Holland Haven Birding

Official Site Of The Holland Haven Birding Group ©

Recent Sightings

Key: Plain text- Resident/Regular visitor. Green- Likely to be annual. Amber- Less than annual. Red- Rarity. CAPITALS- New bird for site.

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April 2010

1st - A chilly but glorious morning with some moderate to strong WNW winds and the sun in a mainly blue sky.  The afternoon unfortunately included on/off rain and another drop in temperature.  Winds by this evening were at SSW.  Just before mid-day, a drake Garganey was viewable from the hide but it had either disappeared from view or had taken flight by mid-afternoon. PRD/LR/PR.  Noted on and around the scrape during this visit, were 27 Avocet, 45+ Teal, 14 Shelduck, 15 Wigeon.  3 Linnet were also seen, as were a fly-over Goldfinch, a single Barn Owl and 8+ Common Gulls. PRD.  An additional report was of a single Ruff seen on the scrape mid-late afternoon. SC.

2nd - Mostly a bright, dry day that saw several visits made to the Haven.  Rain did make an appearance or two during the afternoon and wind direction was SSW.  This morning in the area around the toilet block, a slightly elusive fem Black Redstart was located (still there late afternoon). AEC.  A singing male Blackcap was along the approach road and 2 Chiffchaff were in the carpark trees/bushes. GG.  A single Swallow headed N during the morning. PL.  Between the service road and memorials +/- 1 Chiffchaff was also located, while a Barn Owl was hunting beyond the grazing marsh and flyovers included 4 Goldfinch. KA/AD.  The scrape was checked throughout the day and overall, held 26 Avocets, 2 Ringed Plovers, 9+ Redshank, 1 Blk T Godwit, 2 Oystercatchers, 5+ Turnstones and 20+ Shelduck, with a Little Grebe also noted. AEC/MR/KA/AD/PRD/GG/PL.  

3rd - Another mainly bright and dry day with some very dark clouds and rain for a short while this afternoon.  Wind strength was variable and direction was SE through ESE.  Early morning coverage saw an increase of Avocets to 32 on the scrape, the fem Black Redstart was again located in and around the toilet block and the Blackcap was once more along the approach road.  Walking along towards Frinton, views were had of a Wheatear on the Golf Course and also 3 Purple Sandpipers along the front.  A single Swallow was seen going S, a total of 25 Linnet were fly-overs (several small numbered flocks) and a flock of 7 Knot headed NE towards the backwaters.  By the farm pond was a single Chiffchaff. GG.  +/- 2 Purple Sandpipers were located later in the morning. PNt.  Additional afternoon sightings were a single Swallow over the carpark and a Firecrest was close by to the memorials. MR.

4th - Well the weathermen got the Easter forecast for our area spot on - NOT!  Yes it's cloudy but blue skies prevailed throughout the morning.  Slightly on the cool side with moderate winds, that going into the afternoon, were NW through NNW.  Mid to late afternoon saw grey cloud cover and the winds moved to WNW.  Coverage of the site this morning saw both a pair of Kestrels and a pair of Sparrowhawks displaying over the grazing marsh, while the carpark bushes held a single Chiffchaff of note.  A visit to the hide saw c29 Avocet amongst the wader count, which also included 2 Ringed Plovers, 1 Snipe and 16 Redshank.  Shelduck were at 20+, Shoveler were at 3, while Teal and Wigeon numbers were at 10 of each.  A single Swallow was seen flying around the area of the first turret. MR.   

5th - A very grey, overcast morning with the sun trying to break through (which it did eventually for a while).  Cool with moderate strength SW winds that were Southerlies by nightfall.  A half hour run along the seawall and also taking in views across the scrape (09.30-10.00hrs), provided counts of 4 Meadow Pipits on the seawall, a single Oystercatcher on the sluice, 2 Brent Geese heading N off-shore while a further Oystercatcher flew S.  Numbers duly noted on the scrape were 28 Avocet, 4 Redshank, 2 Oystercatchers, a male Shoveler, 20 Shelduck, 14 Wigeon and 2 Greylag Geese. PBr.  The locating of a Cetti's Warbler near to the memorials was also reported. IM.  2 Reed Buntings were additions to today's species seen from the hide. MR.

