Eakring Bird news
October 2010
Featuring news and sightings from Eakring
October 2nd
Birds continuing to move through the area again, with the undoubted highlight of the morning being two Lapland Bunting south over Red Hill at 10:25h and giving good views as they flew past at not great height. Visible migration consisted of the usual species and the morning's counts included 66 Swallow south and south-east, 65 Sky Lark west and south-east, 51 Meadow Pipit south-east, 37 Chaffinch, 30 Linnet and 23 Siskin south-west and 21 Goldfinch east and south-east.

The visit also produced some unexpected migration/dispersal movements from to unexpected species, with a Great-spotted Woodpecker high west and continuing out of sight and seven Great Tit flew south-east with one south-west, all leaving the trees at the top of the Red Hill watchpoint. Two Dunnock high west were more expected and other migrants noted included a Coal Tit and two Goldcrest at Red Hill briefly, eight House Martin south, single Song Thrush and two Reed Bunting south, two Jay and a Brambling south-west. There were five Chiffchaffs in the area today, with three in the trees at Red Hill and two at Penny Pasture Common/Eakring Meadows.

A group of six Wigeon were on Eakring Flash and two Common Snipe flew south-west.

October 4th
Continued numbers of migrants moving over the area this morning. At Red Hill, notable counts included 263 Meadow Pipit south-east, 71 Chaffinch south and south-west, 108 Linnet south and south-east, 67 Swallow and 154 Sky Lark south-east.

Many birds were high up today, including 29 Pied Wagtail and four Grey Wagtail and 17 Siskin all south. Again there was continued evidence of dispersal from less expected species. The trees at the top of Red Hill are used as a brief stopping point by many small birds, before they make a move south or south-west. Birds through this morning included 11 Coal Tit, six Great Tit and nine Blue Tit all south, a single Chiffchaff (with others at Eakring Flash and Penny Pasture Common) and three Goldcrest. In the hedge nearby, a 1st Winter male Redstart was a different bird to the one there at the end of September.

Among a range of other species recorded today were a single Wood Lark north-east over Eakring Flash at 10:55h, three Mistle Thrush south-east, seven Song Thrush west and south, four Blackbird south, single Bullfinch east, a Brambling west and 23 Starling west.

October 5th
Migrants still moving, but in contrasting numbers to the past few days. The first half hour was very busy and there were expectations of today becoming a big migration day, but this soon petered out and birds trickled through most of the morning.

There was a considerable increase in Goldfinch and Lesser Redpoll numbers, with 61 Goldfinch south-east and 30 Lesser Redpoll (various directions) Interesting today though were Chaffinches, which continued to move on a southerly bias, with a total of 87 recorded throughout most of the morning, but from 10:15h a westerly movement began for about half an hour, producing a further 61 west. This movement coincided nicely with several small groups of Starling also going west (total of 59) at the same time.

Other totals today were 61 Meadow Pipit south-east, 94 Linnet south and south-east, 27 Pied Wagtail south-east, 29 Siskin south and 18 Mistle Thrush south-east and south-west, with small groups of 6, 6 and 5, plus a single. 20 Yellowhammer south and south-west, in addition to many birds in the recording area, with an unprecedented early Autumn count of a single flock of 80 at Eakring Flash. Brambling recorded today were all singles (five) moving south and west, Swallow and House Martin both produced totals of 15 south. Nine Black-headed Gull flew high south and a male Peregrine flew south-east over Leyfields.

October 6th
Despite the rain and breezy conditions following later in the morning, continued movement again today. Highlights were and immature male Peregrine south-west over Eakring Flash at 09:50h, followed later by an immature male Merlin hugging the ground and going straight south-east at 12:40h.

There was just a trickle of migrants again throughout the morning, with 75 Chaffinch south and west, 36 Linnet south and 46 Sky Lark south-west, and at total of 91 Swallow, was made up of small parties going low south from late morning onwards. Other migrants included a single Brambling west, eight Yellowhammer south-east and south-west, 12 Siskin south and 11 Pied Wagtail and a single White Wagtail flew south.

October 7th
Best bird of the morning was the 1st Winter male Redstart in the Hawthorns at the top of Red Hill again, but it was really all about visible migration today, with the best movement of finches, pipits and wagtails for many years here. The busiest hour was from 07:15 - 08:15h, when Meadow Pipits and Linnets were pouring through. Movement then became steady for the rest of the morning, with the following final totals.

