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). 

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

Site Year Tick*

APRIL 2015

1st - A wander around the Farm area today - keeping to public footpaths - found that of particular note, a Coot* was on the Farm Pond. IM.

2nd - No reports returned.

3rd - No reports returned. 

4th - Located on the first turret (above the main hide) was a female Black Redstart at 09.50hrs. PNt.

5th - The first report in for the day was of a Black Redstart that was seen to be on the mounds at 09.30hrs. IM.  A morning survey (07.15-11.15hrs) began with the carpark trees and bushes that held many Blackbirds, Robins, Greenfinch and Chaffinch while a Chiffchaff was heard close by the Dipping Pond.  Continuing through to the hide, the Pools beyond the Memorials held a mix of Curlew, Shoveler, Blk-headed, Herring and L B B Gulls, by Sluice Cottages were 3 House Sparrows and c5 Dunnock were noted for on the mounds as was the Black Redstart from earlier.  Of particular note across both the scrape, grazing marsh areas were 2 Snipe, 4 Redshank, 28 Avocets, 8 Shelducks, 2 Canada and 4 Greylag Geese.  The reedbeds in front of the hide provided a Water Rail and 3 Reed Buntings.  Further surveying yielded 3 Swallows* (2 flew past the sluice and along the brook + 1 by second hide), also many Meadow Pipits and Skylarks along with 5 Linnets in this vicinity, while both Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier were noted and a Kestrel was seen on the Radar Tower.  A Wildlife note was of an Adder in the reeds near the Golf Course/wooden walkway. SW.   

6th - At least four observers were on the site for this Easter Monday where the highlight was said to be the viewing of 3 S E O's all quartering over the fields next to the Golf Course.  The first Blackcaps* (2no.) of the Haven Year were located by the five-bar gate (just below Sluice Cottages/Boat Club compound), while viewing from the main hide added Sand Martin* (2) to the Year Listing as well.  Over and across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were totals of 3 Swallows, 1 Little Egret, 2 Snipe, 4 Blk T Godwits, c20 Redshank and 47 Avocets, also 10 Shoveler and 12 Shelducks.  The wander along to the second turret gave a Wheatear on the seawall as well as the SEO's. PRD/IM/MR/PL

7th - Several observers were on the site today and while there was nothing of any major note at the Haven, there were a few species to see.  Some 3+ Chiffchaff were along the Approach Road, 2 Goldcrests were located (1xDell + 1xSluice Cottages), 2 Cetti's Warblers (1xBelow Memorials + 1xBehind Sluice) and 3 Reed Buntings, 6+ Linnets and 2 Swallows were also reported.  Offshore fishing were 6+ Cormorants and near to the sluice were 4 Turnstones.  Viewing from the main hide yielded counts across the scrape, grazing marsh and skyline of 1 S E O and 2 Barn Owls (IM), 1 Little Egret, 2 Snipe, 3 Oystercatchers, 6 Blk T Godwits, 12 Redshank, 20+ Curlew, c30 Lapwings and 31 Avocets, a single Wigeon, c20 Teal, 11 Shoveler, 12 Shelducks, 3 Greylag and 6 Canada GeesePRD/IM/MR.  Just prior to leaving the site, viewing from the Memorials area added another Haven 2015 Year Tick in the form of 2 Bar T Godwits* on the Pool furthest from the viewing platform. MR.

8th - Two more Year Ticks for the site today were amongst the highlighted species on the combined report from two observers.  First thing this morning, there was a pair of Tufted Ducks* (PRD) on the brook, to the west side of the humpbacked road bridge.  Upon the arrival of the second observer to the brook, a Whimbrel* flew overhead calling.  Back on the main site, noted species were of a Blackcap (near to the track past the Sluice Farm), 2 Goldcrests, 2 Chiffchaffs and 2 Swallows, also 2 'cracking' Med Gulls. PRD/MR.

9th - A visit that included areas of the main site and the Farm, reported a S E O (originally sat atop a fence post) quartering the marsh/fields near to the Golf Course and by 11.10hrs, a Barn Owl was also covering the same area.  The Farm provided a Swallow on the telegraph wires and heard drumming, was a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker.  Within the paddocks (beyond the pond), a Jackdaw drew the surveyors interest as being a possible 'Nordic' bird.  Noted in the Farm Pond was a Water Vole. GB.

10th - At least three observers visited areas of the site during today.  The first report in being of a Willow Warbler* located in the 'roadside hedgerow' just South of the humpbacked road bridge. MR.  Viewed from the main hide, 2 Yellow Wagtails* were seen to land at the feet of the herd of cows. SW.  An afternoon survey (13.30-15.00hrs) yielded a single Wheatear atop the first turret and that a/the pair of Tufted Ducks were on the pool to the right of the main hide, while viewing from the hide itself gave reported counts of 1 Dunlin, a Yellow Wagtail (same or + earlier birds), 10 Swallows and singles of both S E O and Common Buzzard.  Below the seawall near to the sluice were 5 Turnstones. IM.

