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.

(The above "Colour Coding" has changed for several species this year 2013 due to some being now a more regular species at the Haven - which has got to be good, whilst others are unfortunately not seen/recorded here as much as they used to be. This coding is purely defined by ourselves for the Haven site). 

Archive:  Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   June   July   Aug   Sept   Oct   Nov   Dec   

Site Year Tick: *

APRIL 2013

1st - Generally a brighter day through until at least 16.00hrs with some blustery ENE winds of up to 19mph being assisted by some fairly constant gusting of up to 33mph.  Going into the latter part of the afternoon, it was still mostly blue skies with a variation of cloud.  Supposedly the temperature has been +4 degrees but it has definitely felt much colder than that!  A joint report from three observers who were on and around the site for the 1st of the month, gave no new Haven 2013 Year ticks but the unfortunate news of a 'recently dead' Barn Owl being seen.  Viewing over the road this morning found that just a single Little Egret was notable while on the main site by the Wind Pump, a Little Grebe was located on the brook. MR.  While surveying from the hide, a Peregrine gave some spectacular viewing as it "sustained attack on the scrape area".  This bird was one of six Birds of Prey seen from the hide this morning - the others being 1 Merlin, 1 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Common Buzzard.  Waders dodging the hungry raptor, included 2 Turnstones, 2 Dunlin, 3 Redshank, 3 Blk T Godwits, 4 Ringed Plovers, 15 Avocets, 15 Snipe and some 51 Curlew, whilst the Duck count consisted of 6 Shelducks, 8 Shoveler, 11 Gadwall, c100 Teal and c250 Wigeon.  The Wigeon numbers down from those of the last few days of March.  A total of 2 Canada and 3 Greylag Geese were noted.  Near to Tariq there were singles of Little Owl and Redwing along with 2 Fieldfares. IM/MR/PL.  A walk from the Frinton end of site to beyond the Golf Course and up to the Farm, produced Grey Plover that flew over the fields, also a male Reed Bunting and 3 Skylarks (singing), whilst around the paddocks at the Farm, a mix of Thrush species included Redwing, Fieldfare, Mistle, Song, Blackbird and Robin. BS.

2nd - ENE winds were dominant through into the latter part of the afternoon when direction turned to NNE.  Speeds were much as per yesterday, being of up to 19mph and those persistent gale force gusts being of up to 35mph and likewise kept the temperature very low indeed.  Blue skies and alot of sun - at least it 'looked' like a Spring day!  Surveys were carried out this morning and also this afternoon with at least three observers on the site at various times.  Seawatching from the greensward shelter began the observations with some 30+/- Red-T Divers moving mostly in a N direction, as did 12 Brent Geese.  Moving to the hide, the scrape and it's surrounding areas held 2 Redshank, 3 Blk T Godwits, 4 Ringed Plovers, 18 Avocets and 30 Curlew, alongside 2 Canada Geese, 8 Shelducks, 12 Gadwall, c300 Wigeon and c100 Teal - the latter minus 'one' that was breakfast for a Sparrowhawk. MR/IM.  A return visit for a short time during the afternoon gave the addition of 5 Turnstones with no other changes noted. PRD/IM.  Beyond the Golf Course today there were again 3 singing Skylarks, 2 Red-legged Partridges were also noted.  5 Golden Plovers that were initially 'resting together' on the field, took flight when a Sparrowhawk came through flying close to the ground behind them. BS.  

3rd - Those gale force winds just don't want to let up!  ENE winds and gusting through the morning of 23+mph and up to 40mph respectively.  A slight turn of wind direction to NE by late afternoon but no drop in speeds.  A 'mostly grey' cloud-covered sky and once again it was bitterly cold.  Visits to the site during the morning included a session of 'very chilly' seawatching from the shelter producing 20+ Red-T Divers, 59 Brent Geese and 3 Curlews all flying N.  The counts across the scrape and surrounding area as viewed from the hide slightly later gave 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Blk T Godwit, 4 Ringed Plovers, 5 Turnstones, 32 Avocets, 3 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler, 8 Shelducks, c100 Teal and c300 Wigeon.  Also noted for this survey were 4 Canada and 21 Greylag Geese, a Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk. MR/IM.  Afternoon observations added 2 Snipe and an adult Yellow-legged Gull on the scrape, while Blk T Godwit numbers were then up to a count of 4.  A 3W Caspian Gull was seen briefly on the scrape before flying N.  A Song Thrush was noted for the Dell and 2 Fieldfares were located in the carpark. SG.