417 Meadow Pipit, 53 Pied Wagtail, 19 Siskin, 23 Goldfinch, 30 Greenfinch, 79 Sky Lark, 196 Linnet, 22 Swallow, two Mistle Thrush, nine Tree Sparrow, nine Reed Bunting, single House Martin, three Brambling and a Dunnock all moving south. 113 Chaffinch and 11 Yellowhammer went both south and west, with 46 Starling west. The first Redwing of the Autumn were three going north, three Jay were at Red Hill (two) and Penny Pasture Common briefly and two Coal Tit also through Red Hill this morning. Three Blue Tit and five Great Tit were also brief birds and Chiffchaffs included three through Red Hill and one near Eakring Flash.

Sunrise and misty/foggy early morning conditions below the visible migration watchpoint at Red Hill, Eakring on October 7th. Directions in the photographs are east, north and west respectively.
October 8th
An early morning visit in the fog provided little in the way of anything this morning, but a few Pied Wagtail were noted moving low south-east and two Brambling also struggled south. The immature male Peregrine was hunting in the Red Hill area again.

Once the fog lifted, a return visit to the area proved worthwhile, with good numbers of Chaffinches moving south-west and some also high, just below the cloud base going west. A group of 23 west added to the days total of 95 and seemed indicative of a good movement/arrival today. A Rock Pipit also went high west, calling twice and provided a rare sixth record in 14 years coverage. All Rock Pipit records have come during October. There were further migrants of all the usual species recorded moving over the past few days, but in reduced numbers and 22 Black-headed Gull and four Common Gull moved high south late afternoon.

October 9th
An arrival of Redwing in the UK, led to a decent movement of 736 south over Eakring Flash this morning. Most of the movement came after 09:30h and all flocks were very high. Song Thrush were also moving this morning and groups of 5, 1, 2, 5 and 12 all went high south, whilst 132 Starling west was the best count of the Autumn to date. A Tree Pipit flew south and was easily the latest ever here, but generally it was a very quiet morning apart from the Redwing and Song Thrush passage. A single Brambling flew north-west and 80 Chaffinch through this morning, with birds going south-east and west.

The Yellowhammer flock in stubble fields north of Eakring Flash, has now built up to 136 birds and migrants continue to join this flock or move through. There still remains good numbers of Sky Lark around the recording area.

The immature male Peregrine again in the area this morning, hunting in the Lound Wood and Red Hill areas and two Water Rail were calling at Eakring Flash.

October 10th
Another morning of visible migration and dominated by a good Redwing movement, but also producing notable raptors, including different male Merlin moving south-east at 09:35h and 10:25h, then a Hen Harrier high south-east at 10:50h. Pink-footed Geese this morning saw three skiens move north-west at 15 minute interval from 09:15, with skiens of 117 and 27 in addition to one skien that was above the cloud layer and heard only.

Redwing flocks were pouring through very high south again till 11:00h, when all movement stopped. But a total of 2 401 Redwing south (the last two flocks actually moving west) had been reached by then. Some flocks contained other species, such as Fieldfare, Brambling and Pied Wagtail and all southerly movement was again extremely high, as the early low cloud lifted. Final counts for the morning were 19 Brambling, 23 Pied Wagtail, 15 Swallow, 21 Fieldfare and a record 45 Song Thrush all went south. Other counts included 54 Meadow Pipit south-east, 58 Chaffinch south and north-west, 12 Goldfinch, 11 Linnet, five Lesser Redpoll, 14 Siskin and a single Tree Sparrow all went south-east. A notable 554 Starling went west, 31 Sky Lark went south-west, five Reed Bunting west and 12 Greenfinch went south-east and north-west.

Gulls also moving, with many seen through gaps in the lower cloud layer early on, but probably many more passing undetected. Totals again included 25 Black-headed Gull and 36 Common Gull south, eight Herring Gull and a single Great Black-backed Gull flew south-west and 51 Lesser Black-backed Gull flew north-west.

October 11th
A visit to the area from mid-morning onwards saw the tail end of the morning's migration, but notable were two groups of Brambling including 15 north and 23 south. 277 Starling flew west in small groups and just 51 Redwing and 11 Fieldfare went south-west this morning. A late Swallow went south. Five Wigeon flew over Eakring Flash and Pink-footed Geese included skiens of 129 east at 10:50h and 23 east at 11:35h. Still one Water Rail at Eakring Flash.
October 12th
Efforts were concentrated on visible migration again today, with the favourable conditions of the past few days remaining. The third Lapland Bunting of the month called several times as it approached from the north-west and eventually continued south-east over Red Hill at 08:00h, after circling the area briefly.

There was a steady south-easterly movement of 119 Meadow Pipits throughout the morning and continuing well into the afternoon during a return visit. 60 Chaffinch went west and south-east and other counts today included 19 Goldfinch south-east, nine Brambling south-west, and 18 Pied Wahtail south. 25 Song Thrush in various directions (high) was another excellent total, but again fewer Redwing, with several groups moving west initially, then started going north. 36 Fieldfare and 108 Starling went west. Still relatively good numbers of Swallow moving through for this date, with 23 south-east today. The immature male Peregrine flew west over Red Hill again.

