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" changed for several species in 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). 

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Site Year Tick*

APRIL 2014

1st - Initial light to moderate winds (breeze to c6mph) of a NNW direction were alongside quite a bright and sunny morning.  A site survey found that the start of the month 'bird-wise' was much as per the month of March ended, although an addition to the Haven 2014 Year List was much appreciated and came in the form of a Yellow Wagtail*. This bird was viewed during the morning as it showed to the right of the hide.  Also of note for this vicinity was the count of 52 Avocets that included three previously noted colour-ringed birds. MR.

2nd - A turn of wind direction since yesterday to that of E through ENE with speeds variable from morning until late afternoon of up to 15mph and slightly higher gusting of 18mph.  The temperature readings as at 07.30hrs were of +10 degrees and the day itself being generally bright and sunny (Cloud-cover for a while over lunchtime/early afternoon. Also the arrival of some of the Sahara Desert Dust !?!).  Enjoying a very pleasant morning, at least one observer was on and around the site.  The Approach Road held a singing Chiffchaff and up from the carpark was once again a Cetti's Warbler.  The pools beyond the Memorials at this time, held some 5 Blk T Godwits and 6 Avocets of note.  Moving through to the main hide, surveying the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh, localised hedgerows and visible skyline, there were counts made of a further 2 Blk T Godwits, also 4 Snipe, 26+ Redshanks (inc. a returning bird), c40 Lapwings and another 48 Avocets (inc. 2 ringed), that were all alongside 2 Greylag and the 11 Canada Geese, 7 Shoveler, 9 Shelducks, c30 Teal and c60 Wigeon.  A Little Egret was in the vicinity and a Common Buzzard was seen.  A single Reed Bunting was recorded, as were 12 Skylarks and 18 Meadow Pipits with notes made of 'a steady movement of small groups of Linnets through the site'. MR.  

3rd - A bit of a grey and slightly misty morning initially with ENE winds of speeds up to 16mph and gusting of 19mph.  The local coastal temperature readings were showing +10 degrees by 08.00hrs but by 10.00hrs and even with a partial break-through of the sun, it felt somewhat on the chillier side.  The first report in for this morning was of another new Haven 2014 Year List tick - that of an L R P* on the scrape (11.06hrs but no further sign by 11.50hrs) and also 1 Wheatear in the vicinity. MR.  The rest of the morning and on into the afternoon provided further species for the 2014 Year List with sightings of 1 House Martin*(MR), 1 Swallow*(IM) and early afternoon on the scrape 1 Water Pipit*(MR).  Whilst the Water Pipit is not classed as an annual species readily located at the Haven, it is notable that in five of the most recent eight years records, this species has been recorded here.  Further reports for the day included that the Cetti's Warbler was heard singing on route from the carpark to the Mounds and that the pools beyond the Memorials were rather busy by all accounts!  This particular area held 1 Oystercatcher, 5 Blk T Godwits, 12 Avocets, 1 pair Gadwall, 1 pair Shoveler, 6 Teal, c10 Wigeon and some +/-60 Gulls (mixed). MR.  Surveying from the hide, the totals across the scrape, surrounding grazing areas and localised reedbeds/hedgerows were of 2 Turnstones, 2 Snipe, a further 4 Oystercatchers, at least 20+ Redshanks, c30 Lapwings and another 29 Avocets (41 day total).  Ducks and Geese in this area numbered 6 Shoveler, 7 Shelducks, c20 Wigeon, c30 Teal, 6 Greylag and the 11 Canada Geese.  A Yellow Wagtail (see Gallery) was showing once again and other notes were of 1 Reed Bunting, 4 Linnets, 10 Skylarks and 12 Meadow Pipits. PR/LR/IM/MR.  Additional records today included 8+ Greenfinches. LH.

