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 2016

1st - Of particular note today, a Yellow Wagtail* was visible from the main hide. MR

2nd - No reports returned.

3rd - A sometimes cool but bright Spring day provided of note, the Rough-legged Buzzard, a Yellow Wagtail and a Wheatear that were all viewable from the main hide prior to mid-day. MR.

4th - Of particular note, a Swallow was seen by the hide this afternoon. DP

5th - Today's survey found the bushes to have 'quite a few birds' around them of which the notables were 2 Goldcrests and 4+ Chiffchaffs.  Viewing from the main hide provided a single Brent Goose amongst the Greylag and Canada Geese on the marsh, while across this and the scrape area the Ducks (not counted) consisted Gadwall, Shoveler, Shelducks, Teal and Wigeon.  Wader counts gave 2 Oystercatchers, c12 Redshank, 18 Blk T Godwits, 30+ Avocets and c40 Curlew.  The noise from 150+ Black-headed Gulls settling down, could not fail to be noticed.  Just after 11.00hrs and while watching a 'cracking' Yellow Wagtail, bird movement out of a clump of grass proved to be a Water Pipit*.  While a photo was able to be taken quickly, the bird was unfortunately lost to view in a short space of time (Record photo only)TS/MR.

6th - A day of sun and some on/off heavy downpours, it proved to be 'freezing cold' on the site, when one was out of the sun.  While nothing of particular note was reported and all appeared much as per yesterday, the observers had the delight of watching Pied Wagtail, White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail and Grey Wagtail all visible to the right of the main hide 'at the same time'. MR/et.al.

7th - Of particular note today was that a Bar-T Godwit was on the scrape at 10.17hrs. MR.

8th - A Haven Year Tick this morning was in the form of a Sedge Warbler* that was located over the road by the brook - viewable from the road bridge. IM.  A late afternoon into early evening visit provided views of 1 Swallow, 1 White and 1 Yellow Wagtail (the Yellow being a very bright male), the Rough-legged Buzzard, 4 Blk-T Godwits, 6 Lapwings (displaying) and a count of 21 Avocets. LH.

9th - At least five observers were on and around the site today with surveys that included a WeBS count.  Totals across the site were of 1 Common, 1 G B B, 2 Med (2xAd), 6 L B B, 280 Blk-headed and 320 Herring Gulls (a huge flock of the latter was across the road), 2 Mute Swans (pr), 4 Cormorants, 2 Canada and 8 Greylag Geese.  Also, 7 Moorhens, 4 Oystercatchers, 5 Curlew, 6 Blk-T Godwits, 8 Avocets, 10+ Redshank and 12+ Lapwings, alongside 3 Wigeon, 6 Shoveler, 6 Mallards, 12 Teal and 14 Shelducks. SC.  During observations, a Cetti's Warbler was singing in front of the main hide, a 'smart' Grey Wagtail near the hide was 1 of at least 2 Grey Wags noted, while 2 male Yellow and 4 Pied Wagtails were also reported.  Completing the reports were a single Swallow, a Song Thrush (singing by the carpark) and the Rough-legged Buzzard. SC/MR/PRD/IM/PNt.

10th & 11th - No reports returned.

12th - Surveying today by several birders, added another two Haven Year Ticks and also provided views of a Coal Tit (IM) that was seen briefly feeding at the Feeding Station before it disappeared and could not be relocated.  A Sand Martin* was viewed from the main hide, as were 5 Swallows and 2 Common Buzzards, while the scrape and marsh areas held 9 Blk-T Godwits, c12 Redshank, 28 Avocets, c30 Curlew, 4 Canada Geese and 16 Shelducks of note. MR/IM/TS. The wander towards the Frinton end of site/Golf Course and back, yielded 2 Bar-T Godwits (PRD) on the Golf Course, 3 Wheatears close to the second turret and a total of 4 Turnstones on the Sluice. PRD/MR/IM/TS.  A 2 hour mid-afternoon visit gave the additions of a Whimbrel* on the Golf Course and the Haven's long-staying Rough-legged Buzzard. BL.  

13th - Of note, a Firecrest was in the Feeding Station at 09.57hrs this morning, while during a wander of the site, singles of Barn Owl, S E Owl and Marsh Harrier and 2 Kestrels were visible, as were 9+ Common Buzzards that were circling over the Gt. Holland area. MR.

14th - Noted around the bushes this morning were some 7 Blackcaps and 8+ Chiffchaffs and between the Sluice and the main hide was a Whitethroat*. MR.  Viewing from the main hide across the scrape, grazing marsh and skyline, provided once again, singles of Barn Owl, S E Owl and Marsh Harrier, along with the 2 Kestrels.  There were no notes of any Wigeon being in the area but 12 Shoveler, 22 Teal and 23 Shelducks were counted, as were 10 Canada Geese, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 2 Oystercatchers, 10 Blk-T Godwits, 12 Redshank, 50 Avocets (including two colour-ringed birds - also there yesterday), 2 Med Gulls (ads) and c500 Blk-headed Gulls. MR/IM/TS.  A Ringing Session also took place today and included 20 birds of some ten different species, while in this vicinity were at least 1 Blackcap and 3 Chiffchaffs and singing from the Brook area, was a Cetti's Warbler.  Two colour-ringed Herring Gulls were noted today. SC.

