Eakring Bird news
September 2007
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
September 1st
An extremely elusive Redstart was opposite Eakring Meadows this morning, calling along the old hedge which runs south towards Parkhill Plantation. On another quiet morning, there were some small signs that migration really is continuing and that birds are on the move. Today, seven Sand Martin flew south through Eakring Flash, whilst there was a scattering of warblers throughout the area (mostly Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats) plus a single Blackcap. Five Teal were at Eakring Meadows.

An early afternoon visit to the Hare Hill Wood area, produced two Common Buzzards and two Hobby (adult and juvenile) high south-west. Much rarer though was a Nuthatch, which flew into Hare Hill Wood from the Eakring Meadows direction, being the first record here for several years.

September 3rd
Still generally quiet throughout the area this morning, although there was a record count of five Yellow-legged Gulls in fields at Church Hill (three adults and a 3cy) with a 1cy near Eakring Field Farm.
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Lesser Black-backed Gulls totalled 62 and 300 at each site respectively, plus there were around 30 which went through south-west and during an afternoon visit, large numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were still arriving, but there was no sign of any of the morning's Yellow-legged Gulls at either site.

Other birds in the area today included the first Snipe of the Autumn, present on the former flooded area at Tug Bridge Farm and two Common Buzzards were on straw bales near Leyfields, whilst at least five were very high over Hare Hill Wood during the afternoon. A selection of warblers along the old hedge at Eakring Flash included single Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Willow Warbler and four Chiffchaff, with a scattering of warblers at other sites. Still very little passering migration, although three single Yellow Wagtails flew south and south-east during the morning and a minimum of 17 were at Tug Bridge Farm.

September 4th
There was just a hint of migration this morning, with 37 Swallow and 19 Meadow Pipit moving south-east over Eakring Flash, along with a Yellow Wagtail south and three west. Much smaller numbers of Yellow Wagtails than those of recent days, were at Tug Bridge Farm. Decent numbers of warblers were at most sites across the area with totals found being nine Chiffchaff, three Blackcap and three Whitethroat, with a single Willow Warbler present at Penny Pasture Common.

Once again there were numbers of Common Buzzards around, with five over Red Hill, two over Lound Wood and two at Tug Bridge Farm. Most of the birds in (or going over) the area at the moment are juveniles and the numbers suggest that a good percentage of these are probably migrants or wanderers.

Other birds today were an adult Hobby hunting over Eakring village, flocks of Goldfinch were at two sites, with 43 at Eakring Flash and 34 at Penny Pasture Common and around 50 Linnets were around fields at Eakring Flash. The first Goldcrest moved through Eakring Meadows and there were 13 Golden Plover in fields opposite Eakring Field Farm.

September 5th
A thorough walk around much of the area this morning/afternoon revealed very little, but there were some notable birds that would have passed through unnoticed otherwise. The best of these was the juvenile Whinchat, found along a hedgerow in the Leyfields area and just east of Eakring Flash.

A Hobby and at least five Common Buzzards were noted between Eakring Flash and Eakring Meadows and there were three Yellow-legged Gulls in fields at Church Hill - two adults and what was probably the same 3cy bird present in the same area on September 3rd. The walk also revealed that virtually all warblers present over the past couple of days had moved on and there were just four Chiffchaff, three Whitethroat and single Willow Warbler and Blackcap found.

September 6th
An adult male Redstart at Penny Pasture Common, Eakring Meadows (per Robin Brace) was the highlight of the morning, albeit a rather elusive one. I only managed one brief view of it in the corner of Penny Pasture Common, before being lost from view and not relocated. Also present there, were five Chichaff, single Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler. A single Turtle Dove flew west through Eakring Flash, with a flock of c100 Linnet near there.
September 7th
A 1st Winter Redstart was in the Hawthorns at Penny Pasture Common, Eakring Meadows this morning, being a different bird to yesterday's adult male which was present at the same site.

Some proper signs that migration is actually underway, came in the form of increased numbers of Swallows and Meadow Pipits through the area today. However, birds were very hard to detect under a clear blue sky. Totals included 55 Swallow, 23 Meadow Pipit and four Yellow Wagtail all south-east, and an increased number of warblers at Eakring Flash and Penny Pasture Common produced five Chiffchaff, four Whitethroat, single Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler. Two Goldcrest were following hedgerows south through the Red Hill area and Jays were more obvious this morning.

