Eakring Bird news
March 2009
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
March 1st
Still typically very quiet for the time of year. A Water Rail, flushed by a Mink at Eakring Flash, was the only real sighting of note this morning. 102 Lapwing were at Eakring Field Farm, with a pair now back on territory at nearby Park Farm.
March 3rd
Another very quiet morning, although a male Brambling at Eakring Meadows was an uncommon record for this early in the year. Coots at Eakring Flash now total seven birds, with still at least one Water Rail there and four Common Snipe. The only sign of visible migration at the moment is a few Wood Pigeon moving north most days.
March 4th
A drake Shelduck at Eakring Flash was only the second record of the year, before flying off south-west. A Water Rail was again calling from the western-side of the flash. Two Common Buzzard were in the Red Hill and Lound Wood area this morning.
March 5th
Two Long-eared Owls were in the usual roost to the east of the area this morning. A Jack Snipe was at Penny Pasture Common, with a count of 19 Common Snipe both there and across the rest of Eakring Meadows. At Eakring Flash, a count of 21 Gadwall was exceptional, with 29 Mute Swan in nearby fields (per Robin Brace and Tony Wardell)

The first Stonechat of the Spring (a female) was present along one of the ditches in the Church Hill area this afternoon. It's arrival here, seemingly coinciding with a small arrival of Stonechats along parts of the UK's south coast a few days ago, so there could possibly be more over the next week or so.

The area was still very quiet again, although a Brambling was in the Willows at the northern-end of Eakring Flash and a Common Buzzard was at Penny Pasture Common, Eakring Meadows. Two Shelduck on Eakring Flash this afternoon.

March 6th
Apart from the female Stonechat again along the ditch at Church Hill, there was very little else in the area. The two Shelduck were at Eakring Flash, with a Water Rail there.
March 7th
No sign of the female Stonechat in the area this morning and is presumed to have left overnight. Limited signs of some north-westerly migration today, including a group of four Pied Wagtail through. 14 Gadwall were on Eakring Flash and a record count of Herons in the area today, with four at Eakring Flash and four in fields at Eakring Field Farm.
March 10th
Still continuing to be very quiet, but slightly more activity on the migration front. Although all visible migration counts were in single figures, there was enough to suggest that birds are beginning to move north. The small number of migrants today did include the first Grey Wagtail of the year and two Siskin. Other birds in the area included two Jack Snipe at Penny Pasture Common, whilst there were four Shelduck at Eakring Flash.
March 11th
Very quiet yet again, but 158 Golden Plover high west were probably genuine return migrants. A single Meadow Pipit and two Pied Wagtail were the only passerines through this morning.
March 14th
Despite the breezy conditions, this morning saw the first real indications of the beginning of Spring migration. North-westerly counts included 37 Meadow Pipit, four Pied Wagtail and eight Golden Plover.
March 15th
Slightly more Meadow Pipits moving through this morning, with 55 north-west. This was a rather disappointing count, given the excellent conditions. Among an increased range of species moving were 190 Fieldfare and six Pied Wagtail north-west, while 72 Starling flew east. A clear northerly movement of Great Black-backed Gulls today, with a record March count of 42 north. In contrast, there were just six Herring Gull north. Good numbers of Common Buzzards in the area, with at least 13 noted, including nine together at one point over Hare Hill Wood.
March 19th
No sign of any Summer migrants in the area today. Favourable fields for Wheatears (around Church Hill and Park Farm) were checked, but the former site saw counts of approximately 182 Starling, 130 Fieldfare and 67 Linnet. Two Shelduck were again on Eakring Flash.
March 21st
Two Chiffchaff at Eakring village and the eastern-end of Eakring Meadows, were the first of the year. Two Pochard were on Eakring Flash. Common Buzzards included at least three at Tug Bridge Farm/Eakring Meadows and two over Red Hill.
March 26th
The windy conditions have virtually halted any visible migration at the moment and in general, there was very little about this morning. It took virtually three hours before the first of a handful of Meadow Pipits struggled north-west and the only other migrants recorded were two Linnet and six Golden Plover north-west. A pair of Goosander were a surprise on Eakring Flash, till they flew off east and four Shelduck were in the area today. Common Buzzards were at Red Hill, Lound Wood, Hare Hill Wood and Penny Pasture Common. 94 Fieldfare were at Church Hill.
March 28th
A ringtail Hen Harrier was in the Eakring Flash area this morning. Arriving low from the west, it quartered Eakring Flash and field ditches south of Lound Wood from 07:00 - 07:10h, before being lost from view behind Lound Wood and appearing to continue low north. It then reappeared at Eakring Flash from 07:40 - 08:00h and again hunted the same area/route, but also around the pastures area, before going east and out of view.

The pair of Goosander were again on Eakring Flash till flying off north-west and four Shelduck were in fields at Church Hill. At least 140 Fieldfare at Church Hill, with another seven at Eakring Meadows.

A second brief visit to the area during the afternoon, paid off with an adult Kittiwake flying low north over fields at 15:15h. It was followed as it then flew north-west over Wellow, before we refound it again heading north over the traffic island on the A614 at Ollerton.

March 29th
The ringtail Hen Harrier was seen again this morning, coming into Eakring Flash from the Red Hill area, where it had presumably roosted somehwere overnight. It was low and being mobbed by a Carrion Crow and was lost from view and not seen for the rest of the morning, despite being searched for.

The first Wheatears of the year were also at Eakring Flash, with a pair in fields just west of Eakring Flash.

A steady trickle of Meadow Pipits during the first half of the morning, with 102 north-west and small numbers of Linnet also going through today.

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