4th - A dull, grey and misty hue that from early this morning, barring a brief attempt of sun during the afternoon, lasted pretty much through the whole day.  Be it partly due to 'desert dust' or not, it was certainly far from being a bright 'Spring' day.  Variable speed winds from c8mph up to 19mph and gusting at times of up to 22mph which prior to mid-afternoon were NW/WNW.  Early evening saw a turn of wind direction to SSW.  No reports returned.

5th - A bright, sunny and glorious morning with SW through SSW winds of light to moderate (13mph max) and gusting of slightly higher at 15mph.  By 10.00hrs the temperature readings were at +10 degrees.  The first report for the day was that of a Red Kite* (PNt) that was initially seen to be working its way down the coast before lingering over the carpark area (08.25hrs).  The bird was last seen heading towards the Farm buildings (c09.15hrs). A Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk and a Marsh Harrier were also viewable today.  Apart from the aforementioned, viewing from the main hide also gave counts of 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 adult Med Gulls, 2 Oystercatchers, 4 Snipe, 12+ Redshanks, 64 Avocets and 16 Shelducks of note.  The pools beyond the Memorials held 1 pair Gadwall and 6 Blk-T GodwitsKM/IM/PNt.  The surprise bird for today was that of a 2cy GOSHAWK* seen as it flew over the site and be it only a record shot, a photo was taken at the time and this species has now been added to the Haven Records. PNt/KM.  On a Wildlife side of things, an Adder and a Brimstone Butterfly were both noted. PNt/PNs.  

6th - After a night of rain, the morning continued in a very grey manner and also produced more rain, although the temperature was up at +12 degrees by 10.00hrs.  At this time, the winds were of SW direction and variable moderate to strong (14mph - 24mph) and gusting was of 27+mph.  No reports returned.

7th - Today's weather also featured some rain (on/off all day), the temperature was again at +12 degrees and by the early evening, wind direction was variable WSW/SW and had reached a maximum of 25mph throughout with gusting up to and in excess of 32mph.  The Approach Road held a singing Chiffchaff this morning but due to the very dark incoming rain clouds, the observer decided to head quickly to the main hide!  On the return route later in the morning, the Cetti's Warbler (heard only) was somewhere beyond the Sewage Farm. MR.  Viewing from the main hide during the morning (three observers) taking in the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh, skyline, localised reedbeds and hedgerows, gave a varied mix of species and also included 2 Ring Ouzels* that appeared at 11.58hrs.  A superb male Wheatear was noted, as were 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Reed Buntings, 4 Linnets, c12 Skylarks and c20 Meadow Pipits, also 1 Sand Martin* and c6 Swallows.  Waders at this time, consisted of 2 Oystercatchers, c8 Snipe, 20+ Curlew, c30 Lapwings, c20 Redshanks and 32 Avocets (including a colour-ringed bird), while Ducks and Geese were 2 Gadwall, 3 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler and c15 Teal, 4 Greylag and 6 Canada GeesePRD/IM/MR.

8th - After a night of on/off rain, the morning brought with it some much stronger winds that reached a minimum of 30mph and the gusting reached at least 37mph.  A degree cooler than of yesterday with readings of +11 degrees at most.  It was a bit quiet around the hedgerows and trees this morning but a Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaffs were viewed over the road (opp. Approach Road), as was a Sparrowhawk.  The sight of 13 Shag sitting together off-shore by the Sailing Club Buoy was a nice surprise for the observer, while heading (mostly) in a SE direction, were several Cormorants.  Behind the pools beyond the Memorials were c20 Curlew and calling as they flew around the area were 2 Med Gulls.  Moving through to the main hide, counts were then made of 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Wheatear, 2 Swallows and a Common Buzzard, a single Little Egret, 2 Gadwall, 3 Wigeon, 5 Shoveler, 6 Shelducks and 11 Teal.  Waders this morning proved to include singles of Dunlin and Turnstone, 2 Blk T Godwits, 2 Ruff (latter at 10.16hrs. See Gallery), 2 Oystercatchers, c20 Redshanks, c30 Lapwings and 52 Avocets that today included two colour-ringed birds. MR.