September 8th
There were at least six Yellow-legged Gulls in fields at Eakring Field Farm, today with 828 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Rarely seen here due to modern farming practice, many of the gulls present were actively following the plough, whilst others loafed in fields across the road. Scoping allowed the following Yellow-legged Gulls to be identified - two adult females, two adult males, a 2cy male and a 1cy male. Also with the flock were a 1cy Herring Gull (the first of the Autumn and an early bird for here) a Common Gull and small numbers of Black-headed Gulls.

In the same general area, a Hobby was seen and is probably the bird which was seen on the 5th, two Common Buzzards at Tug Bridge Farm and a Turtle Dove flew north-west through Eakring Flash.

September 9th
An afternoon visit to the area produced yet more Yellow-legged Gulls in fields at Eakring Field Farm, today with c550 Lesser Black-backed Gulls following the plough. Present today were at least two adult females, one adult male, a 1cy (calendar year ) female and a 1cy male, but not all of the birds were visible at any one time and there were probably more.

The 1st Winter Redstart was again in the Hawthorns at Penny Pasture Common and two Spotted Flycatchers were in trees at the top of Red Hill. At least five Common Buzzards were in the area today.

September 13th
Despite conditions seeming ideal for passage migrants, the area was disappointingly quiet today. Three Hobby were noted, with one briefly at Eakring Flash and two present (an adult and a juvenile) in the Park Farm/Eakring Field Farm area. There was a scattering of Chiffchaffs at all sites visited this morning and only singles of Whitethroat and Blackcap were noted. Despite it being rather quiet, two Tree Pipits were briefly in trees along The Beck in the Park Farm/Penny Pasture Common area.
September 15th
Another quiet morning, with just a trickle of Meadows Pipits moving south-east. Other migrants included a Turtle Dove south and a Yellow Wagtail south-east, a late Sedge Warbler (the latest-ever here) was at Eakring Flash, whilst there was a wide scattering of Chiffchaffs across the area.

A Barn Owl was disturbed from it's roost close to Eakring Flash and may be the bird which was at Lound Wood last month. Single Common Buzzards were at Leyfields, Penny Pasture Common and Lound Wood.

September 16th
A couple of good records this morning, although the area is still fairly quiet. Highlight was a group of four Wood Lark which flew north-east over Penny Pasture Common, Eakring Meadows at 09:20h. All previous Wood Lark records here, have come during September and October and this was the second occurrence of a group of four birds together. Also at Eakring Meadows today, was a 1st Winter male Redstart in the Hawthorns on Penny Pasture Common and the two Hobby were still in the Park Farm area, with one earlier seen moving south-east over Eakring Flash early morning.
September 17th
It was Penny Pasture Common where the best of the morning's birds were today, with the 1st Winter male Redstart again in the Hawthorns, but also getting in bushes along The Beck, where it was occasionally feeding on Elderberries. Also there were a Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher and a Whitethroat.

It still remains incredibly quiet on the visible migration front. There was just a trickle of Meadow Pipits south-east, a group of four Yellow Wagtails went in the same direction and Siskin were noted for the third consecutive morning. Today, 12 flew low west and three went high south-east.

A Lesser Redpoll was at Eakring Flash briefly, with four Chiffchaff there. An adult Yellow-legged Gull and the two Hobbies were in the Park Farm area.

September 18th
A big surprise today was the discovery of a 1st Winter female Ring Ouzel that was frequenting Elders along the hedge, across the open field and immediately east of Eakring Flash. The bird was located by call as I walked along the hedge and remained frustratingly elusive, being seen very briefly twice and only once through binoculars. For most of the time, the bird was deep in cover and at the base of the Elders. The record though, is the first here since one at Eakring Flash in October 2004, the second ever in Autumn and the 8th record overall.

Otherwise the morning was extremely quiet. There were only 30 passerines noted passing overhead, but searching of the hedges and bushes provided seven Chiffchaff, three Blackcap, single Lesser Whitethroat along the old hedge at Eakring Flash and very little else. The 1st Winter male Redstart was still at Penny Pasture Common, but was more difficult to find today. The first Pink-footed Geese of the Autumn went over in skiens of 30 high east at 09:04h and 37 high east at 10:20h.

September 20th
The 1st Winter male Redstart remains at Penny Pasture Common, this evening favouring the roadside hedgerow, opposite the entrance to Eakring Field Farm. There was also some evidence of Meadow Pipit movement, with 52 birds noted moving south-west into the wind.
September 21st
The 1st Winter female Ring Ouzel was seen again this morning and for the first time since September 18th. It was again along the same hedgerow, but flew across the fiels and came down in the pastures area, between Eakring Flash and Eakring village. The bird has probably been frequenting this general area since it's last sighting, but there has been no sign of it on the last two evenings.

