Holland Haven Birding

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Recent Sightings

Key:Plain Text- Resident/Regular Visitor.Green -Likely to be Annual. Amber -Less than Annual. Red -Rarity. CAPITALS -New bird for site.

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Site Year Tick: *

August 2011   

1st - There were some light winds during the morning on a very hot +20 degrees day, these winds by late afternoon and continuing into the evening, were more moderate and ESE in direction.  A Pectoral Sandpiper (see gallery) the site's second one this year, was located c09.00hrs.  Alongside the Pec Sand, were 1 Wood, 3 Green, and 6+ Common Sandpipers, 4 Dunlin, 2 of each LRP and Snipe, 1 Reeve, 1 Redshank, 24 Blk T Godwits, 10 Curlew and still hanging on in there, 5 Avocets.  15 Teal were also noted on the scrape area, as were 48 Greylag Geese.  Covering the walk to the Frinton end of site, provided sightings of 3 Wheatears, 1 Whinchat, 40+ Linnet, 50+ Goldfinch, 10+ White (alba) and 7 Yellow Wagtails.  Sea-watching from 12.00-13.00hrs gave an Arctic Skua* (adult dark morph) heading NE, a Curlew heading SW, 2 Sandwich Terns and 3 Oystercatchers.  Included in the notes for around the trees and bushes today, were singles of Garden and Willow Warblers, a Little Owl (juv) and also 2 juvenile Green Woodpeckers. MR/PRD.  

2nd - Another bright, hot and sunny day with temperatures in excess of +21 degrees.  Southerly winds varied from light to moderate and the skies were occasionally a bit on the hazy side.  The scrape and surrounding area held species and numbers very much as per yesterday.  The Pectoral Sandpiper and the Wood Sandpiper both still there.  Additions over and above yesterday were a single Little Egret, whilst the Greylag Geese had increased to 100+.  A single Barn Owl was about today, as was a juv Marsh Harrier.  As with the scrape, there was little different around the rest of the site, although Wheatears were at 4 today, a single Whinchat was not yesterday's bird and some 20+ House Martins were viewed along the seawall. PRD/MR.  An early evening visit and report, gave the additions of an adult Curlew Sandpiper* and a GreenshankPNt.      

3rd - From early this morning and throughout the day, the temperature was exceptionally hot and the SSE "winds" could barely make it to a breeze!  It was sweltering!  A couple of visits and subsequent reports for today, confirmed that the Pectoral, Wood, 2 Green and 8+ Common Sandpipers were on the scrape, alongside 2 of each LRP, Snipe and Whimbrel, 38 Blk T Godwits, 4 Avocets and a Med Gull (2S).  Greylag Geese totalled 90+ this morning.  A Common Buzzard was seen and a juv Marsh Harrier was again in the vicinity.  Wheatears again numbered 4, Whinchat at 1, late morning over the site were 4 Swift, whilst Meadow Pipits and Linnets were noted but not counted. MR.  An hour spent sea-watching this afternoon, provided a Common Tern that flew N, 2+ Little Terns and 1 Curlew flew S, as did the first Haven noted Wigeon of this autumn.  Additional for the scrape was that of a Reeve, while a Common Buzzard seen perched on the hay bales, may or may not have been the bird viewed and noted from the hide previously. PRD

4th - What a change from yesterday!!!  After a very hot, muggy night with no breeze whatsoever, a pretty dawn sky was followed within a couple of hours, by very dark grey skies, the temperature chilled and the rain - an awful lot of it - fell for basically most of the day.  Wind strength and direction was light to moderate SW and occasional gusts were of c21mph.  PectoralWood, Green and Common Sandpiper numbers were this morning, all as per yesterday's, as were those of the LRP's, Snipe, Whimbrel and ReeveBlk T Godwits were up to 45 and Avocets were up to 8.  Also on and around the scrape and grazing marsh, were 3 of each Dunlin and Redshank, 17 Curlew, 32 Lapwing, 26 Teal and Greylag Geese were at 92.  11 Common Terns were noted - 10 of them flew around the scrape for a short while before they continued their flight S.  150+ Swift were watched as they also flew S.  Although it only dropped in onto the scrape for a short while, a juv Yellow-Legged Gull (see gallery) was one of today's highlights.  Other species were a single Whinchat and 30+ Goldfinch. PRD/MR.   