9th - A bright and sunny day alongside WNW strong winds of up to 18mph and extra blasts of up to 22mph.  The temperature along the coastline showed readings of +11 degrees.  Surveying over the road and along the Approach Road first thing today provided views of 2 Chiffchaffs and 4 Blackcaps (2male+2fem) while 2 Sparrowhawks were seen generally over the site.  The pools beyond the Memorials and the nearby grazing marsh yielded 10 Avocets and 30+ Curlew respectively.  Across the main scrape areas, the Ducks and Geese were reported as being much per recent days, as were counts of Redshanks and Lapwings.  Of particular note, there was a Grey Plover seen on the right-hand marshland and Avocets in this vicinity numbered 42 and included the return of 'Haven Avocet GB/GY'  (see Gallery).  At this time, neither the Wheatear nor Yellow Wagtail or indeed the Ruff appeared to be around.  The return wander from the hide, gave views of 1 Purple Sandpiper and 3 Turnstones (all of which were on the sluice), while the journey heading out of the site (11.14hrs) gave a S E Owl* that in its flight, headed towards the observer before going over the hedge and subsequently being lost to view behind the Dipping Pond.  The same or possibly another S E Owl was hunting beyond the Golf Course during the evening (19.30hrs). MR.

10th - The wind direction turned from NNW through to SSW today, while the speeds dropped from the earlier 12mph down to at times barely 4mph and 15mph gusting dropped to just c9mph.  The temperature settled at +12 degrees.  A 45 minute site visit provided of note 1 Cetti's Warbler, also a count of 9 Avocets and 8 Teal on the pools beyond the Memorials, a mixed Tit flock, several Greenfinches and Chaffinches being close by, while a Common Buzzard viewed initially over the carpark, was constantly mobbed across the sky and finally disappeared high over Gt. Holland. KA. Surveying from the main hide by two observers, gave counts of 1 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Swallows, also 1 Little Egret, 3 Oystercatchers, c20 Redshanks, c30 Lapwings and c50 Avocets (the latter species being +/- those on the pools), while noted Ducks were 15 Teal and 18 Shelducks (the Teal also possibly +/- any from the pools).  Generally across the site, some 5 Chiffchaff, 8+ Blackcaps and 8+ Willow Warblers* were noted.  Either the same or another Common Buzzard was seen to fly over the pools beyond the Memorials. IM/MR.  Of additional note, 2 Herring Gulls on the Pools beyond the Memorials were colour-ringed. MR.    

11th - Wind direction varied somewhat today in its moving back and forth through N/NE/N.  Mostly moderate speeds of c12mph with slightly higher gusting at c15mph.  Cloud cover at times but blue skies remained visible beyond and it was generally a warm day.  A Lesser Whitethroat* and a Whimbrel* became the next two species to be added to the Haven 2014 Year List.  These two were amongst a report that also included 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps and 4 Willow Warblers, 4 Wheatears (1 atop a fir tree & 3 on the route to the Golf Course) and 4+ Swallows.  Singles of both Common and Med Gulls were viewed from the hide, as were a Little Egret and a Marsh Harrier.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, the counts were of 2 Blk T Godwits, 2 Snipe, 9 Dunlin, 12+ Redshanks, 42 Avocets and 52 Curlew, along with 2 Wigeon, 8 Shelducks, 12 Shoveler and c15 Teal. IM/PRD.  During the afternoon, one observer surveyed the Farm areas (accessible/viewable from along the public footpaths) and reported totals of 2 Corn Buntings that were singing from the Rape-seed field and 2 of each Little Grebe and Coot on the Farm Pond. IM.

