Eakring Bird news
April 2008
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
April 1st
An immature Red Kite moved west over Lound Wood at 07:50h this morning and is the area's 10th record, four of which have now occurred during the month of April. Also two Sand Martin through Eakring Flash north and two Shelduck there. Near Kersall, two Long-eared Owls were again in their usual roost and four male Chiffchaff were in the Eakring Meadows/Hare Hill Wood area...per Tony Wardell and Robin Brace
April 2nd
Male Wheatear in fields at Park Farm this afternoon. Nearby, 26 Redwing at Eakring Meadows and 23 Fieldfare at Tug Bridge Farm.
April 3rd
Generally quiet and despite the promising conditions there was very little passerine movement, apart from a 15 minute period around 07:25h. The morning totals included 54 Meadow Pipit, 19 Sand Martin and seven Linnet north-west, seven Goldfinch north-east and 61 Fieldfare north and west. New Chiffchaffs this morning included singing males at Red Hill and near Eakring Flash. A Curlew flew north over Red Hill at 09:30h and six Shelduck were in the Eakring Flash area briefly.
April 4th
The first Swallow of the year flew north over Eakring Flash at 19:25h this evening, with a White Wagtail and a Pied Wagtail both north-west.
April 5th
Two Swallow noted this morning, with one through Eakring Flash north-west and another present on wires at Tug Bridge Farm, which was possibly back in territory, but is early for returning breeding Swallows here.

Only small numbers of passerines moving through, including 59 Meadow Pipit, 12 Greenfinch and seven Linnet north-west. 23 Fieldfare flew north and 58 Starling flew south-east (both in single flocks) Three new Chiffchaffs in the area, today, with birds at Eakring Flash (briefly) High Trees and Eakring Meadows.

A female Peregrine was over Eakring Flash at 08:30h, before drifting off south-west and a Common Buzzard was over Parkhill Plantation.

April 6th
Not surprisingly, much quieter this morning with north-westerly winds stopping virtually all migration. The only birds moving through were a handful of Meadow Pipits and even fewer Linnets, but an unexpected record were the two Hawfinch which flew directly overhead, north towards Lound Wood at 07:12h. This is the second record of Hawfinch here, with the first coming back in August 1999.
April 7th
The first Blackcap of the year, was singing intermittantly from the eastern-end of Eakring Meadows late morning.
April 10th
An arrival of migrants this morning, with a male Redstart at Eakring Flash, found early morning in the Sallow scrub along the western-edge of the flash, before moving to the new hedge on the eastern side of Eakring Flash. Four Wheatear arrived ata two sites, with three males in fields at Park Farm and a female at Red Hill.

There was virtually nothing moving overhead, apart from 15 Golden Plover north. A Swallow flew west and one was around Tug Bridge Farm. The first Willow Warbler of the year was at Eakring Flash and there were three new Chiffchaff in the area today.

April 12th
Very quiet, with the breezy conditions continuing to hamper migrant arrivals. Moving birds did include 12 Linnet, a Swallow and eight Fieldfare north-west, with 11 Fieldfare present this afternoon at Tug Bridge Farm. The only new warblers that did arrive today were two Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff.

At Eakring Meadows, still 13 Common Snipe present, with a Peregrine over Penny Pasture Common...per Robin Brace and Tony Wardell

April 13th
Still quiet despite the more favourable conditions this morning. Just one Fieldfare remained at Tug Bridge Farm, with 18 moving west over Red Hill. The only new warbler in the area, was a Blackcap at Eakring Meadows.
April 14th
A male Wheatear was at Tug Bridge Farm this morning, with four Fieldfare north over there.
April 16th
Single White Wagtail and a late Fieldfare were at Penny Pasture Common this afternoon.
April 17th
Some movement early morning today, with 36 Meadow Pipit north-west and 20 Sand Martin south-east being the best of the visible migration totals. Three Yellow Wagtail flew north-west and north, with another found during the afternoon at Tug Bridge Farm. Highlight of the morning was a Tree Pipit north-west with nine Meadow Pipits at 06:49h. Fieldfare included 18 north over Tug Bridge Farm, the single bird remained from yesterday at Penny Pasture Common, and 165 were in the Red Hill area, but these left north-east late afternoon. A male Wheatear was in fields at Kersall and a pair of Little Grebe (rare here in recent years) were found on a small water at Park Farm.
April 19th
An afternoon visit to the area produced a female Ring Ouzel in the Hawthorns in a corner of Penny Pasture Common. The bird was associating with a group of 12 Fieldfare, but eventually left these and flew east along The Beck, towards the Kersall end of Eakring Meadows. This is the ninth record of Ring Ouzel here and surprisingly the first ever at Penny Pasture Common.

The same site also produced a Tree Pipit in the morning, along with a late Redwing. Eight Common Snipe were still around other sections of Eakring Meadows. Two Teal were on Eakring Flash this morning and there was a trickle of Swallows noted moving north...per Robin Brace

April 20th
The female Ring Ouzel was again at Eakring Meadows this morning with Fieldfare...per Robin Brace. It was still present early afternoon, favouring the Ivy covered trees in the area, feeding on Ivy berries with 12 Fieldfare and a Redwing. It only showed distantly in the rain when the group fed in nearby fields. Two Grey Wagtails over Penny Pasture Common were new for the year and there was a Yellow Wagtail there and also at Eakring Flash this afternoon.
April 21st
The female Ring Ouzel was still with 11 Fieldfare and a Redwing at Penny Pasture Common this morning and was generally favouring the Hawthorn and Blackthorn scrub near the footbridge in the north-eastern corner.

