in the roost, made for a decent morning.
February 5th
The area's current 'purple patch' continued this morning with a ringtail Hen Harrier quartering fields in the Eakring Flash area, before being chased off by corvids at 08:45h.

Hen Harrier remains very rare here and this was only my second-ever sighting personally. See below for previous records. Other sightings today included the adult Peregrine again, seen drifting towards Hare Hill Wood over Eakring Field Farm and two Jack Snipe were around Eakring Meadows.

Seven Common Buzzards were over both Hare Hill Wood and Parkhill Plantation early afternoon. A Woodcock found at Kersall (per Tony Wardell and Robin Brace) represents another rare species here, with most previous records concerning continental migrants during the Winter months. ....


Previous Hen Harrier records include:- A female at Kersall April 2nd 1979, a male at Eakring Flash and then Park Farm/Eakring Meadows area, March 5-27th 1999 and a male in the Park Farm/Eakring Meadows area, March 29-31st 2004.
February 6th
A much quieter morning, but a single skien of 98 Pink-footed Geese went west over Eakring Field Farm at 10:00h. Two Common Buzzards were around the Hare Hill Wood and Park Farm areas this morning. A scarce breeding bird here is the Marsh Tit and pairs have been noted recently at Hare Hill Wood and Eakring village, whilst just one pair of Willow Tit have been seen so far this year.
February 8th
Golden Plover have been uncommon around the area this Winter, so the flock of 22 at Eakring Flash briefly this morning were noteworthy. On another quiet day, the only other notable sightings were 32 Lapwing at Eakring Field Farm and 208 Fieldfare in Eakring village.
February 10th
The Water Rail was again at Eakring Flash today, with good numbers of Fieldfare around the Eakring Flash area and a high single count of 52 Sky Lark also there. Four Golden Plover consisted of singles flying over in various directions and two Jack Snipe remain around Eakring Meadows.
February 12th
The ringtail Hen Harrier was seen again today, this morning present in the Eakring Meadows area. Also in the same area today were four Snipe (no sign of any Jack Snipe) and around 150 Fieldfare. A single Common Buzzard was near Kneesall (per Robin Brace and Tony Wardell)
February 13th
Very quiet today, but flocks of 11 and 62 Lapwing went west over Eakring Flash and there were still around 150 Fieldfare in the Eakring Field Farm area. Single Common Buzzards were in the Red Hill and Park Farm areas and a Siskin was unusual at Eakring Meadows. There was no sign of the Hen Harrier this morning, but they have proved very elusive in the past here by covering large areas a of farmland.
February 17th
Still one Long-eared Owl in the roost near Kersall this morning. A large flock of birds consisted of 800 Starling, 650 Fieldfare and about 50 Redwing. The birds were feeding in Oil-seed Rape near to Parkhill Plantation. Two Common Buzzards were at Eakring Meadows.
February 18th
Common Buzzards today included two high over Eakring Meadows, a single at Tug Bridge Farm and another high over Red Hill.
February 19th
Six Goosander on Eakring Flash this morning, consisted of a male, an immature male and four female/immatures. This was the first record for the year and only the second for the current Winter, resulting in the poorest Winter for Goosander here since 1999.

Two Long-eared Owls were again reported in their usual roost (per Robin Brace and Tony Wardell)

Of interest today, was the Black-headed Gull passage through Eakring Flash, with groups of 21, 22, 20 and 27 going west at slightly higher an altitude and just under the cloud-base than the 29 that moved south in four smaller groups. The combined total of 119, was the highest since the Autumn. Common Buzzards today included one at Lound Wood and two around Eakring Meadows again.


February 20th
A quiet morning, but five Goosander on Eakring Flash early today included a fresh male in the group which all flew off around 09:00h. A female (possibly from the earlier group) was present later in the morning (per David Yates and Tony Warwick)
February 24th
An inititally gloomy and heavily overcast morning, eventually gave way to much brighter conditions.

A very distant falcon along the Kneesall Road, turned out to be an immature female Merlin and yet another February record. Fields in the Eakring Field Farm/ Parkhill Plantation and Eakring Meadows area held large numbers of thrushes and produced estimated counts of 1500 Fieldfare, 250 Redwing and 350 Starling.

At least one Long-eared Owl was still in the usual roost today. Common Buzzards included a single at Church Hill, three over Hare Hill Wood and two distant over Red Hill this afternoon. 61 Lapwing flew high east over Hare Hill Wood and 120 Golden Plover were over Red Hill.


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