4th - Over-cast skies that brought sleet during the morning.  NE winds of c24mph along with gusting that at times reached 43mph.  The slightly brighter skies for the early afternoon were short-lived when sleet and hailstones descended, turning to heavy snow showers - this settled for a while but thawed within a couple of hours.  At least two observers braved the elements (or are they just mad?) to carry out a two hour seawatch, a survey from the hide and a brief seawatch to finish the visits.  From 08.30-10.30hrs the session proved that Red-T Divers off-shore were still in good numbers with 100+ taking flight from the sea and heading N further to disturbance from a passing fishing boat.  During this watch singles of Grey Plover, Curlew and Brent Goose, 6 Cormorants and 32 adult Gannets all flew N, as did 1 Bonxie*, while a Skua sp. was harassing the Gulls at distance from the shore.  The second short seawatch was just prior to the 'sand-blasted' observers leaving the site and it produced a Black-T Diver* that was in amongst further Red-T Divers.  Between these sessions, the viewing from the hide gave totals of 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Turnstones, 4 Blk T Godwits, 4 Snipe, 14 Avocets and c50 Curlew, also 6 Shoveler, 8 Shelduck, 16 Gadwall, c100 Teal and c250 Wigeon.  In front of the hide itself, was a single Little Grebe. MR/IM.  Over the road, 2 Woodcocks were flushed early on but there was nothing else of any note over there. MR.

5th - Gale force winds of a NE direction - making a change, not!  Speeds of 22mph along with fairly constant gusting of up to at least 37mph through the morning.  Cloud-covered skies but quite bright in the conditions.  If warmly wrapped and the scope is anchored to the ground, some good seawatching could be had from the Haven coastline.  No reports returned.

6th - A bright, sunny day but still cool with E through ENE winds and gusting of 12mph and c24mph respectively.  A visit to site today was from the Frinton end walking along to view the scrape and the return journey between 14.45hrs and 18.00hrs.  Seen on the field beyond the Golf Course was a Common Gull and 2 Skylarks were singing along the route.  Viewing across the scrape vicinity, supplied noted totals of 2 Blk T Godwits, 4 Curlew and 26 Avocets, 9 Shelducks, 2 Canada and 10 Greylag Geese, 2 Grey Herons and 8 Jackdaws.  The grazing marsh area held notables of 2 Ringed Plovers, a Little Egret, Stock Dove and Meadow Pipit.  A Common Buzzard was initially atop a post before relocating to the top of one of the Owl boxes. BS.  An addition to the scrape was that of a drake Pintail. EJ.

7th - Another bright and sunny day with a change of direction for the winds though, being SE through ESE for the duration and mostly light speeds of c9mph.  Very chilly in shaded areas.  A Woodcock was again flushed while surveying over the road this morning and a Chiffchaff* was also seen.  Near to Tariq were singles of Little Owl, Redwing and Song Thrush, also 2 Fieldfares and 8 Blackbirds.  Observations from the hide gained two more Haven 2013 Year ticks in singles of Bar T Godwit* and Spotted Redshank* that were alongside 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 3 Dunlin and 3 Turnstones, 5 Blk T Godwits and 5 Redshanks, 8 Snipe, 16 Curlew and 18 Avocets.  An adult Spoonbill was present on the scrape at 09.35hrs and remained so all day and both a Grey Heron and a Little Egret were in the vicinity.  A Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Canada and 3 Brent Geese were noted while the Duck counts were of 6 Shoveler, 8 Shelducks, 8 Gadwall, c100 Teal and Wigeon were down to c200.  Reed Buntings numbered 2 as seen from the hide and the walk to the second turret added another Chiffchaff to the day's report (between the two hides), a few Meadow Pipits and 1 Skylark (singing).  A further 2 Oystercatchers were located on the rocks. MR.  An addition to today's sightings were 4 Golden Plovers. PRD/EJ.

8th - For the third consecutive morning, bright with a sun that appears desperate to break through the cloud-cover!  ENE winds of up to 16mph and gusting of up to 27mph, so still cool and breezy.  Several observers were on and around the site today.  A Water Rail was located over the road first thing this morning, whilst near to Tariq were 2 Fieldfares and although heard only, a Cetti's Warbler* was here too.  Initial reports for the scrape gave that the adult Spoonbill and the Spotted Redshank were again in this vicinity.  These birds were alongside a Little Egret, 1 Bar T Godwit, 2 Oystercatchers and 3 Ringed Plovers, 4 Blk T Godwits, 4 Turnstones, 9 Dunlin, 9 Redshanks, 10 Avocets and 70+ Lapwings.  Also viewed across this area and the grazing marsh were 2 Canada and 22 Brent Geese, 4 Shoveler, 10 Shelducks, 10 Gadwall, c100 Teal and c200 Wigeon.  A Red Kite(H.E) was seen as it hunted across the marsh between the hide and the Golf Course at just prior to 10.57hrs and the observer was able to quickly relay the whereabouts to other observers in the hide at the time. MR/IM/PR/LR/HE.   (of note the Kite was viewable at Frinton at 11.12hrs, the bird was being mobbed by crows. BS.)