12th - Mostly a bright day - although there was some on/off cloud-cover and it was generally quite cool out there.  The temperature dropped rapidly from early afternoon.  Several observers were on and around the site with the initial report being of a Water Pipit that was viewable in front of the hide at c11.10hrs. IM/PL.  A Ringing session also took place with 2 Chiffchaffs being amongst the selection of today's species. PNt.  During the earlier part of the morning, there were 2 Purple Sandpipers seen on the rocks.  A return visit during the latter part of the afternoon found that the Water Pipit had moved on but across the site, there was a male Ring Ouzel on the fence to the land-side of the second hide and a Little Grebe was in front of it.  A Wildlife note was of a Brown Hare in the close vicinity. PNs.  

13th - Bright, sunny and some cloud, alongside NW/NNW winds of up to 14mph and gusting of c19mph.  Temperature readings for the coast gave +10 degrees.  Again there were a few observers on and around the site today.  Surveying by two observers, included coverage of the area over the road (opp. Approach Road), through to the sluice, viewing from the main hide and also the walk along to the third turret.  The trees, bushes and hedgerows through to the sluice area, provided counts of 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warblers, 6 Chiffchaff and 8 Blackcaps and a total of 3 Sparrowhawks along the route.   While observing over the road, a Red Kite flew overhead before drifting towards and over the scrape and was then seen to continue in the direction of the Golf Course.  Reported totals of Waders and Ducks on the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh (from the main hide) were 1 Whimbrel, 2 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 2 Oystercatchers, 10+ Redshanks, c30 Curlew, 38 Avocets, 2 Wigeon, 8 Shelducks, 12 Shoveler and c15 Teal.  Both a Common Gull and a Yellow Wagtail were in the vicinity, while overhead, over the scrape and in the visible skyline were the noted species of 5+ Swallows, 1 Common Buzzard and a Marsh Harrier.  The wander past the second turret yielded 2 Purple Sandpipers and 2 Turnstones below the seawall at this point, from the third turret there were views of a Little Grebe that was again in front of the second hide and across on the Golf Course, were 2 WheatearsIM/PL.

14th - Temperature readings for 08.00hrs were already at +10 degrees and by mid-day were up at +12 degrees.  A mostly bright and very sunny day although some cloud did appear.  NW/N winds varied in speed from 9mph up to 21mph and gusting reached up to 26mph.  Mid-afternoon, a L R P was located on the scrape (15.15hrs). PRD.  An evening visit (18.00-19.30hrs) provided views of a S E Owl quartering the fields near to the Golf Course. DS

15th - As at 09.30hrs, the wind direction was variable ENE through NE and of moderate speeds up to 12mph along with some gusting of c15mph.  Coastline temperature readings at this time were +8 degrees and despite alot of sunny weather during the day, it was still cool by the afternoon.  The first report in for today was of a Little Gull (2cy) at 08.35hrs on the scrape. MR.  The scrape along with various areas were viewed by different observers throughout the morning until at least 12.30hrs and a WeBS count was also carried out.  The following counts are therefore the higher (not combined totals) of those taken from each of the submitted reports.  The totals were of 2 Snipe, 2 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshanks, 22 Curlew, 30 Lapwings and 50 Avocets - the latter including four colour-ringed birds (one being GB-GN) .  Also 3 drake Wigeon, 7 Shoveler (6 drakes + 1 duck), 9 Mallards, 12 Teal and 13 Shelducks along with 2 Greylag and 7 Canada Geese, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Mute Swans and 10 Moorhens.  Apart from the Little Gull, there were 1 Common, 2 G B B, 3 L B B, 25 Black-headed and 310 Herring Gulls.  Around the bushes and hedgerows, the notable species included 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 male Reed Buntings (1 singing), 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 6 Blackcaps, 6 Meadow Pipits, 10 Skylarks and 1 Green WoodpeckerPR/LR/IM/MR/SC.  Of note, there were also 2 Purple Sandpipers on the Sluice, 2 Herring Gulls (colour-ringed) in the Sewage Farm, the pools beyond the Memorials held 2 Ruff, while 2 Sparrowhawks were seen over the grazing marsh and bushes.  A vocal Cetti's Warbler was somewhere beyond the Sewage Farm and also rounds up today's reports. MR.    