5th - Variable wind direction and strength today but at least it was a dry and hot one and apart from some late morning and mid-day cloud, it was bright throughout.  The winds moved from being light WNW, through to WSW then on to moderate Southerlies, dropping it's strength occasionally during the evening to just a breeze.  As at 08.49hrs the Pectoral and Wood Sandpipers were still present and a few minutes later, a juv Spotted Redshank dropped in. PRD.

6th - Light to moderate winds today with occasional gusting, all being mostly of S through SW direction.  Generally a warm day with blue skies, white clouds and sun but there were a few times of grey cloud-cover, giving an apparent drop in temperature.  A visit to the hide during the morning (10.30hrs) and subsequent report, gave that the Pectoral Sandpiper was still in residence, alongside 1 Wood, 3 Green and 6+ Common Sandpipers, also the Spotted Redshank, 30+ Blk T Godwits and a Redshank.  Singles of Marsh Harrier and Kestrel were noted. JK.  

7th - A bit on the blustery side out there today with moderate to strong SSW winds and gusts of c32mph.  Otherwise, it was another warm and pleasant day through until mid-afternoon, when darker skies and a touch of rain were threatening............    by 15.30hrs it was chucking it down!  From then on into the evening, heavy rain spells were very intermittent with bright and sunny skies!  An afternoon visit to the site saw that the Pectoral and Wood Sandpipers were both still viewable on the scrape.  A sea-watch from 16.00 - 17.30hrs, during which the observer got totally drenched by the rain, provided a few species heading past the Haven - all of which were flying SW.  These were singles of Whimbrel, Golden Plover (ad), Grey Plover (ad), 4 Turnstones and 7 Oystercatchers.  An extremely distant "small pale-phase Skua" (probably Arctic) was also noted. PRD.

8th - A bit cooler at the start of today but bright and sunny from very early, alongside some moderate WNW winds.  By early afternoon the winds were at W and occasionally much stronger.  Rain was also in the equation again this afternoon.  Viewing from the hide during the morning, gave 3 Wood, 2 Green and 6+ Common Sandpipers, 5 Ruff, 42 Blk T Godwits, 1 LRP, 2 of each Dunlin and Snipe, 9 Avocets, an adult Med Gull, 28 Teal and 106 Greylag Geese.  A walk from the farm down to the Haven itself, provided 2 Yellow Wagtails, while a third Yellow Wagtail was noted on the way from the carpark area to the hide.  The rest of the species count - between the Dell and the hide - was of 5 of each Willow Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Sedge and 3 Reed Warblers, 10+ Common Whitethroats, 10+ Pied Wagtails and singles of Little Owl, Green Woodpecker (juv/ringed) and Kestrel. PRD/MR/JK.

9th - After a night of on/off rain, the morning was bright and sunny although it was just a touch chilly!  The early moderate to strong NW winds continued through into the afternoon and whilst the temperature did warm up slightly during the latter part of the morning, the cooler temperatures ensued for the afternoon - along with a few grey tinged clouds!   The wind strength dropped to "light" during the evening, with direction at NNW.  Several of our regular observers were on the site prior to lunchtime and this culminated in the following species being recorded.  Generally around the site were 3 Lesser and 20+ Common Whitethroats, 60+ Goldfinch, 30+ Greenfinch, 2 of each Whinchat and Green Woodpecker and singles of Little Owl and Kestrel. MR.  Additional notes were of 3 Willow Warblers and 22 Pied Wagtails. PL.  Surveying the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and viewable air-space - all from the hide - provided a few changes in counts since yesterday.  4 Wood Sandpipers were alongside only 3 Common Sandpipers, Ruff were again at 5, Avocets at 7, there were singles of Greenshank, LRP and Redshank, while Snipe, Dunlin and Blk T Godwits were today, at 3, 4 and 50 respectively.  32 Teal and 119 Greylag Geese were noted.  2 Sparrowhawks were in the vicinity, as was a further Kestrel and a juv Marsh Harrier. MR/PL/PRD/AEC.  