6th - Dry, sunny and mainly blue skies starting the day with light to moderate SSE winds.  The winds turned only slightly to SE during the rest of the day, which also remained dry.  This morning the Cetti's Warbler was again close to the memorials (Tariq) at c10.00hrs.  25 Avocet were noted for the scrape area, as were 25+ Teal, 5+ Wigeon and 2 drake Shoveler.  Other birds across the site were a single Purple Sandpiper, a fem Wheatear, 3 Swallows and up to 7 Turnstones.  The bushes failed to produce anything out of the ordinary. PRD.

7th -  Cloud cover this morning with the sun again trying to break through and SSE light winds.  By mid-day, the still very light winds, had turned to NW and still a pleasant dry day.  Morning coverage of the bushes, scrape and surrounding fields, saw slight changes in numbers but no sign of the Cetti's.  The bushes were lively but again nothing to really note, although a Little Owl was in the vicinity of the memorials and on the wires over the grazing marsh, were a pair of Kestrels.  On and around the scrape were 30 Avocets, 12 Curlew, 9 Redshank, 2 Ringed Plovers and 4 Oystercatchers, alongside 16 Shelduck, 36 Teal and just 3 Wigeon.  Along and across the fields were 8 Skylarks, 10 Meadow Pipits, 2 Wheatear and a Reed Bunting (M), while flying over the mounds were 2 Swallows. MR.                   

A late afternoon visit to locate a ringed Turnstone, gave the observers a surprising and most pleasing view of an ALPINE SWIFT as it flew south past the sluice, at close range at 16.38hrs. SC/PC.  This is potentially the second of this species to be seen at the Haven, however, due to lack of confirmed data for the previous, today's bird seen by Simon and Pat Cox has definitely added the species to the Haven Site Listing and a very nice Haven tick for 2010. 

8th - A glorious, bright day with blue skies and a few wispy white clouds.  Reasonably warm throughout, with light NNW winds this morning that turned to SSW by evening.  A one hour visit to the Haven site today provided details of a Little Owl and a single Chiffchaff in the carpark bushes, before heading to the hide for viewing across the scrape.  The waders and counts thereof were just 26 Avocets and 13 Redshank with no others of note.  The duck numbers were at 20 Shelduck, 2 drake Shoveler, 26 Teal and 4 Wigeon.  A single Grey Heron was seen and behind the hide, a single Swallow was on the fencing. MR.  Additional sightings were of 3 more Swallows, while a single Brent Goose flew over the carpark and then continued south along the coastline.  Avocets were up to 27 and heard but not seen, was the Cetti's Warbler. PRD.

9th - Another fantastic day with the weather, dry, bright and light E winds. The only birds reported were a 1S Med Gull moving S, 35 Avocets on the scrape, with the sluice area hosting 2 Purple Sandpipers and 5 Turnstones.  20 Curlew were in the meadows. PRD 

10th - Another bright and sunny day with light SE winds. Highlights today were a Firecrest by the memorials and a singing Cetti's Warbler by the brook.  Around the carpark was a single Willow Warbler and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.  2 Swallows were also seen. PRD.  Additional reports for the afternoon, were a Chiffchaff and a Little Owl in the vicinity of the memorials and the scrape held 32 Avocets, 2 Ringed Plovers, 8+ Redshank, 16 Curlew, 24 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler and 30+ Teal. MR.

11th - Cooler today with a NE wind.  2 Sandwich Terns flew N, while along the seawall were 2 Purple Sandpipers and 5 Turnstones.  2 Blackcaps were singing along the approach road.   Noted for the scrape area were 1 White Wagtail, 2 Swallow, 25 Avocets, 2 Ringed Plover and 4 Canada Geese.  The duck numbers are still reducing with just 3 Wigeon and 30 Teal viewable during this visit. PRD.