16th - Bright and sunny from very early this morning but chilly too!  Temperature readings remained at just +8 degrees until at least 13.00hrs.  Wind direction by this time was at SSE with speeds of up to 15mph and slightly higher gusting of up to 19mph.  No reports returned.

17th - Bright and sunny conditions with SW winds of variable speeds from 14mph through to 22mph and gusting at times of up to 25mph.  Morning temperature readings along the coastline were of +11 degrees and while this increased as the day went on, the wind-chill factor kept it very cool!  A Whitethroat* was located in the Sluice bushes this morning and generally in the bushes and hedgerows around the site were also a Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Chiffchaffs and 8 Blackcaps of note.  Viewing from the main hide provided 2 Pied Wagtails, 2 Linnets, 8 Skylarks and 12 Meadow Pipits with the Waders on and around this vicinity being singles of Dunlin and Snipe, 2 Oystercatchers, 15 Curlew, c20 Redshanks, c30 Lapwings and 27 Avocets.  A Little Grebe was also seen from this location, as were 3 Mute Swans, 2 Greylag and 4 Canada Geese, 2 Wigeon (1pair), 8 Shoveler, 8 Shelducks and 10 Teal.  The skyline gave 2 Sparrowhawks - displaying at the time.  Wildlife notes were of 2 Brown HaresMR

18th - Initial NW winds later moved to NE and apart from the mix of bright sun and at times some very grey clouds, it was also quite cool at times with a rapid drop in temperature before evening arrived.  Surveying on site this morning was from the main hide, where species included 1 Sedge Warbler*, 2 Linnets, 3 Reed Buntings, 6 Skylarks, 12+ Meadow Pipits and 2 Yellow Wagtails, also 3 House Martins and 12+ Swallows.  A Ring Ouzel was seen at the rear of the scrape and then beyond on the back hedge before it was lost to view.  On the scrape and the surrounding grazing marsh were of note, 1 Whimbrel, 9 Curlew, per yesterday some c20 Redshanks and c30 Lapwings while the Avocet count was today at 32 (including two colour-ringed birds, one being GB-GY).  The Duck count consisted of 2 Wigeon, 6 Shoveler, 12 Shelducks and 24 Teal. MR.  

19th - Breezy along the coast with strong winds of up to c21mph and gusting of up to and in excess of 25mph.  A chilly +7 degrees with the wind-chill factor coming from the E through ENE winds.  Mixed skies throughout today - bright and sunny, intermittent with at times some very grey clouds but invariably some blue sky beyond.  A visit to the site this morning yielded a Wheatear, a Sedge Warbler (singing in the reeds), 3 Yellow Wagtails, both House Martins and Swallows and a noted increase to the Lapwings.  A 'dead Gull in the grass' was also noted. MJ.  A further report gave 3 Whitethroats, 5 Whimbrel and a Common Buzzard as additional noted species, while on the Wildlife side a Fox was seen on the site today. AM.  Additional reports gave that 2 Cetti's Warblers were on the site, one being beyond the Sewage Farm, the other along the brook, a Willow Warbler and 3 Lesser Whitethroats were also recorded for the day as were 2 Common Buzzards (+/- the one on the prior report). GG.  Of particular note, a count of 19 Barnacle Geese were seen to fly N by one Haven observer - these were no doubt the same birds seen today between 10.00hrs-12.00hrs over Colne Point, St. Osyth. PL

20th - Some on/off brighter spells during the morning but cloud moved in to give a very grey overcast afternoon and brought some rain too.  Morning winds were of a NE direction.  Of particular note today, was that a Ring Ouzel was once again seen along the back hedges before dropping into the rape field beyond. MR