10th - A very bright, sunny start to today, with initially some occasional very light SW winds - mostly at this time, there was barely a breeze.  By late morning the winds had increased to moderate and by the afternoon, the winds were quite strong and continued as such into the evening.  Reports for today, covered the area across from the site entrance, the Dell, carpark trees/bushes and on through to the hide and included the viewing from the hide.  Common and Lesser Whitethroats were at 12+ and 7 respectively, Reed and Willow Warblers at 10+ and 5, while there were 4 Yellow and 12+ Pied Wagtails, 30+ Greenfinch, 40+ Goldfinch and a single Kestrel.  3 Wood Sandpipers were on the scrape today, alongside 1 Green and 4+ Common Sandpipers, 3 Ruff, 1 LRP, 1 Spotted Redshank (juv), 2 Dunlin and a Snipe, also 27+ Blk T Godwits, 24 Lapwings, 26 Teal and 132 Greylag Geese.  A Wheatear was noted along the front and 3 Common Terns were seen as they flew over the carpark. PRD/MR/JK.  A further visit from 16.00 to 18.00hrs gave some additions to earlier, including increased numbers of Wood and Common Sandpipers to 4 and 5+ on the scrape, Ruff were up at 4 and Blk T Godwits were now at 45+.  Additional birds were 14 Curlew, an impressive flock of 12 Greenshanks, whilst near to the new hide was a Whinchat.  Sea-watching provided further additions with singles of Common Sandpiper, Curlew and Oystercatcher all heading SW, as did 2 Whimbrel. PRD.

11th - Some moderate to strong SW winds from early this morning alongside some dubious cloud-cover, while the sun kept trying to break through - which it finally did!  Unfortunately, from mid-morning, the day was one of intermittent rain and sun, with some of the rainfalls being very heavy indeed.  A visit to site, to view from the hide, reported that there were now 5 Ruff on the scrape, 3 Wood and 5 Common Sandpipers, 1 of each LRP and Greenshank, 2 Snipe and 3 Dunlin, Blk T Godwits were at 42, Teal at 32 and Greylag Geese numbered 134.  Seen to fly into the scrape area then back out of it again, were 4 Sandwich Terns. MR.   

12th - It was quite a bright morning and although there was a fair amount of cloud, the clouds were (opposed to those of yesterday) mostly white........... to begin with!  Dark grey clouds did appear later but the site and immediate local area remained dry.  Winds this morning were of a WNW direction and of a light, to occasionally, moderate strength - these remained pretty much the same throughout.  Surveying the site from 08.45hrs through to 12.30hrs gave another good mix of species, amongst which was another Haven 2011 Year tick in the form of a Garganey* (imm/fem/eclipse), located at 11.10hrs.  The Garganey was on the scrape, alongside 3 Wood, 1 Green and 8+ Common Sandpipers, 5 of each Ruff, Dunlin and Avocet, 4 Greenshank, a juvenile Spotted Redshank, 1 LRP (also a juv), 3 Snipe, 40+ Blk T Godwits, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 22+ Teal and 120+ Greylag Geese.  2 Med Gulls (2x2S) were noted, as were singles of Swift and Sparrowhawk, whilst a Hobby - also in this vicinity this morning - was being viewed when it took out a hirundine.  Observing the areas of the Dell and the carpark, provided counts of 4 Willow Warblers, 3 Lesser and 15+ Common Whitethroats, 6+ Reed Warblers and 40+ GoldfinchPRD.  Rounding up the day's species were additional reports of 3 Whinchat and a Wheatear near the new hide, a single Blackcap (SC/PC) and 3 Marsh Harriers. JK

13th - Rain started the day and although this had eased by 09.30hrs, the dark clouds and showers were a bit hit and miss throughout the morning and the early afternoon.  The sun tried all morning and appears to have succeeded for mid-afternoon!?!?!   Initial SSW winds were light to moderate, turning later in direction to WSW and erred more to moderate strength.  Temperatures have so far, been pleasant and occasionally quite hot in the sun.  As at 10.30hrs (from the hide) viewing across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, provided totals of 2 Wood, 10 Green and 4 Common Sandpipers, 3 of each Greenshank and Snipe, 4 of each Ruff and Dunlin, a single LRP and 36+ Blk T Godwits.  The Garganey was still in the vicinity at this time and 2 Common Terns were also noted. JK

14th - Light to moderate Westerly winds went alongside rising temperatures early this morning and by late morning, it was very bright and at times very humid.  Some cloud appeared on/off during the latter part of the day but it was generally very warm and bright.  The highlight of today's reports was that of an adult male SUBALPINE WARBLER* (see gallery) that was located in the hedgerows of the carpark.  Seen by one observer, Mick Rodwell, the bird unfortunately disappeared after being viewed "briefly but well" at 08.55hrs.  Despite several other observers arriving within minutes, the searching was in vain and there were no further sightings of this "the first recorded Subalpine Warbler for the Haven site".  Over on the scrape during today, were 2 Wood, 4 Green and 6 Common Sandpipers, 6 Ruff, 5 of each Avocet and Dunlin, singles of LRP, Ringed Plover and Greenshank, 3 Snipe, 34+ Blk T Godwits and 4 Grey Herons.  A Sparrowhawk was also noted. JK/MR.

