Eakring Bird news
March 2011
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
March 1st
The first real hint of return migration this morning with 138 Fieldfare north-west and another 100 at Penny Pasture Common. Still only very small numbers of finches and buntings going through. Five Tufted Duck were on Eakring Flash.
March 3rd
Despite the very gloomy conditions at Eakring Flash this morning, a couple of extremely notable records with four very noisy Common Crossbill south-east at 09:00h (the first here since 2009) followed at 09:30h by a male Merlin, that soon continued west after landing in a roadside tree. A group of 54 Fieldfare flew north and nine Tufted Duck on Eakring Flash seems to be a new site record count. The only gulls noted were a single Black-headed Gull south-west, followed an hour later by a flock totalling 59 birds.
March 7th
A Water Rail was at the southern end of Eakring Flash this afternoon. Presumably a migrant bird, as there have been none recorded all Winter until today. Two Common Snipe were the first for some time, in what has been a poor Winter, with their normally favoured sites left dry this year.
March 21st
A short visit to the area this afternoon, coincided nicely with two Red Kites over Eakring, then followed as they continued to drift east over Eakring Meadows and then Kersall village, between 12:20h and 12:50h. One was wing-tagged white on both wings, indicating that it was tagged at Rutland (East Midlands) in 2002.
March 22nd
Numerous Chiffchaffs in the area this morning, with ten birds (nine singing males) noted at many of the usual Chiffchaff locations. 15 Fieldfare were along the Kneesall Road and another was at Penny Pasture Common. At Eakring Flash, small numbers of Meadow Pipit and Linnet went north-west and at definitely some Common Buzzard passage happening this morning, with at least 12 east or in the area. 11 Tufted Duck at Eakring Flash was a record site count and one/two Little Grebe (scarce nere now) were on a small water at Kersall..
March 25th
Clear blue skies meant that if anything was moving through, it was at great height. Consequently, the only migrants (apart from a few more Chiffchaffs new in) were Fieldfare, with 120 at Tug Bridge Farm, 57 at Kersall and six west over Eakring Flash.
March 28th
A Barn Owl was reported early evening, sat on a gate post at Penny Pasture Common.
March 29th
Predictably quiet with the fine, settled weather continuing. A Barn Owl reported from the previous evening, was at Penny Pasture Common all morning, but despite an injured wing, seemed able to fly and hunt OK. Good numbers of Fieldfare noted, with six moving west, 96 north-east and 364 in a paddock at Kersall. Two Water Rail were calling at Eakring Flash, where there was a drake Shoveler and ten Tufted Duck. Small numbers of Meadow Pipits trickled through early morning and a White Wagtail flew north-west.
March 31st
  An overcast and occasionally drizzly morning held promise of some decent visible migration, but in the end provided little other than a trickle of Linnets moving north-west. However, a party of eight Common Crossbill flew north over Eakring Flash at 07:45h and gave some hope that birds would be moving, but by the end of two and a half hours, there was still little reward for the effort.

Bird of the morning turned out to be a surprising year tick in the form of a Long-eared Owl, roosting in the open at Penny Pasture Common. This was obviously a migrant bird, as resident Long-eared Owls here in the past, have always roosted in dense cover.

Also in the area this morning was a Red Kite over fields north of Eakring village (per M. Worthington) and the first Wheatear of the year near Wellow (per D. Bartle). Single drake Teal were at both Eakring Flash and Penny Pasture Common, 12 Tufted Duck at Eakring Flash and 70 Fieldfare in three flocks at three sites. A Roe Deer was at Eakring Flash early morning.

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