15th - Today saw another three Haven Year Ticks added to the 2016 list, being Reed Warbler*, House Martin* and a Common Swift*.  This Swift sighting being the earliest date (15th April 2016) ever recorded in any Haven year for this species - previous Haven dates have included 19th April 2013, 26th April 2012 and 20th April 2010 with many years' showing no records until the month of May.  Other species reported for today's survey included 1 Grey Wagtail (pool to the right of the main hide), 5+ Sand Martins, 30+ Swallows, 1 Barn Owl, 2 S E Owls, 2 Whimbrel and heading through, were c20 Dunlin. PRD.

16th - A very wet site today where the bushes yielded 1 Goldcrest, 5 Blackcaps (singing) and c6 Chiffchaffs of particular note.  A lot of visitors in the main hide but reported for over and above the normal culprits on the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were 1 Greenshank*, 1 Yellow Wagtail and amongst the Blk-headed Gulls were 2prs Med Gulls (all adults).  Walking further on the site (to the end of the Boardwalk) added 1 Little Egret seen on the flooded marsh and 2 Oystercatchers, also 2 Wheatears, 3 Sedge Warblers and 6 Reed Buntings. MRAnother 2 Med Gulls - an adult and a 2S - were also reported today. PNs.  As per the notable 'Spring' increase of certain bird species and the definite decrease in the 'Duck' counts, the general Wildlife front proved to be getting in tune with the season too.  Viewed across the site today were singles of Comma, Peacock and Small White Butterflies, 2 Slow Worms, 5 Adders, 3 Brown Hares and a Red Fox. MR.

17th - No reports returned.

18th - Surveying from 08.30 to 13.30hrs provided an interesting Grey Plover* for the observer and for the Haven 2016 Year List.  This Plover (winter plumage) was wearing both a 'colour-ring and a flag' but unfortunately the bird decided to stay in longish grass and at some distance, so pin-pointing the 'actual bird' on a ringing scheme would not be possible, however, the details recorded may be enough to determine where/in which country the Plover was ringed.  Species on and over the site included Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, 1 Grey Wagtail, 5+ Yellow Wagtails, Sand Martin and 35+ Swallows, also 5 Whimbrel, 20 Blk-T Godwits, 28 Avocets, 12+ Teal and 14+ Shoveler.  No Wigeon were noted.  Again, 2 pairs of adult Med Gulls were viewed and completing the report was a S E Owl. PRD.

19th - A mostly bright, lovely day today with obvious birdlife around the trees and bushes that included a variety of Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet and Reed Bunting, along with counts of 2 Lesser Whitethroats*, 2+ Willow Warblers, 4 Common Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps and 8 Chiffchaffs.  Surveying from the main hide yielded singles of Little Egret, Grey Heron and Blk-T Godwit, 3 Curlew, 4 Whimbrel, 4 Oystercatchers, 18 Avocets and c20 Lapwings.  Ducks and Geese consisted 2 Gadwall, 16 Shoveler, 20 Shelducks, 29 Teal, 6 Canada and 12 Greylag Geese.  Also in this vicinity were a Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels and a total of 7 Med Gulls.  The Wildlife front gave of note, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood Butterflies, 1 Slow Worm, 4 Adders (of which two of the latter had newly shed their skins) and also a Red Fox. MR.      

20th - Initial reports for this morning gave a Cuckoo* from the hide at 09.40hrs and the Rough-legged Buzzard being still on site. PRD/RBA.

21st - Survey during a shorter than normal session by one observer (mostly from the main hide) gave the addition to the Year List of Coot* and not just the one bird but two of them!  A Cetti's Warbler was heard from the hide and a single Sand Martin and 5 Swallows were seen, while the Waders consisted of 1 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 4 Oystercatchers, 9 Blk T Godwits, c20 Lapwings and 26 Avocets (inc. GB/GN).  Also in the vicinity were 1 Little Egret, 2 Med Gulls, 3 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, 12 Shelducks, c35 Teal, 3 Canada and 10 Greylag Geese.  The bushes between the main hide and the Sluice held 1 Lesser and 2 Common Whitethroats. MR.  A visit over 11.30hrs located the Rough-legged Buzzard on the site. DS.  Of particular note during a 40 minute late afternoon visit (16.50 to 17.30hrs) were a single Common Buzzard, 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Bar-T Godwits and 15 Whimbrel (the latter species including 4 on the Golf Course). SN.

22nd - Sandwich Tern* made it to the Year List today after a pair were located on the scrape at 14.55hrs. PRD.

23rd - Initial reports for today, gave that both a Common Sandpiper* and a Greenshank were among the Waders on the scrape as at 12.33hrs and both were still present as at 16.30hrs. PRD/MR.

24th - A Common Tern* was notable today, viewed on the scrape this morning. IM.