15th - Light to moderate WNW winds from this morning turned to SW for the afternoon and the evening.  Again there were some good temperatures throughout a mostly sunny day.  The Subalpine Warbler was re-located at 09.20hrs this morning in the hedgerows (backing onto the fields) approx half way up the carpark and beyond the picnic tables, frequenting the area of two "dead branch sections" amongst the hawthorn and also the brambles below, to either side.  The bird was showing well, on and off all through the day, to at least 19.00hrs. PRD/AK/PNt/KA/JBS/AD/AEC/et.al.  Other species noted, included a Med Gull over the carpark late morning, whilst this evening both a Yellow Wagtail and a Wheatear were on the greensward and a single Swift flew over.  The scrape held 3 Wood, 4 Green and 5+ Common Sandpipers, 9 Ruff, 3 Snipe and 2 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank, 66 Blk T Godwits, 35+ Lapwing and 3 adult Med Gulls.  The Garganey was still viewable, as were 55+ Teal and 140+ Greylag Geese.  One of the Common Sandpipers had a close encounter with a female Peregrine but lived to tell it's tale. PRD/KA/AD.

16th - The wind was a bit more blustery this morning, being moderate to strong SW and alongside some gusts of c25mph. Initially there was cloud-cover across the majority of the sky with a hint of blue plus the sun in the minority.  The day turned into another warm one but the stronger winds remained in evidence.  Still on site today, the Subalpine Warbler was showing well at times (in the same area) and although the bird was somewhat elusive during the afternoon, it was still viewable during the latter part of the day.  Around the Dell and surrounding area, the trees and bushes were, early on, holding 2 Blackcaps, 3 Willow Warblers, 7 Lesser Whitethroats and 5 House Sparrows, alongside many Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Common Whitethroats.  The walk along to the Frinton end of the site gave 7 Wheatears, while 3 Greenshank were noted as they headed SE along the coast.  Observing the scrape and the surrounding grazing marsh, provided 3 Wood, 2 Green and 8+ Common Sandpipers, 4 of each Avocets and Dunlin, 7 Ruff, 2 of each Greenshank and Curlew, 45 Blk T Godwits and a Whimbrel.  A female Kingfisher was viewed briefly in front of the hide and singles of Whinchat and Sparrowhawk were also in the vicinity. PRD/JK/MR/PL/IM.  Late evening and the Subalpine Warbler had become very elusive but 2 Spotted Flycatchers* were on show and a steady trickle of Swifts were noted as they headed SW. GG

17th - It was a bright and sunny start this morning, alongside an initial cool Northerly breeze.  The winds had strengthened by 08.00hrs but the day was relatively warm and continued to be mostly bright.  The evening brought with it, several rain showers.  The Subalpine Warbler (see gallery)  was showing from early morning, being on constant view from 06.20-06.38hrs, as it fed in the same brambles as it had for the last three days. GG/MR.  Generally across the site today, were 5 Willow and 2 Reed Warblers, 7 Lesser and 20 Common Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Green and 1 Gt. Spotted Woodpeckers, singles of Little Owl and Sparrowhawk, also 2 Wheatears.  Surveying across the scrape and surrounding areas, provided 2 Wood and 6+ Common Sandpipers, 9+ Ruff, 2 of each Greenshank, Avocet and Dunlin, 1 Whimbrel and 2 Med Gulls (ad+2W).  In the vicinity there was also a Common Buzzard. MR/PL.  RBA pager messages showed that the Subalpine Warbler was seen until 11.15hrs.  BirdGuides review of the week 11th - 17th August, named the Haven's Subalpine Warbler as their "Bird Of The Week"