21st - Considering the promised weather for yesterday and today (Easter Bank Holiday Monday), the area faired better than some until late this afternoon.  Initial winds were N through NE and of light speeds but these increased as the day wore on.  A mostly bright morning into afternoon was followed by overcast skies and eventually some heavy rain that then continued well into the evening and onwards.  Several observers visited the site today and three more species made their 2014 debut on the site too!  Green Sandpiper*, Greenshank* and Spotted Redshank* were all visible on the scrape area at 10.10hrs but whilst two of these remained for at least the next two hours, the Greenshank disappeared after c15minutes.  Also on and around the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and localised reeds/bushes were 2 adult Med Gulls, a Snipe and a Dunlin, 2+ Whimbrel, c20 Redshanks, 25 Avocets and c30 Curlew, 2 Wigeon, 15 Teal and 16 Shelducks.  Singles of Sedge Warbler and Wheatear were viewed, along with 2 Yellow Wagtails.  Hirundines over this vicinity totalled 2 House and 5 Sand Martins, as well as 6 Swallows.  Species on and around the rest of the site included 2 Ruff, 2 Little Egrets, 1 Cetti's Warbler (singing), 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 Lesser and 4 Common Whitethroats, also 2 Kestrels and 2 Sparrowhawks - with the exception of the two Ruff that were on the Pools beyond the Memorials, these latter counts were from the area over the road (opp. Approach Road) through to the Sluice. PRD/PL/IM/MP/PR/LR.       

22nd - Following a night of rain, the wet stuff continued into the early morning but the weather was trying to break from c08.00hrs.  Prior to this time, Southerly winds were of c8mph up to 10+mph and gusting slightly higher at 12mph.  Whilst the sun eventually won the day, the winds increased to 20mph and 23+mph respectively by mid-day before dropping back down to c10mph for late afternoon into early evening - along with a very slight turn of direction towards SSE, opposed to the edge to SSW of the morning.  Today's report took into account the areas from the carpark through to and past the Sluice and then on to the main hide.  Trees, bushes and hedgerows gave just the Cetti's Warbler, a Willow Warbler and a Common Whitethroat of note, the latter bird showing very well by the Sluice Gate, whilst on the Pools beyond the Memorials, the Ruff count had increased to 3.  A Yellow Wagtail was viewable from the main hide at the time of this survey, as were 5 House Martins and 10+ Swallows.  Across the scrape itself and the adjoining grazing marsh were counts of 1 Little Egret, 1 Dunlin, 3 Oystercatchers, 12+ Redshanks and 18 Avocets, all alongside 3 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler, 14 Teal and 14 Shelducks. IM

23rd - A glorious morning from the early hours with bright sun, blue skies beyond white clouds and after some initial stronger speeds (c18mph), the SSE winds settled to those of 4mph to 6mph with the occasional extra blast of up to 11mph.  The coastline temperature readings at 07.00hrs showing +11 degrees.  At least two observers visited the site for today's report and again another species was added to the 2014 Year List.  A Sedge Warbler and 2 Reed Warblers*(PRD) were viewed from the hide, whilst the Cetti's Warbler and a Willow Warbler were noted along the route to it.  Surveying of the trees and bushes also gave 2 Blackcaps, 5 Lesser and 5 Common Whitethroats and also 6 Chiffchaffs.  Wader counts for the visits were of 1 Snipe, 2 Ruff and 16 Avocets with 1 Little Egret, 4 Shoveler and 10 Teal also being reported. IM/PRD.

24th - Westerly winds for this morning, although these at times being barely a breeze and at most 8mph prior to 07.30hrs.  Some extra strength in the occasional gusting of up to 11mph, while the skies at this time - more grey than blue....... but hopefully some sun later.  The sun did win through once again and the day proved quite pleasant with wind speeds remaining light (up to c10mph) although the direction turned to ESE.  Coastline temperature readings reached +12 degrees.  No reports returned.