12th - Still a NE wind, bright and chilly.  Between 0930-1200hrs the following were noted, a singing Sedge Warbler, 4+ Swallows and a White Wagtail the only migrants while birds on and around the scrape were 22 Shelduck, 2 Wigeon, 22+ Teal, 3 Oystercatchers, 30 Avocet, 2 Ringed Plover, 36+ Curlew, 8+ Redshank, 4 Turnstone and a Barn Owl. PRD.

13th - Sunny today with a NNE wind.  The first of two reports today gave 2 drake Wigeon, 34 Teal, 35 Avocets, 6 Oystercatchers, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Blk T Godwit, 6 Curlew, 8+ Redshank, 4 Turnstones, 1 Swallow, 2 ‘’White’’ Wagtails and the Cetti's Warbler was again singing. PRD.  The second report saw that Curlew numbers had increased to 51, Avocets up to 36 and Wigeon had doubled to 4.  Also noted on this visit were 16 Shelduck, a single Shoveler and 36 Lapwing. SC

14th - Cloudy today with a brisk NNE wind. No reports returned.

15th - Highlights today from visits 0915-1315hrs and 1730-1845hrs, were 2 Little Egrets, 22+ Shelducks, 3 Wigeon (still 2 drake), 24+ Teal, 1 Coot in the ditch in front of the hide, plus the pair at the farm pond which have 5 small chicks), 2 Oystercatchers, 26 Avocets, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Whimbrel (grazing marsh evening visit but then flew out to sea), 51 Curlew (2 grazing marsh and flock of 49 over N, again in the evening), 11 Redshank, 1 Barn Owl, 4+ Swallows, a ‘White Wag’ on the scrape area still and the Cetti's Warbler was singing both morning and evening. PRD.

16th - No reports returned. 

17th - Frost on the cars first thing, then a sunny bright day with a gentle SSW wind.  The best bird of the day was the site's 2nd record of Red Kite.  A tip off from John Sawyer that one was heading towards the Haven, paid dividends as the bird was on site within 10 minutes.  Great views were had as it drifted NE. GG/AM.  Birds located around the bushes today, were 1 singing Firecrest, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Blackcaps and 1 Chiffchaff.  A walk along the seawall produced little, with 4 Swallows, 10+ Reed Buntings and 8+ Linnets being the highlights.  The scrape held 2 Whimbrel, 1 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plovers, 25 Avocets, 10+ Redshanks, 2 Blk T Godwits, 5 Wigeon and 27 Teal.  2 singing Cetti's Warblers were on site, one being across the road and the other by the memorials. GG.  Mid-afternoon, a rather elusive Water Pipit was seen on the scrape by one lucky observer. MR.

18th - The weather today was as per yesterday.  5+ newly arrived Wheatears were seen today on the Mound and from the Hide.  The bushes held 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 8+ Blackcaps, 1 Willow Warbler and 1 Chiffchaff.  On the scrape were a single Bar T Godwit, 3 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plovers, 26 Avocets, 10+ Redshanks, 2 Blk T Godwits, 3 Wigeon and only 12 Teal.  A Green Sandpiper was flushed from the brook and 12 Mute Swans headed NE.  Over the golf course, a female Marsh Harrier performed well.  Across the road 4 Whimbrel were amongst 7 Curlews and 2 Sand Martins flew E. GG.  Early morning, 2 House Martins and a Cetti's Warbler were also noted IM. 

19th - A bright but slightly chilly day with moderate winds.  An afternoon visit produced 22 Avocets, 8 Whimbrel, 4 Turnstones, 2 Wigeon (1 drake), 2 Oystercatchers, 18 Shelduck, 2 Blk T Godwits, 8 Redshank and 2 Ringed Plovers  for the scrape, while migrants of note, were 4 Wheatears, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 6+ Swallows.  A Hobby flew across in front of the hide. PRD.