Also in the area today were an immature Peregrine, which spent much of it's time sat on an electricity pylon near Leyfields farm, at one time seen to unsuccessfully attack a male Pheasant. A Hobby was circling over Eakring Flash (per Tony Wardell and Robin Brace) and the 1st Winter male Redstart was still at Penny Pasture Common and again favouring the roadside hedgerow, opposite the entrance to Eakring Field Farm.

September 23rd
The area's two scarce birds remained today. The 1st Winter female Ring Ouzel was surprisingly still to be found along hedgerows just east of Eakring Flash. It repeated yesterday's brief excursion to the old hedge at Eakring Flash, before flying back towards Eakring village again and was lost from view. It was however seen later in the afternoon, again along hedgerows in the pastures area at 16:00h (per Tony Wardell)

The 1st Winter male Redstart was also still at Penny Pasture Common this morning, seen around the roadside hedge immediately opposite Eakring Field Farm. This bird is the longest staying Redstart since 1998 and has now been present for eight days. Some passage again today, with 268 Swallow south despite the wind, but little else. A Lesser Whitethroat was at Eakring Flash, a Blackcap was in the same hedge as the Ring Ouzel and four Chiffchaff were at two sites.

September 26th
There was no sign of the Ring Ouzel during a brief search, but the 1st Winter male Redstart was still at Penny Pasture Common, around the Willows this afternoon. Also in the area were an adult Yellow-legged Gull, two Herring Gulls and a Common Gull in fields with small numbers of Lesser Black-backed and Black-headed Gulls, with an adult Hobby over there.
September 27th
A surprisingly early Redwing movement consisted of a morning's total of 1 815 west. Most of the birds were passing directly over Lound Wood and were viewable distantly from Eakring Flash. Only as the morning went on and the wind increased did flocks start to move over other sites in the area, but by this time, the movement seemed to have stopped. Other Winter migrants included one Fieldfare (in with a Redwing flock) and a Brambling over Penny Pasture Common, which flew south-east.

A thorough search for the Ring Ouzel drew a blank and there was also no sign of the Redstart around Penny Pasture Common this morning. However, the day's best records were six Pintail (including two drakes) present at Eakring Flash till they flew off west at 07:10h and two 1st Winter Kittiwakes that flew west over Lound Wood. The Pintail record is only the fourth for the area, and the first since one was at Eakring Flash in September 2003. Much rarer were the two Kittiwakes. These birds were picked up whilst counting a flock of Redwing passing over Lound Wood at 08:10h and is only the second record, with the previous being on October 3rd 1998.

Other sightings today - single Chiffchaffs were at two sites, three Jays passed through Eakring Flash and Penny Pasture Common and three Common Buzzards were over Leyfields. Good numbers of gulls in the area, with an increase in numbers of Common Gull evident. Another excellent record came during a second visit in the afternoon, when three Common Tern flew west through Eakring Flash at 14:50h and the first tern record ever for September.

September 29th
Several good birds in the area this morning, with a drake Wigeon on Eakring Flash till it flew off west mid-morning. Nearby in the Lound Wood/Leyfields area, the immature Peregrine was seen again and a late adult Hobby was at Penny Pasture Common. Also at Penny Pasture Common was the 1st Winter male Redstart again, frequenting the area around the Willows, after being seemingly absent for several days. The area's latest-ever Lesser Whitethroat and a single Chiffchaff were at Penny Pasture Common, with another near Lound Wood and two at Eakring Flash.
September 30th
The 1st Winter male Redstart surprisingly remained at Penny Pasture Common this morning, despite the previous night's conditions being perfect for migration. Such conditions (possibly coupled with an arrival of migrants along the east coast yesterday) produced a second 1st Winter male Redstart here, which was not identified until photographs taken on this date, were re-examined a few days later in October. This bird sported an injured leg. Another welcome year tick today, came in the form of a Stonechat, getting around the Hawthorns and fence posts. However, this bird was not relocated in a second visit a short while later. The Lesser Whitethroat was also present at Penny Pasture Common again, along with two new Chiffchaffs.

Despite the perfect weather, there was little passerine migration this morning, but there was a wider variety of species recorded. Some of the more interesting counts included 87 Swallow, 47 Meadow Pipit, 25 Snipe, six Siskin, four Jay and a Coal Tit through.

A selection of other sightings from the morning were the immature Peregrine at Church Hill, a Nuthatch calling in Lound Wood and a Brambling (heard only) at Eakring Flash.
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