25th - North Easterlies for this morning with speeds of up to 19mph and gusting of c23mph.  Rain from the early hours continued through until c07.30hrs before easing to leave overcast skies.  Generally brighter conditions by 09.45hrs but there was still cloud-cover.  The temperature readings at this time were at +11 degrees. A Grasshopper Warbler* was located in the reeds in front of the wooden hide although elusive it could be heard reeling every 20 minutes or so. PRD.  The pools beyond the Memorials held 10 Blk T Godwits (PRD) at one point, while the scrape and surrounding area from the main hide gave counts of 16 Bar-T Godwits, along with 1 Greenshank, 1 Golden Plover, 2 Ruff, 14 Whimbrel and 16 Avocets, also 2 Little Egrets, 1pr Wigeon, 8 Teal and 18 Shelducks.  A Yellow Wagtail was viewable, as were a single Sedge Warbler and also 4 Sandwich Terns*.  Through to at least the hide area were c8 Whitethroats and c8 Reed Warblers. IM/PRD.  Coming in from the Frinton end of site, the seawall areas held counts (over & above the previous report) of 1 Lesser and 5 Common Whitethroats (singing), 1 Reed and 4 Sedge Warblers (the latter a noted increase from recent days), 2 Yellow Wagtails on the Golf Course with an additional bird on the scrape (2 x scrape at this viewing) and a total of 2 Wheatears (1 x cracking Greenland male). Off-shore counts included 14 Whimbrel (12+1+1) which may or may not have been the birds from the scrape area earlier.  Heading N were 2 individual Gannets (adults) and also 1 Fulmar (10.07hrs). PBr.  The 'Gropper' was still on site this evening and was reeling for over an hour.  At one point the bird flew out from the reed-bed and literally straight through the legs of the observer before it settled on a post. DS

26th - A grey morning, accompanied by rain and some initial SE winds.  The latter part of the afternoon and into the evening were much clearer along with bright sun but the day throughout was blustery.  News of a ringtail Harrier came in at 09.34hrs for which the I.D. at the time could not be confirmed due to the bird being very on/off with showing itself and the noted characteristics failing to conclude with those of either a Hen or a Monty’s.  The finder, Pete Loud, subsequently spent hours throughout the day waiting, watching (a few other birders arrived at different times) and upon the bird’s re-appearance, gained and noted further definitive traits. The Harrier was viewable on/off again from 17.10hrs through to gone 19.00hrs, at distance from the first turret, also from the Farm and from the lay-by.  The bird when up (flew close to the top of the crops at times) greatly varied it’s flight path from the fields ahead of the first turret, i.e. lower Farm fields, across the fields beyond the rear and to the left of scrape and at one point continued this particular line, flying over the main road, around the field and off as if going towards Gt. Holland Pits, then circling back over the road to the Haven side.  With all the characteristics gained throughout, the bird was deemed a probable adult female PALLID HARRIER* (Later references to literature confirmed this as a definite!)  Other notes for the site today were that the Gropper was neither heard nor seen, whilst the Farm yielded very good numbers of Skylarks and viewing from the lay-by gave a single Yellowhammer*. PL/SL/PRD/HE/KA/AD.          

27th - Initial Easterlies of up to 20mph with stronger gusting, turned slightly as the day went on to a direction of SE before turning back to E.  Several observers were on the site from very early this morning in the hopes of seeing yesterday's Pallid Harrier (ad. fem) as it came out from its overnight roost.  The Pallid Harrier (distant record photo taken) this morning gave views that re-affirmed the species.  Disappearing again after this morning’s viewing the Pallid re-appeared/dropped into the rape field at 14.45hrs. PL/PRD/DS/et al Other reports for the vicinity today included time spent viewing across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh (12.00hrs to 13.00hrs) which in turn provided a count of 1 Common Sandpiper*, 2 Little Egrets, a drake Wigeon and 8 Teal, amongst the Avocets were two colour-ringed birds - including again, one of the 'Haven' ringed.  A Common Buzzard was a distant sighting (over the wood beyond the church) and of the 'smaller' bird species in the localised area, 3 Reed Buntings were all males.  Observations further onto the site gave results when the Grasshopper Warbler (PC) was relocated. SC/PC.  Additional reports gave 2 Cuckoo* (GG), which may or may not have been the same as others reported later in the day (IM/GB), also as per the same +/- with another reported Common Buzzard.  The Gropper continued to remain in the area of the second hide and duly showed on/off - very well at times - in and out of the reed-bed. MR/AD

