Firecrest at Eakring Flash 2001
This was a quite fortunate and very surprising discovery, coming on the first official day of public footpath re-opening after the Foot and Mouth outbreak.

On the whole May 7th was another very quiet day, with most activity being geared towards the noting of new overnight warbler arrivals and as May is generally a quiet month, little was expected. On arrival at Eakring Flash, I was stood on the footpath which runs alongside the old hedge and The Beck, about 10 metres from the small bridge at the southern-end. A male Whitethroat was singing from a nearby clump of Hawthorn bushes, but it's song began strangely, with an almost sub-song style of which I largely ignored, but the more I heard it, the more I was intrigued. It soon became evident that there were indeed two birds, the second with a song reminiscent of Firecrest, but this was May I thought. Bursts of song began to be further interspersed with the typical Firecrest contact call, but seeing the bird was difficult and it took about five minutes before I finally confirmed the identification as a stunning male.

In all, I only saw the bird well for a few minutes during a stay of about 15 minutes. The Firecrest remaining in the same bush for the whole time, until flying off along the hedgerow and further into the pastures area. I thought it would be fairly easy to relocate, probably working it's way along the hedges in typical "Goldcrest" fashion, but despite following it quickly, it was never seen or heard again.

Firecrest was an expected species here, but was thought much more likely to be found in Eakring village one November, rather than on a gloriously sunny, early May morning.

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