11th - Of particular note on the site today was a Firecrest - located near to the blocks over the road (just slightly up from opposite the Approach Road entrance). IM.  Seen in and around the Sewage Farm during the morning was a colour-ringed Herring Gull that was originally ringed in Suffolk. SC.

12th - An addition today to the Haven 2015 Year List was that of a Spotted Redshank* that was noted as being on the scrape at 10.50hrs. IM.

13th - A Red Kite was the first reported species today, viewed as it flew over the Approach Road at 09.09hrs. MR.  Making the observer chuckle to himself, a S E O was seen just a few yards from the hide door (10.30hrs) as the bird hunted the immediate 'main hide' area before it proceeded to fly around the grazing marsh.   Wildlife on the Mounds during this wander, included an Adder. RWf.  Surveying the site areas closer to Frinton, a Fieldfare was noted on the Golf Course, while 9 Turnstones were on the breakwater (also towards the Frinton end). JH.  A visit 16.00-17.00hrs found that a Spotted Redshank was still in the vicinity, as was a S E O.  A single Wheatear and 3 Yellow Wagtails were also reported. DS

14th - No reports returned.

15th - Whilst a few of the regular species were part of a ringing session (07.30-12.00hrs), several Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers were noted as being in the vicinity..... but not close enough to sport any new rings. SC.

16th - No reports returned.

17th - Slightly cooler - in fact quite chilly - and more breezy this morning but dry and bright.  The first report in for today being of a Ring Ouzel* on the hedge near the Raised Platform (Memorials area) as at 10.54hrs, the bird also utilised the grazing marsh. MR.  At least two observers were out and about this morning with both the views from the main hide and a walk along the seawall being included.  The seawall wander yielded 2 Sedge Warblers*, Mistle Thrush and Fieldfare, as well as 8+ Linnets (2x 4+ flocks). JH.  The walk to the main hide found of note that a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were about.  A Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Buntings, 4 Yellow Wagtails, a single House Martin* and 10 Swallows were visible from the hide, along with singles of S E O and Common Buzzard and 2 Kestrels.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were counts of 2 Grey Herons, 2 Oystercatchers, 11 Blk T Godwits, 15 Avocets, c20 Redshanks, 2 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 16 Shelducks and c20 Teal, alongside 3 Greylag and 6 Canada Geese.  Of particular note, two of the 'Haven Avocets' have been around this last few days, as has the 'French' colour-ringed Avo. MR.

18th - A glorious bright morning once again with some cloud around.  A few observers were on the site during the morning until at least 12.30hrs.  An adult Spoonbill (SC) was briefly seen from the main hide c11.00hrs - the bird was originally seen on the scrape before it moved to the smaller pool to the right of the hide (poss. the same bird later reported at Walton). SC/PNt.  Other counts included 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrels, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and 2 Sedge Warblers, 2 Wheatears (both on Golf Course) and 5+ Yellow Wagtails (poss.7 & all males).  Also noted were 2 Purple Sandpipers, 3 Turnstones, 3 Oystercatchers (2x scrape + 1xGolf Course), 4 Blk T Godwits and 26 Avocets (the latter including 'GB/GN'), 2 Mute Swans, 5 Shoveler (4 Drakes), 14 Teal, 4 Greylag and 6 Canada Geese. SC.  A Redwing (PNt) was an addition from the ringing team, singles of both Fieldfare and Mistle Thrush (JH) were located on the Golf Course, while a Whimbrel (PNt) rounded up the day's reports.

19th - Quite a chilly and relatively grey day compared to the recent week but a superb 'birding day' for one observer when, while viewing from the main hide early this afternoon, he located a Red-Rumped Swallow* at 13.30hrs.  The bird was seen to the right of the hide over the pool and perched on the twigs amongst the grasses close to this pool.  Giving excellent views, the Red-Rumped Swallow was last seen at c13.50hrs - not quite long enough for those birders who had descended a.s.a.p. to the hide to see it.  Very well done to Pete Davis for what is only the second record of this species at the Haven - the first record being a 'fly through' eleven years ago on 30th April 2004. PRD.  Other species seen from the hide this afternoon (until at least 16.00hrs) included at least 7 Yellow Wagtails - brilliant colour - that spent time mostly amongst the feet of the cow herd and the huge bull, as well as on and around the scrape areas.  A White Wagtail was also on the marsh, several cracking Reed Buntings were around, as was a noisy Sedge Warbler, also Snipe, Blk T Godwits, Redshanks and the Avocets (inc. GB/GN). A Kestrel was noted, as were 2+ S E O's and 3 Sand Martins.  No proper counts were made, although the skies, marsh and perches were constantly checked for all Swallows that were in the vicinity. PRD/PNt/KA/AD/PR/LR/SC/PC/JH.