A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling at first light from Oil-seed Rape in the Red Hill area and the first Whitethroat of the year was at Eakring Flash. Other birds new for the year were House Martin and an early Turtle Dove north. Still few warblers arriving at the moment, but there was a big increase in the amount of visible migration today, as the weather cleared. Migration totals included 37 Swallow, 32 Sand Martin, 22 Meadow Pipit and five Yellow Wagtail all north. Northerly movement also saw some larger gulls moving through, with 29 Lesser Black-backed Gull, six Herring Gull and two Great Black-backed Gull north and north-east.

Two Little Grebe were new at Eakring Flash.

April 22nd
Surprisingly, the female Ring Ouzel was still at Penny Pasture Common this morning and showing well (although quite distant) for the first time during it's four day stay. This morning, it was feeding in the middle of Penny Pasture Common with 12 Fieldfare and eventually returned to the Hawthorn and Blackthorn scrub in the north-east corner.

Other Fieldfare today, included 180 in fields near Red Hill, which is a large count for this relatively late date. Otherwise the morning was relatively quiet. A few warblers arrived overnight and there was just a trickle of Sand Martin, Linnet and Meadow Pipit passage. Five Common Buzzards were over Lound Wood late morning.

An early evening visit produced a Lesser Whitethroat at Eakring Flash and a Barn Owl hunting at one site.

April 23rd
An extremely interesting morning, mainly for the male Continental Stonechat of the race rubicola. It was present from early morning and remained until dusk, initially favouring a grass track and rough vegetation near Eakring Flash, but then relocating to the north-eastern corner of Eakring Flash, where it remained for the rest of the day. There have been no April records of Stonechat here before (previous latest bird being March 29th) this bird coming over three weeks later. A more thorough description of this bird should appear within a few days.
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Other birds today included the female Ring Ouzel again at Penny Pasture Common and surprisingly present for it's fifth day, despite favourable conditions overnight for migration. A Tree Pipit was at Eakring Flash briefly, but left north-west just after the onset of rain. There was a good arrival of warblers overnight, including male Grasshopper Warblers at High Trees and Eakring Flash, two Lesser Whitethroat, four Whitethroat, three Willow Warbler, two Chiffchaff and five Blackcap.

There was no sign of any Fieldfare at Penny Pasture Common this morning, but a single was in Eakring village, four at Eakring Flash left north once the fog cleared and 17 flew high over Red Hill at dusk, heading north-east.

April 24th
Very quiet this morning and virtually nothing moving through, although a few new warblers arrived including five Whitethroat and the first Sedge Warbler of the year. Male Grasshopper Warblers were at Eakring Flash and Penny Pasture Common, but there was no sign today of the Ring Ouzel at Penny Pasture Common, or the rubicola Stonechat at Eakring Flash.

Four Whimbrel flew west over Eakring Flash at 09:09h.

April 25th
Another arrival of warblers into the area this morning, but overhead, there was nothing moving again. Four Grasshopper Warblers arrived overnight/early morning, including new males at Eakring Meadows and Eakring Flash (plus one male remaining from 23rd) along with two females. Other arrivals were eight Whitethroat, two Lesser Whitethroat, several Blackcap and smaller numbers of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff.
April 26th
Extremely quiet this morning, but rather typical of many Spring days.

Again the number of birds recorded moving through, only just reached double figures in nearly six hours and there were fewer new warblers arriving than the previous few days.

Of the warblers that did arrive today, three were Lesser Whitethroats and present in hedgerows at Eakring Flash, Tug Bridge Farm and near Hare Hill Wood, with new Blackcaps at Hare Hill Wood and Eakring Meadows. Still three male Grasshopper Warblers at Eakring Flash (two) and Penny Pasture Common.

April 27th
The skies were yet again virtually empty of any visible migration, but some warblers did turn up throughout the morning and there was also several other sought-after species.

New warblers today included three Sedge Warbler (with one all day in a roadside hedgerow) four Lesser Whitethroat, seven Whitethroat and a new Grasshopper Warbler in Oil-seed Rape at Tug Bridge Farm. In total, there were four reeling males around the area, with one at the northern-end of Eakring Flash showing particularly well, down to five metres for much of the day.

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However, bird of the day was the female Hen Harrier quartering fields in the Red Hill area at 07:35h for around five minutes, before eventually drifting west and out of view. Other birds included the first Corn Bunting here since 2003, seen moving low east over Eakring Flash at 09:05. Soon afterwards, a male Whinchat was found at Eakring Flash but was extremely flighty and soon moved on. A stunning male Redstart was equally elusive along the new hedge on the eastern-side of Eakring Flash. The first Swift of the year flew north-east early morning and a return early afternoon visit produced a Whimbrel circling over Eakring Flash, before moving off high west.
April 28th
Typically quiet all morning today, with just a handful of new warblers in.
April 29th
A few more warblers arrived early morning. Male Grasshopper Warblers were again at Eakring Flash and Penny Pasture Common, with one of these two, successfully attracting a female again this morning. In terms of numbers this Spring, there have been good numbers of Lesser Whitethroat, but still very low numbers of Willow Warbler.

Three Common Buzzards drifted high south-east, with at least eight different birds in the area this morning. A hunting Barn Owl continues to show extremely well in the area late evening.

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