9th - A bit of an overcast morning and some areas proving somewhat hazy with a sun that was trying but not overly succeeding as at 09.30hrs.  Dry and cool along with Easterly winds of up to 17mph was combined with gusting of up to 27mph.  During the day there was some rain but no major downpours.  Beginning a site visit over the road (opp. Approach Road) this morning gave 1 Water Rail, a Chiffchaff that was heard only and a some 20 Fieldfares that were fly-overs.  The Dell held 2 Goldcrests, while near to Tariq were another 2 Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff and a Sparrowhawk. MR.  As viewed from the hide - across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh - counts included the adult Spoonbill, 2 Little Egrets, the Spotted Redshank, 1 Bar T Godwit, 2 Oystercatchers, 3 Ringed Plovers, 5 Blk T Godwits, 8 Snipe, 9 Dunlin, 10 Redshank and 14 Avocets.  Also noted were 7 Greylag and 12 Canada Geese, of which 10 of the latter flew after a short time.  The Wigeon were still in numbers of c200, Teal at c100 and the Shoveler, Shelducks and Gadwall were at 2, 5 and 6 respectively.  A wander to survey along to the third turret supplied 1 Rock Pipit, 2 Stonechats, 3 Reed Buntings, 8 Meadow Pipits and 8 Skylarks, also a single Sanderling, while fishing off-shore were 30+ Red-T DiversMR/IM

10th - A cloudy start to today but the sun slowly broke through to brighten the outlook.  A change of wind direction this morning to WNW, this was fairly light at c8mph with some gusting of up to 18mph.  A change of direction for the latter part of the day, took the winds to SE and of c11mph.  Good to see the sun for the majority of the duration.  The Spoonbill was still on the scrape as at 08.54hrs, alongside 1 Spotted Redshank, a Ruff and a Bar T Godwit, also a Ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatchers, 4 Blk T Godwits, 6 Snipe, 7 Dunlin, 10 Avocets and 13 RedshanksDucks and Geese at this time were 3 Shelducks, 4 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, c60 Teal, c150 Wigeon, 5 Greylags and 9 Canada.  The sluice rocks held 2 further Oystercatchers and also 4 Turnstones, while off-shore viewing supplied 10+ Red-T Divers.  Noted for over the road during this survey were a single Song Thrush, 2 Goldcrests and a Little Egret and the memorials area gave just a Little Owl to add to the report. MR/IM.  A mid-afternoon visit added 2 Chiffchaffs and a Woodcock for over the road.  A Little Egret was either the same bird as earlier or possibly a second. IM.  A survey taken from the Frinton end of the site heading to the scrape area and the return (10.30 - 11.45hrs), added a Chiffchaff that was feeding between the seawall and the Golf Course edge and a total of 137 Red-T Divers that were 'off-shore then S in front of a passing boat'. PBr.  Also from the Frinton end but taking the field route beyond the Golf Course and continuing up to the Farm, observations supplied 2 Red-legged Partridges, 3 Corn Buntings and 4 Skylarks along the way, while the Farm area gave a Green Woodpecker, Collared Dove and 4 Goldfinches of note. BS

11th - After a night of constant rain, this morning appears to be continuing in the same vain.  Back to strong winds of up to 17mph with some pretty constant gusting of up to 31mph - all in a NE direction.  Looks like 'Spring' was just for yesterday!  Still, at 06.25hrs there was still hope for the day's weather.......  just try to ignore the big black clouds on the weather reports!   The Kingfisher was again showing over the road, along with 1 Song Thrush and 5 Redwings and the Approach Road itself held a singing Chiffchaff. MR.  At the lower hedges of the carpark, another 35+ Redwing were located.  The report for the scrape gave that the adult Spoonbill was still there...... and a comment to the effect that it was 'freezing over there'!!  2 Oystercatchers, 4 Snipe, 6 Blk T Godwits, 7 Dunlin and 8 Redshanks were in this vicinity and the Ducks and Geese comprised 2 Shoveler, 3 Tufted Ducks, 5 Shelducks, 8 Gadwall, c70 Teal, c100 Wigeon and 2 Canada Geese. MR/IM.  A mid-morning to lunch-time walk and subsequent survey was from the Frinton end, taking in the fields and route to the Farm, the Paddocks and the Farm Pond areas.  A Snipe, Song Thrush, 4 Skylarks and 2 Red-legged Partridges were along the way, whilst the Paddocks and Farm area generally held 2 Robins, 2 Fieldfares, 3 Blackbirds and 4 Redwings, also Great Tit, Greenfinch, 2 Goldfinches and 2 Chaffinches.  A Chiffchaff was in this vicinity, as were a Wren, a pair of Pied Wagtails and a Green Woodpecker.  The Farm Pond held a drake Tufted Duck amongst the Mallards.  Best bird of the day for the observer and a Haven 2013 Year tick was that of a Black Redstart* which was initially seen as it perched on "machinery by the pond, flashing it's beautiful tail" before flying down to muddy ground.  At this point, flushed by an incoming tractor/trailer unit, the bird flew and despite searching, could not be re-located. BS

12th - Another rainy start to the day but this eased c07.30hrs and the skies brightened.  Initial Southerly winds were of up to 14mph and gusting was of up to 27mph.  It was definitely a mixed weather bag today - after the early 'brighter half-hour', the rain returned and continued to be on/off through the day and some down-pours were quite torrential.  At least two observers were on and around the site today and whilst the wander across the road found that area to be quiet, there were 2 Chiffchaffs calling.  Walking back across to the hide, a brief look out over the sea gave 6 Red-T Divers heading N.  The Spoonbill was still on the scrape and showing very well and was alongside a pair Med Gulls, 1 Brent and 7 Canada Geese, 2 Shoveler, 5 Gadwall and 9 Shelducks.  The Waders in this vicinity consisted of 2 Snipe, 5 Turnstones, 6 Redshanks, 6 Oystercatchers, 7 Dunlin, 14 Avocets, 15 Blk T Godwits and 29 Curlew.  Singles of both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were also viewed, as were 2 Swallows* that flew over the scrape and continued inland.  A Cetti's Warbler "blasted out on three occasions" from the reedbed behind/left of the hide and 6 Linnets were in this area. PRD/IM.