18th - A pretty dull start to this morning, alongside some very cool temperatures.  Early winds today were light to moderate North-Easterlies but by 10.00hrs, these were much stronger and the grey skies were threatening the wet stuff!  Mid-afternoon and the downpours began and were complete with very strong wind gusts, however, after the initial very heavy rain fall, the winds dropped back to a lighter strength before 16.00hrs.  Very little indeed around the trees, bushes and hedgerows this morning with no sign whatsoever of the Subalpine and just a single Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warblers and a few Common Whitethroats ordaining themselves to be noted in these areas.  The scrape held much as per yesterday but a variation on some numbers, with the species counts today being 3 Wood and 6 Common Sandpipers, 4 Greenshank, 7 Ruff, 57 Blk T Godwits, 5 Snipe, 3 Whimbrel, 50+ Lapwings and singles of both Dunlin and Curlew.  Duck and goose numbers were 75 Teal alongside 20 Canada and 200+ Greylag Geese.  Also viewed from the hide were a male Marsh Harrier and a Sparrowhawk.  From 11.30 to 12.30hrs, a sea-watch was undertaken and gave the addition to the report, of 3 Shoveler heading NE. MR/PRD.     

19th - After the previous evening of virtually non-stop rain, this morning was a sunny, bright one with light W winds, blue skies and pleasant temperatures.  The day remained sunny and warm throughout with changes in the wind direction to Southerlies and they increased in strength to moderate.  The Subalpine Warbler was found to be still on site this morning and showing extremely well, once again being in the hedgerows beyond the picnic tables.  (Reports on RBA during the day gave that it was still viewable, although elusive at times, through until at least 15.28hrs).  Several observers were around the site for coverage today, during which the bushes were well and truly scrutinised - in the hopes of locating another excellent species.  Viewing also took place from the hide for counts across the scrape and grazing marsh and of course, also to check that there were no feathered surprises there!  Some 50+ Common and 18+ Lesser Whitethroats were noted, as were 3 Sedge and 6+ Reed Warblers, 1 Blackcap and 40+ Goldfinch, while heard only was a Willow/Chiff.  5+ Common Sandpipers, 3 Ruff, 34 Blk T Godwits, a Whimbrel and 50+ Teal made the reports, as did 2 Greenshank that were initially on the scrape before flying high inland and 5 Curlew that were on the marsh before they too took flight, heading S.  2+ Yellow Wagtails completed the reports. PRDIt would appear that all adult & juvenile Avocets have now left the site, with no reports of any of them at all for the last two days.

20th - Very warm, very bright and blue skies beyond the white clouds, with some light to moderate SSW winds prevailing through the morning, along with the occasional gusting of c20mph.  The afternoon brought some rain for a while but afterwards, the sky cleared to leave it bright once more.  RBA pager service reported that the Subalpine Warbler was still on site this morning - it was in the same area of the hedgerows (beyond the picnic tables) but being elusive.  There were no further reports in/seen regarding this bird since 09.51hrs. RBA.  A WeBS survey was carried out today and provided the following counts and species: 1 Wood and 4 Common Sandpipers, 4 Ruff, 3 Snipe, 17 Blk T Godwits and 72 Lapwings.  A single Common Tern was noted, while the Gulls were represented by 1 Med, 5 L.B.B, 20 Herring and 85 Blk Headed.  10 Moorhens, 86 Teal, 5 Mallards and 290 Greylag Geese were also included within the WeBs.  Birds noted over and above, were a Marsh Harrier and a Wheatear. SC.  Around the trees and bushes a single Garden Warbler was seen, along with 2 Blackcaps and a couple of Willow Warblers. PRD.  Members of the ringing team (Recent Activities) were on site today, netting c50 birds of which 29 were new (previously not rung). PRD/PNt

21st - A bright and sunny morning with a slight S breeze, turned briefly into a slightly cloudy early afternoon.  By 13.00hrs, the wind direction had changed to WNW and by the evening it was at WSW.  The winds also increased to 'light' in strength, while temperatures went up to +23 degrees.  On site this morning were a Peregrine and 2 Marsh Harriers of note. JBS.  Viewing from the hide at 10.30hrs, provided counts of 1 Wood and 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 Ruff, 8 Blk T Godwits, 2 Snipe, 55 Lapwings and (not seen for three days) there were also 2 Avocets.  The pair of Mute Swans had with them, a total of 4 cygnets that seem to have grown very well.  A Sparrowhawk was noted, as was a Marsh Harrier - possibly one of the earlier two. JKThere was no sign at all of the Sub-Alp today.  Sub-Alp was a predicted bird (by Terry "Tel" Palmer) on our Haven Regulars' Prediction board (see 2010 Bird Report).