20th - A very bright morning with moderate to strong WNW winds. The afternoon continued sunny with wind gusts up to c30mph locally.  Coverage today between 09.00 and 13.30hrs searched the main site through, including the farm area and golf course.  A male Wheatear was seen on the arable below Gt. Holland Hall with 2 other Wheatear around site, also over the Hall was a single Swift.  A Sand Martin and 16+ Swallows made the notebook, along with 8+ Linnets and 2 singing Whitethroats (1 sluice area and the other SW corner of golf course).  5 Whimbrel were beyond the golf course and a further 3 behind the sewage farm.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were 36 Avocet, 1 LRP, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin and 2 Curlew alongside a drake Wigeon and 12+ Teal.  3+ Sparrowhawks were in the vicinity. PRD

21st - Quite bright but cloudy during the morning and light NNW winds that became stronger for the afternoon.  It did however, remain dry and bright throughout.  A Nightingale was singing early this morning opposite the entrance to the site and 2 Lesser Whitethroats were in the same area.  The approach road supplied 2 Blackcap while the main  on-site bushes gave 1 Cetti's Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser and 2 Common Whitethroats and a Willow Warbler.  The scrape area was down to 6 Teal this morning, with 2 Wigeon and 20 Shelduck.  The waders for this visit being 1 Ruff, 1 LRP, 2 of each Ringed PloverDunlin and Oystercatcher, 10+ Redshank, 26 Avocets and 1 Whimbrel.  Also noted from the hide were 1 of each Wheatear and Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Bunting and 2 Swallows. MR.

22nd - Very bright this morning but also a very chilly start with ice covered cars once again.  Winds began as light NNW before turning to ESE, then to SE going into nightfall.  A mid-morning visit taking in viewable areas from the seawall and the hide, heard a Cuckoo calling from the rear of the scrape, while the waders and ducks of note were 24 Avocets, 2 Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin, 11+ Redshank, 3 Oystercatchers, a Whimbrel and 3prs Teal.  A Common Gull, 9 Swallows, 2 male Wheatears, 1 Whitethroat and 2 Sedge Warblers were also in proximity of the hide to the sluice.  Species along and from the seawall were 3 Turnstone, a further 2 Oystercatchers, another Whitethroat and resting on the wall itself were an additional 6 Swallows. PBr.

23rd - Bright and sunny, mostly blue skies throughout the day.  Light E winds to begin with, then turning to SSE for the afternoon.  Reported for the morning, was a fem Black Redstart on the posts and steps by the hide, while from the hide itself, 3 Wheatears (2m+1f) and a single male Reed Bunting were noted. LJ.

24th - A glorious day with clear skies and a light SSE breeze.  A short visit from first light, produced just a few migrants.  The approach road, opposite meadow and toilet block, held 2 Lesser and 3 Common Whitethroats, 5 Blackcap and 2 Sedge Warblers but little else.  A Whinchat was seen from the vicinity of the memorials.  A look out to sea produced a Fulmar flying NE, while a look over the scrape saw it to contain much as the previous few days. GG.  A single Yellow Wagtail flew over the ringing compound and a Cetti's Warbler went through it.  2 further Cetti's Warblers were also singing nearby.  11 Whimbrel were viewed and noted. GG/PRD/PNt.  A late afternoon visit added 7 Wheatears and a Cuckoo. GG.  

25th - Warm but grey and overcast during the morning which led to a brief fall of rain.  As soon as this had finished, the sun was out in a blue sky and the SSE breeze was minimal.  Early morning and a walk along the seawall produced 1 Fulmar going S, while 2 Common Sandpipers and a Turnstone were on the breakwater rocks and 2 newly arrived Reed Warblers were vocal from the reed beds.  Around site generally, migrant numbers were up with 10+ of Sedge Warbler, Lesser and Common Whitethroats noted, also 20+ Swallows, 1 Yellow Wagtail and a blast from the Cetti's Warbler.  The scrape held 23 Avocets, 3 Ringed Plover and 12+ Redshanks. PL/IM.  The mid morning shower dropped 4 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Dunlin, 4 House and 2 Sand Martins onto the scrape, while a flock of 24 Whimbrel popped in for a while. GG/PRD.