13th - Not too sure what happened to the +20 degrees that was promised by the forecasters??  The sun and blue skies were around for the morning and into the early afternoon and the temperature reached +11 degrees..... before the rain fell basically for the rest of the duration....... patchy drizzle soon became non-stop and sometimes very heavy rain.  SW winds of c11mph with gusting of c21mph turned later in the day to S and up to 20mph and 31mph respectively.  There were several observers on and around various parts of the site today with most, if not all, of the site being covered.  The day proved to add another six Haven 2013 Year ticks to the list.  An initial report was that a Firecrest* had been trapped within the areas of the ringing compounds and now sports a brand new ring. PNt.  The next report gave that a Coot* was present on the Farm Pond as was a drake Tufted Duck, while at the end of the Paddocks, there was very vocal Corn Bunting.  2 Swallows flew over the Golf Course. AD.  Corn Buntings later numbered 2 at the Farm. IM.  The area across the road from the Approach Road appeared busier this morning with notes made of a Blackcap*, 2 Chiffchaffs, c70 Redwings and 2 Sparrowhawks.  Walking back to the main site through the Approach Road wood, 4 Goldcrests and a stunning Firecrest were seen - with today's third Firecrest being located in the 'copse adjacent to houses" (opp. toilet block).  A brief seawatch gave just 3 Red-T Divers of any particular note.  The selection of species viewable from the hide included 1 Sand Martin*, 2 House Martins*, 15+ Swallows and 4 Linnets.  Waders were 2 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, 4 Turnstones, 10 Redshanks, 15 Curlew, 22 Blk T Godwits and 26 Avocets while 4 Shoveler and 6 Gadwall completed the counts on the actual scrape and grazing marsh. IM/PL.  An addition to the reports was a Yellow Wagtail*. MP

14th - The early, slightly murky skies cleared after a while to give a mostly bright sunny day.  Apart from some rain just prior to 10.00hrs, the day remained dry.  The winds varied in speed and direction, from 7mph through 27mph, gusting from 10mph through 32mph and SW, S, WSW respectively.  The coastal temperature reached +11 degrees but those winds definitely kept it cooler than expected.  A few observers on the site today and initial reports included a female Pintail, 13 G B B, 19 L B B, 170 Blk-Headed and 245 Herring Gulls, also a large number of Wood Pigeons, c825 of them. SC.  A walk from the Frinton end of site, through and up to the Farm, taking in the fields beyond the Golf Course, supplied a Chaffinch, L B B GullMoorhen, 2 Blackbirds, 3 Corn Buntings, 4 Skylarks and 3 Swallows along the route, while the Paddocks held a Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, 2 Mistle Thrush, 7 Redwings and 10 Fieldfares, along with 2 Carrion Crows and some 60+ Wood Pigeons.  The Coot, after a long period of not seeing one of these on the Pond, was there for the second day, alongside the Mute Swan, a drake Tufted Duck and 9 Mallards.  On the wildlife front, 2 Hares were noted during this survey. BS.  Viewing from the hide, included 3 Snipe, 5 Turnstones, 10+ Redshanks, 18 Avocets and 23 Blk T Godwits, 4 Canada Geese and 10 Shelducks.  6+ Swallows were also noted from the hide.  Singles of Chiffchaff and Firecrest were along the Approach Road. IM/MR.  During the afternoon a further visit to the Farm, produced a pair of Mandarin Ducks over and above the morning's counts. MR.

15th - A bright sunny morning with some cloud, including some mottled grey ones and temperature readings along the coast of +8 degrees before 08.00hrs.  The WSW through SW winds, varied 10mph to 22mph and gusting was of up to 25mph.  The afternoon saw a change of wind direction to WNW and it remained dry.  Beginning with a survey over the road and then across to the Approach Road, the former held 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Firecrest, the latter, 2 Chiffchaffs and 1 FirecrestMR.  The Dell provided singles of Blackcap (female) and Whitethroat*.  A Yellow Wagtail, 8+ Wheatears and a Sparrowhawk were viewed from the hide and the Wader count for the scrape, gave 4 Dunlin, 12 Curlews, 31 Blk T Godwits and 41 Avocets.  Amongst the Avocets was a returning Colour-ringed bird (ringed in France).  The scrape and surrounding grazing marsh also held 4 Canada Geese, 2 Shelducks, 3 Shoveler and a vastly reduced count of Teal and Wigeon which were this morning at c50 and c15 respectively.  The walk and continued survey through to the second turret, yielded 4 Linnets, 6 Skylarks, 10 Meadow Pipits and 1 Kestrel.  Some 30+ Swallows were seen in total over the site. An injured Water Rail was located today, the bird was placed under nearby cover. IM/MR.  The return wander to the Carpark supplied superb views of a Cetti's Warbler along the brook that runs near to Tariq. MR

Of note, there have again been several colour-ringed birds over this last 10 days.  These have been added to our designated pages and where these are new birds to the Haven, these will be updated as the information comes through from their respective ringing schemes.  Several have been returning birds and a couple of them are giving the impression that the Haven is an annual trip!!  