22nd - Following a very muggy night, today was another warm one with mostly bright sun and moderate ENE winds.   There was a noticeable drop in the temperature for the early evening, at which point the skies had turned quite grey, however, just prior to sunset, the sky held some "weird but fantastic" colours.  Across the site today, a survey took place from 08.15-13.15hrs.  The trees, bushes, reedbeds and common ground provided 13 Willow Warblers, 1 Sedge Warbler, 14+ Common and 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 6 Whinchat and 6 Wheatear.  Waders on view were 5 Ruff, 2 Common Sandpipers, 9 Blk T Godwits, 1 Whimbrel and 30+ Lapwings, while Teal numbered 65+ and Greylag Geese were at 280+.  Also in the vicinity was a single Marsh Harrier. PRD.

23rd - Apart from the occasional gusting at c16mph, the initial NNE and the latter WNW winds were generally quite light throughout the day.  The promised rain arrived and this was on/off throughout the day and at times, the downfalls were very heavy.  Surveying between showers during the morning and observing again in the afternoon (13.15 to 17.45hrs), gave reports for noted species around the tree and bush areas, the scrape, grazing marsh and along both the seawall and Holland Brook.  8+ Common and 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 of each Willow Warbler and Blackcap, 1 Little Owl, 18 Goldfinch and 24 Linnet (the latter two species being on the mounds), were all morning numbers, while afternoon additions were a Garden Warbler and Chiffchaff, both of these near to Tariq and alongside a male Blackcap and a Willow Warbler.  Also during the afternoon were 4 Wheatear along the route to Frinton and atop a bush near the Brook was a single Whinchat.  From the hide, the morning counts were singles of Common Sandpiper and Ringed Plover (juv), 7 Blk T Godwits, 3 Snipe, 90+ Lapwings, initially 5 Ruff, then at 09.30hrs, another 17 dropped in to give a good scrape total of 22 (these were still in attendance during the afternoon).  Also 66 Teal and 21 Greylag Geese, while the heavier rain at this time, brought the Gulls into the scrape with these totalling 1 Common, 20+ L.B.B., 9 Herring and 90+ Blk Headed.  Both a Sparrowhawk and a juvenile Marsh Harrier were noted.  There were several Wader additions for the afternoon, being an increase on the scrape of Blk T Godwits to 12, seen to drop onto the grazing marsh were 7 Curlew, viewed as they flew through SW were 8 Greenshank, while along the beach/seawall, there were 5 Common Sandpipers. PRD/MR.               

24th - Very little blue sky was on view beyond the cloud cover this morning and the sun was finding it difficult to break through.  Wind strength and direction remained fairly light and SW throughout the day and into the evening.  Some early morning observations were carried out today but unfortunately the birds were not favouring our little bit of Essex!  Around the Haven site in general, there were 8 Lesser and 12 Common Whitethroats noted, also 3 Willow and 6 Reed Warblers and singles of Whinchat and Yellow Wagtail.  Some 12+ Wheatears were located, 7 Curlew were viewed as they flew SW over the site and a Marsh Harrier was in the area.  Counts for the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, gave 2 of each Green and Common Sandpipers, 10 Ruff and 9 Blk T Godwits, 6 Common Terns, 2 Med Gulls (juvs), 350+ Greylag Geese, 115 Teal and completing the day's reports, 6 Wigeon, being just the second sighting so far, of these ducks during this year's autumn passage. MR/PRD.

25th - Cloudy and cool to start the day, together with some moderate to strong S winds and gusts of up to 30mph.  By early afternoon, it had become hot and very bright, although there was a small and brief sprinkling of rain.  During the latter part of the evening further on/off showers appeared.  Very little could be located around the trees, bushes and mounds this morning with 10 Common and 4 Lesser Whitethroats noted, along with singles of Blackcap, Wheatear and Whinchat.  Walking to the Frinton end of the site added a Reed Bunting and a further 4 Whinchats.  Viewing from the hide gave singles of Common Sandpiper, Redshank and Whimbrel, 6 Ruff, 2 Blk T Godwits, 40+ Lapwing, 4 Wigeon, 120 Teal and 320 Greylag Geese, while a Sparrowhawk was also about.  On the breakwater/rocks nearer to Frinton, were 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Common Sandpipers and 3 Turnstone, while during a sea-watch (1+hours), a Guillemot* (juv) drifted past and close-in on the tide, a Gannet (imm) headed NE and 3 Sandwich Terns, 8 Common Terns and 9 Oystercatchers all flew SW. IM/MR/PRD