26th - A fresh, bright morning with very little, if any breeze around.  The afternoon was grey at times, with light to moderate SSW winds and a slightly cooler temperature.  A visit from 08.30-14.15hrs giving almost six hours of coverage across the site today, yielded a good variety of species including a Nightingale this morning (which was located in the bushes/GBC boat compound - near to the sluice cottages), the Cetti's Warbler was vocal once again, 16 Wheatear were noted (12 of these were together, just north of the hide on the mud), a Cuckoo was in the vicinity as were singles of LRPBar T Godwit and a winter plumaged Spotted Redshank. The trees, bushes and reedbeds also held 4+ Sedge and 4+ Reed Warblers, 5+ Common and 2+ Lesser Whitethroats and 5+ male Blackcaps, with others flying over and around, being a single Goldfinch, 12+ Yellow Wagtails and 40+ Swallows.  The scrape and surrounding area supplied counts of 12 Oystercatchers, 23 Avocet, 23+ Whimbrel, 2 Blk T Godwits, 2 Ringed Plovers and 7 Dunlin. The duck count for today was just a single pair of Wigeon. PRD.

27th - Another glorious morning, bright, dry and very light NNE winds.  Warm throughout the day, with the winds changing mid-morning to ENE and by nightfall, the direction was at SSE.  Coverage across site today was from 09.00-14.00hrs with c2hours spent viewing from the hide.  The scrape and surrounding grazing areas provided 2 Canada Geese, both a pair of Wigeon and of Teal, 25 Avocets, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin and 4 WhimbrelPRD/JK.  A single Fieldfare was located at Gt. Holland Hall, while 8+ House Martins were over Church Lane.  Also during this visit were noted 10 Yellow Wagtails (inc. 1 male Channel Type), 8 Wheatears, 4+ Blackcap, 4+ Sedge Warblers, 5+ Reed Warblers, 5+ Common and 2 Lesser Whitethroats and 6+ Reed Buntings.  The highlight of this report being a probable pair of Nightingales that were located nicely within the site boundaries. PRD.    A report was noted, that showed details of additional species seen at the Haven late morning into early afternoon, of a single Bar T Godwit and Whimbrel numbers of 6.  An adult Spoonbill was also in the report - seen on the scrape from the pathway, then lost to view on going into the hide.  

28th - Fantastic weather again, sunny although slightly cloudy at times and light to moderate SSW through SSE winds.  No reports returned.

29th - A warm and bright day but cooling into the evening with the onset of on/off light rain.  Light to moderate winds throughout that began SW and ended as S.  An early start for a visit this morning which saw a Cetti's Warbler showing well over the road, along with Common and Lesser Whitethroats, a Sedge and a Reed Warbler while on a post across the marsh was a Cuckoo.  In the boating club compound was once more a Nightingale with the bushes/trees and reedbeds across the main site giving totals of 6 Sedge Warblers, 4 Reed Warblers and 8 Reed Buntings.  6 Wheatear were noted, as were 8 Meadow Pipits, 6 Skylarks, 6 Swallows and 4 Turnstones.  The scrape area was quite busy and provided views of 23 Avocets, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Bar T Godwit, 17 Whimbrel, 11+ Redshank, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Med Gulls, a Common Gull and 4 Yellow Wagtails.  A Marsh Harrier was in the vicinity. MR.

30th - After constant overnight rain, a very bright if cool start today. A slighty grey sky and WNW moderate winds.  The day did get warmer as it went on.  Coverage over 4hours (10.00-14.00hrs) on site today gave sightings of the year's first Grey Plovers as 2 in summer plumage, headed South.  3 Swift together, came in/off while 60+ Swallows were noted, 12+ House Martins and a single Sand Martin.  2 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Wheatear and 2 Willow Warblers were located and a Nightingale was heard and seen from the 5 bar gate.  Finishing the month off, the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh held 26 Avocet, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, 1 Blk T Godwit, 3 Whimbrel and 1 Curlew. PRD.   

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