20th - Breezy at times but mostly bright and sunny.  A wander down to the main hide and the return journey to towards the sluice area supplied 2 Whitethroats* to add to the Year List - located in the large bush before the gate (closest to the Sluice - from hide).  The counts for across the scrape and grazing marsh during the time spent in the main hide included 4 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Med Gulls and 2 Kestrels, while Waders and Ducks were noted as 3 Snipe, 5 Blk T Godwits, 24 Redshanks, 26 Avocets and 17 Shelducks. IM.  Of particular note during an afternoon survey from the main hide was that of a Grey Plover* over and above the earlier species. PRD.

21st - Surveying from the main hide - by two observers - gave counts across the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and reedbeds, of 1 Snipe, 3 Bar-T Godwits, 4 Blk T Godwits, c20 Redshanks and 27 Avocets, along with 2 Tufted Ducks (1pr), 26 Shelducks and 44 Teal.  Also 1 Kingfisher, 1 Water Rail, 2 Sedge Warblers and 4 Yellow Wagtails, while birds of prey included singles of Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard. IM/PRD

22nd - Today's reports took in the areas from the Approach Road through the carpark to the Memorials and on to the main hide.  Trees and bushes yielded 1 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff and 10 Blackcaps of particular note, an adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the pools (Platform), while a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Reed Warblers* were on/near the scrape.  A slight variation in the counts across the scrape from yesterday with totals of 2 Bar-T Godwits, 5 Blk-T Godwits, 25 Avocets, 27 Redshanks, 14 Shelducks and 36 Teal.  Again there were singles of Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier (ad male) and Common Buzzard reported. IM/PRD.

23rd - A day for additions to the Haven 2015 Year List that began with the report of a Grasshopper Warbler* that was singing and showing very well by the 'boardwalk' at 10.16hrs.  This was followed by views of a Common Sandpiper* that flew overhead and continued to fly inland, while the return wander up back up to the Farm yielded a Cuckoo* that was near the Farm pond. PRD.  Counts across the scrape as viewed from the main hide, included 4 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Bar-T Godwits, 16 Redshanks, 26 Avocets, 11 Shelducks and 20 Teal.  Both a S E O and a Common Buzzard were noted, as was a Lesser Whitethroat* - the latter being located on the wander back to the sluice.  A mid-afternoon seawatch gave a notable 23 Whimbrel flying N together at 15.10hrs. IM/PRD.  A cycle ride along the seawall, nicely timed to enjoy good views of the Gropper, added 2 Sedge Warblers alongside the Golf Course, 6 Yellow Wagtails in this same vicinity (at least 10 total on the site today), 2 Swallows flying S and 8 Curlew that flew N as they left the scrape area. PBr/KBr.  As at c19.32hrs, the Grasshopper Warbler was still singing away and 2 S E O's were viewed as they quartered the marsh. DS.

24th - Evening visits by three observers saw that the Grasshopper Warbler was still in-situ by the boardwalk - showing well and singing. DS/SC/PC.  Additional sightings (17.30-20.00hrs) were of 1 Sedge and 2 Reed Warblers, 3 Wheatears, 3 Whimbrel and 2 S E O's. DS.  Further additions across the site (18.15-19.45hrs) were of 1 Kestrel, 1 Common Buzzard, a Whitethroat, c8 Meadow Pipits and c15 Swallows, also 1 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers (rocks), 34 Avocets (inc. GB-GN), 2 Common Gulls, 1pr Shoveler, 7 Shelducks, 20 Teal and 5 Canada Geese. SC/PC.   

25th - Early afternoon (13.14hrs) found that a female Ring Ouzel was in the carpark area. PRD.

26th - One of today's site visits took in the wander to the main hide, through to the second turret and the return journey and began by reporting that the Ring Ouzel was again in the carpark per yesterday.  The counts from the hide for across the scrape and grazing marsh were of 1 Bar-T Godwit, 3 Blk-T Godwits, 12 Redshanks, 24 Dunlin and 46 Avocets, 14 Shelducks and 24 Teal, along with 1 Yellow Wagtail.  Over and through the vicinity were 1 Sand Martin, 6 House Martins and c25 Swallows, while later at 13.53hrs, a Red Kite flew over this area on route towards Frinton.  Wandering along the site, added Barn Owl, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Whinchats*, 7 Wheatears and 9 Whimbrel. IM.  During the latter part of the afternoon, another addition to the Year List was that of a Hobby* that flew through the site. PRD.

27th - No reports returned.

28th - No reports returned.

29th - As at 08.54hrs, the female Ring Ouzel was still in the carpark area between the picnic tables. MR.

30th - No reports returned.    

As at 30th April 2015 the Haven 2015 Year List stands at: 134.