16th - Initially grey, the sun broke through later on, although clouds were evident throughout.  SW winds reached speeds of 25mph with gusting of up to c29mph, keeping the temperature around +9 degrees.  Surveying along the Approach Road this morning supplied just 2 Chiffchaffs (singing) of any note.  The viewing from the hide included 10+ Swallows, a Kestrel, Med Gull and a Coot.  A Brent, 4 Canada and 12 Greylag Geese were on and around the scrape and the surrounding grazing marsh, as were 2 Gadwall, 5 Shelducks, 10 Wigeon and 15 Teal.  The counts were completed with 2 Oystercatchers, 3 Snipe, 3 Turnstones, 3 Whimbrel*, 24 Redshanks, 31 Blk T Godwits, 34 Avocets and 34 Curlew. IM.  

17th - Some mist around this morning and generally alot of grey cloud-cover.  S through SSE winds from morning until early afternoon varied from 13mph through 19mph along with gusting of up to 25mph.  The temperature only reached +8 degrees along the coast for the duration but felt much colder.  A morning survey by one observer found that the Approach Road again held 2 Chiffchaffs, the Dell held 2 Whitethroats and 2 House Sparrows, while a Firecrest was located in the bushes behind Tariq.  3 Yellow Wagtails and a Reed Bunting were amongst the notes of the species seen from the hide this morning and the Gulls included another Colour-ringed bird.  A Ruff was seen 'briefly on flooded marsh to right of the scrape' with 2 Coot, 2 Snipe, 2 Oystercatchers, 25+ Redshanks, 27 Blk T Godwits and 31 Avocets being across the scrape itself.  Also in this vicinity were 13 G B B and 15 L B B Gulls, 2 Shelducks, 2 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 8 Wigeon, 22 Teal, 1 Brent and 5 Canada Geese. MR.  A second Firecrest was located along the Approach Road (09.30hrs) by a second observer and further additions to the initial report were of a Pintail (fem) on the pools beyond Tariq, 2 Red-T Divers (summer plum) were on the sea, while the far side of the scrape yielded 4 Yellow Wagtails, the island and the grazing marsh, 5 Turnstones and 3 Dunlins respectively and to the right of the hide there was a Knot* (winter plum).  Early afternoon, 2 Med Gulls (ad+imm) were viewed over the road. GB.  

18th - It was a bit grim at times this morning but the sun persisted through the day........ although late afternoon saw the slight interference of a very heavy downpour complete with some thunder and lightning.  Very strong SW morning winds of 23mph through 34mph along with gusting of up to 42mph, increased later to 43+mph and gusting of 51mph.  Observations this morning began with a Firecrest and 2 Chiffchaffs along the Approach Road, a Whitethroat in the Sailing Club compound and a Siskin that dropped onto the trees behind the Dipping Pond (carpark).  A second Siskin later flew S over the mounds.  Across the scrape and grazing marsh, totals were of a Sparrowhawk, 1 Ruff, 2 Snipe, 2 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers, 10 Curlew, 20+ Redshanks, 23 Avocets and 26 Blk T Godwits, alongside 2 Brent, 2 Greylag and 6 Canada Geese, 3 Gadwall, 8 Wigeon, 10 Shelducks and c20 Teal. MR.  Additions from another survey, included 12 Swallows that were seen across the scrape and Sewage Farm areas, a Peregrine, 1 Whimbrel, 4 Turnstones, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 2 more Whitethroats and a Sedge Warbler* (the latter was singing to the right of the hide by the first bridge).  The walk to the Frinton end of site gave 7 Linnets and 20+ singing Skylarks.  A subsequent visit to the Farm supplied a drake Tufted Duck, 1 Coot and a Little Grebe on the Farm Pond, while a single Corn Bunting was noted and a total of 12 Wheatears were in this vicinity. SV

19th - Very grey and cool out there during the morning with just a 'few' brighter patches of sky.  Turning brighter for late morning, the afternoon unfortunately saw some heavy downpours.  Initial wind direction and speeds were of WNW, 15mph through 22mph and gusting of up to 27mph, these moved to Easterlies by the afternoon.  Noted on the board for today were a Swift*, 5 Yellow Wagtails and 3 Whitethroats. PRD/HE.  Surveying that began with the Farm this morning, gave 2 Tufted Ducks (drakes) on the Farm Pond along with a Coot, also 2 Whitethroats and 2 Corn Buntings.  Whilst watching a Common Buzzard atop fencing, a Water Rail walked out, across the bit of path and down the other side.  A female Marsh Harrier, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker were in the Farm and fields vicinity.  On the main site, a Sedge Warbler was in the same area as per yesterday and both a Goldcrest and a Cetti's Warbler were near to Tariq.  6 Siskins (2+2+2) flew over heading N, a Sand Martin was noted, as were 12 Swallows.  Along the Approach Road there was the unfortunate finding of a dead male Blackcap. SV.  The Farm Pond held the same during an evening wander and 2 of each Whitethroat and Corn Bunting were possibly the same birds as earlier. PBr/KBr.   