October 13th
Much quieter this morning, but an afternoon visit to Penny Pasture Common produced the first Jack Snipe of the Autumn (and year) and a very elusive Ring Ouzel (probably a 1st Winter female given the brief views) in the Hawthorn and Blackthorn thicket dividing Penny Pasture Common from the rest of the Eakring Meadows NR. Best of the morning's visble migration counts were 214 Redwing north and south-west, 40 Fieldfare and 113 Starling west, 46 Meadow Pipit south-east and eight Brambling south.
October 14th
Only limited amounts of migration evident this morning, but Sky Lark counts seem to have increased once again and there were several flocks in the Red Hill area totalling 93 birds. Once the cloud began to lift there was some genuine high movement with 51 Sky Lark moving south-west and south-east. Another 106 Starling flew west, just 34 Chaffinch moving west and south-east this morning, three Brambling went south, with a further 15 in the Eakring Meadows area late morning. There was no sign of the Ring Ouzel from yesterday, but a Green Sandpiper was present briefly at Penny Pasture Common before flying off north. Other sightings today saw 16 Grey Partridge at Red Hill and five Common Snipe went north-west.
October 15th
Amongst a smaller range of migrants, there were more Brambling moving this morning with 23 south-west. This is the best Brambling year in 14 years here and several species are having a bumper Autumn passage. Five Swallows south-east continued the run of late hirundines.
October 16th
More thrushes moving through this morning, with counts of 512 Redwing and 119 Fieldfare west. Another 23 Brambling and 35 Chaffinch went west, but all other counts were very small. Highlights were yet another Merlin (4th of the month) this time an adult male hunting Sky Larks briefly, before continuing south-east and five Goosander west over Eakring Flash. Some limited signs of both Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls moving south and south-west at the onset of slightly colder weather.
October 17th
A fine morning after a rather misty start saw continuing migration through the area. Best of the morning's counts were 627 Starling west, 66 Redwing south-west, 48 Chaffinch south-east and west, 39 Sky Lark south and west and eight Yellowhammer south.
Other counts included 19 Linnet south, 25 Meadow Pipit south-east and nine Siskin south-west. Just four Brambling went west today and another late Swallow went south early morning.

There was an increase in numbers of larger gulls moving very high south-west with 25 Herring Gull, 19 Great Black-backed Gull and 41 Lesser Black-backed Gull through. The Water Rail remains at Eakring Flash, with 14 Gadwall dropping in today.

Sunrise over Eakring Flash before the mist rolled in and a change in vantage point from the hill at Lound Wood
October 21st
Despite the strong wind, there was a decent amount of visible migration through the area from first light. Biggest movers were Fieldfare and Wood Pigeon, with 1 194 Fieldfare west and often very low as numerous flocks of varying sizes went through. 478 Wood Pigeon went mostly south-west, but flocks were also going south-east. A record count of 44 Brambling was made up of one flock of 43 through low south-west, with a single bird through later in the morning. Other counts included 48 Redwing west, 40 Chaffinch south-west and south-east, 480 Starling south-west, 56 Sky Lark south-west and 29 Linnet south.
October 23rd
Limited amounts of migrants moving through this morning. The most notable totals were 41 Sky Lark south-west, with 120 also in the Red Hill area. 14 Brambling went south-west (with nine in with a group of Siskin) and a group of six Song Thrush went south-west. The Water Rail was again at the northern-end of Eakring Flash, with now ten Teal there.
October 24th
  A good movement of Fieldfare through the Eakring area this morning, with numerous large flocks passing relatively low in the increasingly breezy conditions. 28 groups were recorded with the morning's final total being 2 821 Fieldfare west.

Other counts were 44 Brambling (further adding to the record number of Brambling seen here in 14 years coverage) 99 Redwing and 70 Starling all west and 32 Sky Lark south-west.

The early part of the morning saw 35 Herring Gull south-west (all typically very high) and three skiens of Pink-footed Geese from mid-morning saw 17 east at 09:40h, 60 east at 10:45h and 137 north-east at 11:25h.

October 28th
Still some migration through the area. Three Waxwing west with a small group of Starling at 09:25h the obvious highlight, following the recent invasion into the UK on October 24th. Starling produced a total of 412 west until 09:30h, when all real movement stopped. Other counts were 32 Chaffinch south-west, 19 Brambling south-west, 199 Fieldfare and 30 Redwing south and south-west, 17 Goldfinch, 16 Lesser Redpoll and 13 Siskin all south. At least one Water Rail still calling from the northern-end of Eakring Flash and two Common Buzzards in the area today.
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