25th - A cold and on/off wet day gave a variety of species but 'not much to get excited about'.  Viewing from the main hide provided singles of S E Owl, Kestrel and Common Buzzard, 1 Wheatear, 2 Yellow Wagtails and singles of both Sedge and Cetti's Warblers.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were 1 Little Egret, 2 Grey Herons, 2 Oystercatchers, 4 Snipe, 9 Blk T Godwits, 10+ Redshanks and 31 Avocets (including three colour-ringed birds).  Noted Ducks were 4 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler, c10 Teal and 20 Shelducks.  Continuing the survey through to the second turret, gave additions of 1 Little Grebe, 4 Skylarks, 5 Reed Buntings, 6 Meadow Pipits and 6 Linnets.  The seawall area near to the Sluice yielded 5 Turnstones of which one was in 'part summer plumage'. IM/MR.  

26th - The 'Haven' Rough-legged Buzzard was again on show this morning (10.14hrs) - viewed over the rape-seed field beyond the Golf Course. IM.  Surveying during an early evening visit (17.30 to 18.45) in a mix of sunny, wet and bitterly cold conditions, gave the R-L B and a Common Buzzard, also 1 Little Owl*, 3 Stock Doves, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Corn Buntings, 30 Linnets, a male Bar-T Godwit (amongst the Whimbrel) and a total of 45 Whimbrel seen to be feeding on the Golf Course. SN.

27th - A few observers out and about today, covering from the Holland end through to the Golf Course/Frinton end of the site.  A Little Owl was again viewed and was at the time, seen to be at the rear of the Golf Course. IM.  A highlight of today for one observer was that a 'cracking Siskin' was finally seen on the niger seed feeder in the feeding station - some two years at least, after this particular feeder was actually put there in the hopes of attracting such species. PRD.  Noted around the general bushes was that both Common and Lesser Whitethroats had increased slightly in numbers, while viewing from the Main Hide, added singles of both Sedge and Cetti's Warblers (the latter was heard only).  Species and numbers remained much the same as in recent days with notes of 10 Blk T Godwits (inc. a colour-ringed bird), 45 Avocets (inc. 2xHaven birds + 1xSuffolk bird) and some 39 Whimbrel with a Bar-T Godwit that proved 'very impressive' when they flew into the vicinity from the Golf Course for a few minutes. MR.

28th - At least four observers were on and around the site today and reports included that of a Hobby* seen over the Golf Course chasing House Martins.  The combined viewing from the Main Hide, provided counts of 1 S E Owl, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Little Egret, 2 Common Terns and 2 Grey Wagtails, as well as 1 Grey Plover, 1 Curlew, 3 Dunlin, 3 Blk T Godwits, 8 Whimbrel and 36 Avocets, 6 Shoveler, 13 Teal and 24 Shelducks. PRD/IM/TS/MR.  Further to the main report, a Greenshank was later seen to drop onto the scrape and located amongst the Avocets was the Haven colour-ringed bird GB/YR. MR.  A count of 4 Wheatears (TS) were viewed between the Frinton end and the Main Hide with a further single bird by the first turret and 2 more on the Mounds (7 total). TS/MR

29th - A visit from 10.15hrs to 12.30hrs provided notes of 1 Wheatear (male), a Willow Warbler by the Sewage Farm, 2 Common Whitethroats singing by the carpark, 2 Grey Wagtails (pr), 2 Song Thrushes (by carpark) 10 House Sparrows above the beach huts and some 100+ Swallows (the latter mostly moving SW).  Also viewed were a single Med Gull (1w), 2 G B B Gulls (1ad+2W), 3 Snipe and 30 Avocets. ML.   Additional to today's sightings was that of a S E Owl between 15.00 and 16.00hrs. EK.

30th - Initial reports as at 07.45hrs gave notes of a Sedge Warbler in front of the Main Hide and 1 Grey Plover and 4 Dunlin on the scrape. DP.   Viewed from 10.15 - 11.45hrs, the areas near to/alongside the Golf Course held 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Reed and 3+ Sedge Warblers, 2 Common and 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Reed Buntings (3m+1f) and 5 Linnets, also 2 Pied Wagtails, 2 Wheatears and 4 Meadow Pipits.  Counts of 4+ House Martins, 6+ Swallows, 1 Kestrel and 16 Whimbrel were also reported. LH.  A ringing session took place today and this involved nine species of birds, while general surveying during this time also provided counts of 1 S E Owl, 2 Common Buzzards and 2 Marsh Harriers, a summer plumaged Grey Plover (poss. the earlier noted bird), 6 Dunlin and 6 Whimbrel.  The Wildlife side included an Adder. PNt/LW  


As at 30th April 2016 the Haven 2016 Year List stands at: 136. 


ALL photos remain the copyright of the photographer and/or the particular websites or publications they may appear within.  From top of page downwards, the photos are by: Ted Sewall (Record photo of Water Pipit 5th April 2016).  Mick Rodwell (Meadow Pipit 12th April 2016).  Mick Rodwell (Adder 19th April 2016).  Mick Rodwell (Adder 19th April 2016).  Mick Rodwell (Sedge Warbler 25-04-2016).