20th - A heavy overnight frost greeted all this morning but the day proved sunny and bright throughout with some ENE through NE winds of up to 9mph and some gusting of much lower speeds than of late - at up to 12mph along the coast.  Observations on this warmer Spring day, included that of a Lesser Whitethroat* by the ringing compound.GG.  3 singing Chiffchaffs and 2 Blackcaps were along the Approach Road while 2 Whitethroats and another 4 Blackcaps were in the bush/hedge area next to the boating compound.  The later return journey from the hide gave a Firecrest in the carpark bushes.  12+ Swallows were amongst the species viewed across the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and viewable skyline.  Other totals for this vicinity consisted of 2 Little Egrets, 1 Ruff, 3 Oystercatchers, 20+ Redshank, 21 Avocets, 38 Blk T Godwits, 2 Canada Geese, 18 Shelducks, 15 Teal with the Wigeon today down to just 2. IM.

21st - Another generally bright day with some cloud around and initial NE winds that varied between a breeze of c2mph and 11mph with occasional gusting of up to 14mph.  Wind speeds increased later to c22mph and direction turned through S to Westerlies by mid-evening.  A few observers were around and about the site today, the main report included that of both the Sedge Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat being near the hide and views from this point including 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Little Egret and a Common Buzzard.  A Turnstone and 1 Ruff were alongside 2 Snipe, 2 Oystercatchers, 20+ Redshanks, 22 Avocets and 24 Blk T Godwits, 5 Canada Geese, 2 Shoveler, 10 Shelducks and 10 Teal.  During this particular survey, the carpark trees, bushes and hedgerows along with fly-overs, provided counts of 2 Whitethroats, 1 Little Owl, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk and some 12+ Swallows. IM.  A morning walk from the Farm down to and around the main site and the return journey, provided a Water Rail again near the Farm Pond, 1 Wheatear near the second hide, 3+ Whimbrel, a female Black Redstart in the vicinity of the Sewage Farm and 2 distant but possible White Wagtails. CB.  An early afternoon survey noted a Lesser Whitethroat again by the ringing compound, while an L R P* was located on the scrape, followed a short time later by the sight of a Water Pipit in this same area. PRD.    

22nd - Initially bright, the skies clouded over by c09.30hrs with the sun remaining on/off throughout the day.  S through SW winds were this morning of speeds up to 12mph with gusting of up to 14mph.  The afternoon saw stronger winds of up to 20mph and 24mph respectively.  The coastal temperature reached a high of +10 degrees.  At least two observers surveyed the site today, taking in the area over the road, along the Approach Road, through the Dell, carpark and onto the hide, before continuing with a walk to the third turret.  Singles of Cetti's Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Goldcrest were near to Tariq, 2 House Sparrows were by/on the mounds, 3 Chiffchaffs were spread from over the road to the Approach Road while 4 Blackcaps were across both of these areas and also by Tariq and a total of 6 Whitethroats were noted from the Approach Road to the mounds.  The later return to the carpark area (from the sluice end) provided a Firecrest in the 'first set of bushes'.  From the hide to the third turret, species added included 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Buntings, 10 Meadow Pipits and 12 Skylarks.  3 Whimbrel flew over during this walk.  A Water Pipit was again viewable from the hide, along with 6 Yellow Wagtails, a Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Marsh HarrierCommon Buzzard, 2 Little Egrets and 2 Grey Herons.  Waders comprised 1 Ruff, 2 Oystercatchers, 4 Snipe, 5 Dunlin, 5 Turnstones, 18 Avocets and c25 Redshanks.  Not a single Blk T Godwit was seen on the site during this survey.  Neither were there any Wigeon (for the second day running) but there were counts of 1 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall, 6 Shelducks and c20 Teal, also 2 Greylag and 5 Canada Geese. IM/MR.   

23rd - Winds of a WNW direction with speeds of 11mph up to 20mph and gusting of up to 25 were in play by 08.30hrs this morning, along with a temperature reading of +11 degrees (this reached +15 later).  By late afternoon and into early evening the winds were at SSE and there had been a slight increase in strength.  Several observers were on and around the site at various times today.  Initial surveying of both the area over the road and the Approach Road gave 2 Willow Warblers*, 3 Blackcaps, 4 Lesser and 6 Common Whitethroats and 7 Chiffchaffs, a Marsh Harrier quartered the marsh adjacent to the Approach Road/Wood, while the Dell held 2 House Sparrows along with singles of Blackcap and Lesser Whitethroat.  The area near to Tariq supplied another 2 Willow Warblers, also 2 Linnets and singles of Lesser and Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Cetti's Warbler. IM/MR.  Species viewed from the hide included 1 Pied and 6 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Wheatear, 1 Kestrel and 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Ruff, 1 Dunlin, 2 Curlew, 7 Blk T Godwits, 18 Avocets and c30 Redshanks.  Not too many Ducks and Geese across this vicinity today with counts of 1 Tufted Duck, 3 Gadwall, 15 Shelducks, c20 Teal and 5 Canada Geese. IM/MR/SC/PC/RJ.  Early evening news, gave that the Cetti's Warbler located near to Tariq "is now sporting a shiny new ring". PNt