28th - Variable E through NE winds of c11mph up to 15mph with gusting at times reaching 18mph.  Overall the day was very grey and cool.  Observing the Grasshopper Warbler took up much of the time this morning and this is not surprising when such a bird is being very showy and reeling too (see Gallery).  Along with the Gropper, viewable in and around the reed-bed (from the second hide) were 1 Sedge and 2 Reed Warblers, 6 Reed Buntings, 2 Linnets, 6 Skylarks and 8 Meadow Pipits.  The scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and skyline as viewed from the main hide, yielded singles of Coot, Little Egret, Ruff, Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel, 2 Snipe, 3 Oystercatchers, 7 Blk-T Godwits, 14 Avocets, c20 Redshanks and c30 Lapwings.  Duck and Goose counts gave 2 Wigeon, 3 Shoveler (all drakes), 4 Teal and 12 Shelducks, 4 Greylag and 6 Canada Geese (+1).  Also from the main hide were singles of Sedge Warbler, Yellow Wagtail and Common Buzzard. MR.   

29th - Some light to moderate Easterlies with some extra blasts reaching c16mph, alongside cool temperatures, rain and grey skies.  Observations today were both through the morning and then a return visit during the evening.  The initial survey gave a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap (singing) along the Approach Road, a Cetti's Warbler in the Memorials area and both a Reed Warbler and a Common Whitethroat behind the Sluice.  There was no sign at all of the Gropper at this time but the reed-bed (from second hide) provided 2 Linnets, 5 Reed Buntings, 6 Skylarks and c20 Meadow Pipits, while the additions of 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Buntings, 1 Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail were located in the areas viewable from the main hide.  Across the scrape and grazing marsh were 1 Little Egret and 1 Grey Heron, 1 Bar-T Godwit, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 2 Ruff, 4 Oystercatchers, 18+ Avocets (including a colour-ringed bird), c20 Redshanks and c30 Lapwings.  Also in this vicinity were 2 Wigeon, 3 Shoveler, an increase of Teal to a count of 9, 13 Shelducks and the 6 Canada Geese (+1).  The return wander to the Service Road, added a colour-ringed Herring Gull on the Sewage Farm and on the pools beyond the Memorials, mostly in summer plumage, another 4 Bar-T Godwits along with 7 Blk-T Godwits.  The evening survey added 1 pair Tufted Ducks that were on the scrape and upon leaving the hide for the return walk, 2 Common Terns* flew overhead. MR.

30th – At least four observers were on and around the site today at various times and their surveys took in the areas from one end of the site through to the Frinton end.  Counts included those of 1 Grasshopper Warbler (second hide), 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 3 Blackcaps, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Chiffchaffs, 10+ Common Whitethroats, 1 of each Yellow Wagtail (from main hide), Cuckoo, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk and also 3 Wheatears (on walk to Frinton end).  Waders today proved to be 1 Purple Sandpiper (on route to Frinton end), 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Snipe, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Grey Plovers, 3 Bar-T Godwits, c15 Redshanks and 20 Avocets.  Additional on and around the scrape area were 3 Shoveler and 8 Shelducks. PRD/IM/MR.  Viewing as at 17.19hrs (second hide) found that the Gropper was still on show and that a female Ring Ouzel was also in-situ near to the hide. PL.


As at 30th April, the Haven 2014 Year List stands at: 138.