24th - The bright, sunny start continued on through the day along with SW winds that by 07.30hrs were of c9mph with some gusting of up to 13mph - these later varied up to 22mph and 26mph respectively.  +9 degrees was the early morning coastline temperature.  Several observers visited various areas of the site today.  Over the road, the Approach Road, Dell and carpark trees and bushes held between them, a L-T Tit, 2 Goldfinches, 3 Blackcaps, 1 Lesser and 4 Common Whitethroats, 6 Chiffchaffs and 2 Little Owls of note, while beyond the memorials, 2 Med Gulls were seen to fly over the pools. MR/IM.  Viewing from the hide gave a variety that included the first noted Common Sandpiper* of this Haven Year and also 2 male Blue-Headed Wagtails.  3 Yellow Wagtails and a Cetti's Warbler were noted, as were 12 Swallows and singles of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard.  Along with the Common Sand were 1 Dunlin, 1 Ruff, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Snipe, 2 Coot, 3 Ringed Plovers, 4 Turnstones, 14 Blk T Godwits, 20+ Redshanks and 30 Avocets.  Completing the counts for the scrape and it's surrounding grazing marsh were a drake Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall, 7 Shelducks, c15 Teal, 2 Canada and 2 Greylag Geese. MR/PRD/IM.  A late and quick look at the Farm Pond saw and heard Little Grebe, a Coot was again present as was a Tufted Duck and located nearby were a pair of Mistle Thrushes. SC.

25th - After rainfall during the night, another bright, sunny morning that became a glorious day.  SSW through SW winds, varied from 5mph up to 16mph and occasional gusting was of up to 18mph.  The early temperature of +9 degrees improved to at least +14 along the coast.  An early start by one observer, gave counts of 3 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps (singing), 4 Lesser and 12+ Common Whitethroats and 1 Little Owl along the areas from over the road, up the Approach Road and through to Tariq, while on the pools beyond the memorials were 4 Avocets and a Pintail (fem). MR.  Singles of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard were viewed from the hide, as were 1 Sand Martin, 2 Yellow Wagtails and c20 Swallows.  A Cetti's Warbler was heard in the vicinity but not seen.  At this time, a Greenshank* was on the scrape with 1 Ruff, 3 Dunlin, 3 Turnstones, 4 Snipe, 4 Oystercatchers, 12 Blk T Godwits, 26 Avocets and 30+ Redshanks.  The Ducks and Geese comprised 2 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall, 10 Shelducks, 30+ Teal, 5 Canada and 2 Greylag Geese. IM/MR.  A short time later, 2 Ringed Plovers dropped onto the scrape, 2 Med Gulls were seen to fly over the scrape and head towards the Sewage Farm, whilst seen heading in the opposite direction, 2 Greenshanks flew over the scrape and continued towards Frinton.  Rounding up the day's species were 2 Wheatears - these being located on the meadow by the pool. IM.

26th - Overnight rain continued on into this morning until c11.00hrs - then was on/off from c14.15hrs to the early evening.  Some brighter spells but very cool out there at around the +8 degrees with initially Northerly winds that turned to E, then back to NE.  Wind speed and gusting varied throughout from 12mph up to 22mph and 20mph up to 30mph respectively.  The first report in this morning (08.40hrs) was of a Grasshopper Warbler* singing from the corner pond area opposite the toilet block.  After hearing the bird, it was seen twice very briefly atop the right-hand brambles during a further 20/30minutes. IM/PRD.  At c13.20hrs the Grasshopper Warbler began singing on/off after over two hours of silence from it, c13.45hrs saw the Gropper silently head up the top of the bramble into the above immediate tree branches and there it sat for a good five+ minutes giving two observers some cracking views. PRD/KA.  Of note, the previous record of Gropper at the Haven was in 2003 and today's bird is the second record in 'April'. The viewing from the hide gave another two new Haven Year birds with a Pectoral Sandpiper* that was seen for a while but had disappeared from view as at mid-day and also a Reed Warbler*.  Other waders on the scrape at this time were 1 L R P, 4 Greenshanks, 5 Turnstones, 5 Oystercatchers, 10 Dunlin, 10+ Redshanks, 14 Avocets and 37 Blk T Godwits.  Also in the area were 5 Common Gulls, 2 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, 10+ Teal and 11 Shelducks, whilst the grassed/grazing areas, reedbeds, brambles and viewable skyline from the hide, yielded 1 Water Pipit, 7 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 3 Willow Warblers, 6 Chiffchaffs, 6 Whitethroats, 2 House Martins, 30+ Swallows and a Common Buzzard.  Across the site in general were some 20 Wheatears during this particular survey. IM/PRD.  Early afternoon, further viewing from the hide supplied at least 1 Blue-headed Wagtail amongst an increased total of 20+ Yellow Wagtails and both Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat numbers were up to 3+ and 8 respectively.  Surveying along the seawall from the Frinton end down to the hide, gave 1 Whimbrel on the seawall, 12 Dunlin flying N off-shore and further additional counts of 2 Willow and 2 Sedge Warblers, 6 Yellow Wagtails (Golf Course) and at least 36 Wheatears over and above the earlier counts, with some of the latter species 'moving off high N once the rain had cleared'. PBr.  Surveying the Dell gave the additions of 1+ Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 male Blackcaps, 3+ Common and 4+ Lesser Whitethroats, 9 Greenfinches, fly-overs of 40+ Swallows (26+variables) and a Wheatear that flew in from over the seawall. KA

27th - What a morning for the weather!  Grey cloud-cover, rain, a tremendous downpour of hailstones, some blue sky in smaller patches and a sun that was constantly trying to break through.  The winds were very variable through the morning, ENE, N and E and of speeds 4mph up to 12mph and gusting of up to 16mph, alongside a temperature of barely +7 degrees.  A few observers made some early starts on site but by 09.30hrs there had been neither sight nor sound of the Gropper.  There was however, a Nightingale* at 06.30hrs at the lower end of site. PL.  2 Lesser and 4 Common Whitethroats along with 2 Chiffchaffs were the noted birds in the Dell and it's surrounding bushes this morning.  A Sedge Warbler, 12+ Yellow Wagtails, 2 House Martins and c30 Swallows were viewable during observations from the hide with the scrape area at this time, yielding 1 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Dunlin, 4 Blk T Godwits, 4 Turnstones, 12 Avocets, 25+ Redshanks, 2 Med Gulls, 2 Canada Geese, 1 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, 12 Shelducks and 12 Teal. IM/PL.

28th - Southerly winds of up to 15mph and gusting of up to 27mph helped to keep the coastline temperature at a cool +11 degrees.  It was generally bright and sunny throughout.  Again there were several birders observing the site today, reports of which gave a Garden Warbler* over the road early on, also a Cuckoo*, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Common and 3 Lesser Whitethroats, while the Approach Road held 1 Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaffs and within the wooded area along here, there were 6 Blackcaps in one small group.  Through the Dell and the area near to Tariq, the totals were of 1 Cetti's Warbler (Tariq), 3 Lesser and 10 Common Whitethroats, 3 Linnets and 3 Reed Warblers, with notes of 2 Med Gulls that flew over the Dell.  Singles of Little Egret, Common Sandpiper and Greenshank were on view to five observers in the hide, as were 2 Oystercatchers, 5 Turnstones, 7 Avocets, 10+ Redshanks, 5 Shelducks, 10+ Teal and 4 Canada Geese.  A White Wagtail, 2 Pied and 2 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Reed Warbler were in the nearby vicinity.  Both a Common Buzzard and a Kestrel were noted. IM/MR/DJ/MJ/PL.

29th - A cool, grey start with Westerly winds of 10+mph gave way to a mostly bright, sunny day.  The site was much quieter today than has been over the last few days.  Surveying from over the road (early morning) through to the Dell and onto the hide, gave totals of 1 Kestrel and 2 Sparrowhawks, 3 Reed Warblers, 3 Blackcaps and 3 Chiffchaffs, 5 Linnets and 6 Common Whitethroats.  2 Barnacle Geese were seen as they flew over the Dell at 07.40hrs.  Across the scrape, grazing marsh and viewable skyline - from the hide - were 1 of each Dunlin and Greenshank, 5 Blk T Godwits, 14 Avocets and 20+ Redshanks, also 1pr Gadwall, 1pr Shoveler, 8 Shelducks, 2 Canada and 2 Greylag Geese and rounding up the species was a Common Buzzard.  Of note, one of the Redshanks on site today was a colour-ringed bird that has previous years been recorded on this patch several times. MR 

30th - Mostly bright and sunny again through the day which began with E through ENE winds of speeds up to 16mph and gusting up to 20mph - these winds increased during the day to 26mph and 29mph respectively.  The trees, bushes and hedgerows were found to be more lively during today's survey with the area over the road through to the Dell and then to the hide providing 1 Cetti's and 6 Reed Warblers, 2 Wheatears, 4 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps, 6 Lesser and 14 Whitethroats, 3 Jays, a Kestrel and 2 Sparrowhawks.  Across the scrape and surrounding area, 7 Yellow Wagtails, a Sand Martin, c12 Swallows and a Common Buzzard were viewed, while the Waders comprised 1 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Oystercatchers, 8 Avocets and 25+ Redshanks.  The only Ducks and Geese of any note were 2 Teal, 8 Shelducks and 4 Canada Geese.  Slightly later while walking back to the carpark area, 7 Greylag Geese were seen to fly over the scrape heading towards Frinton. IM/MR.      

As at 30th April, the Haven 2013 Year List stands at 143.