26th - After a night of virtually constant heavy rain, today faired only slightly better weather-wise.  Rain for most of the morning and on into the afternoon with again a couple of really heavy downpours!  Not so good for those trying to watch the Air Show.  The sun did come out eventually for a longer period of time but not until c15.45hrs.  Wind direction remained W for the duration and was generally just a breeze - occasional gusting being c20mph.  A couple of hours spent on site this morning - between showers - found little to report but those species of note, were singles of Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel, 6 Blk T Godwits, 4 Ruff and 4 Wigeon, while around the trees, bushes, reedbed areas and common ground were 4 Lesser and 8 Common Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 8+ Reed Warblers and singles of both Wheatear and Whinchat. PRD.   

27th - The start of the Bank Holiday Weekend and as per normal, our weather today was very undecided - both the morning and early afternoon being very intermittent, either bright and some blue skies or very grey (and some extremely dark) clouds.  Late afternoon saw a brief storm with heavy rain.  Wind direction remained through the morning as W and of moderate strength, turning later to WNW and then by early evening to WSW (also dropping to very light).  Not exactly a hot day temperature-wise but not cold either.  While two members of the ringing team were in action today, they noted 3 Tree Sparrows heading NW over the compound (c13.00hrs), while also seen were 3 Common Buzzards - these were together, low and heading SW.  5 Avocets flew from the scrape. GG/PRD.  Reports noted for the site/scrape today, gave 1 of each Wood and Common Sandpipers, Snipe and Whimbrel, 6 Ruff and 7 Blk T Godwits.  Also seen were 2 Med Gulls (adW+juv). LH.

28th - Another "not overly warm" day, mostly bright but some grey clouds lingering at times and a few spots of rain.  Wind direction was initially W, varying later through to WSW and strength remaining pretty much moderate with some gusting of c21mph.  No reports returned.

29th - Although bright at times, the day in general was quite overcast and included some very dark threatening clouds on/off throughout.  Moderate WNW winds kept a chill in the air and locally reported wind gusts reached c29mph.  No reports returned.

30th - Another mixed day for the weather, grey and mostly dull - although the sun appeared a few times.  Winds for the majority, remained light to moderate WNW.  Surveying again in earnest around the trees, bushes, hedgerows and common grounds from the Dell, through the carpark and on to the hide, reported that numbers were good for first thing this morning.  Species making the count were Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Reed Warblers all at 6 of each, Common Whitethroats at 10, Willow Warblers and Wheatears at 4 of each, Pied Wagtails were noted as 12+, while singles were seen of Reed Bunting, Little Owl and KestrelMR/PRD.  Viewing from the hide supplied singles of Ruff, Spotted Redshank and Ringed Plover (juv), 2 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 12 Blk T Godwits and 2 Med Gulls (juvs) with duck and geese numbers being 55 Teal and 300+ Greylag Geese. PRD/MR/JK.  Walking towards the second hide gave additions of 1 Whinchat and another 7 Wheatears. MR.  During an evening visit to the site, Blk T Godwit and Teal counts had increased during the day to 13 and 105 respectively, whilst an additional species amongst the waders, was that of the Little Stint and there were 2 of these present. LH.   

31st - Some very light NNW winds this morning but again there was alot of cloud coverage across the skies.  The winds turned through N by the early afternoon and were at E by the evening - they remained very light and cool.  Two observers covered the site during the morning and another visited this evening.  The 2 juvenile Little Stints were still on the scrape today, alongside 12 Blk T Godwits, singles of Ruff and Dunlin, 6 Snipe, 70 Teal and 360 Greylag Geese.  A Turtle Dove* was viewed on the wires along the access road, 08.30 to 08.40hrs, before it flew towards Holland Brook, while the areas from the Dell through to the hide provided 3 Lesser and 10+ Common Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 4 Willow Warblers, 1 Little Owl and 10+ Pied Wagtails.  Moving through the site during the morning surveys, were very many Swallows along with a good number of House Martins.  2 Whinchat, 2 Wheatears, 35 Linnets and 10+ Goldfinch were also noted, these were along the route to the second hide. PRD/MR.  Evening additions were those of 5 Ruff, viewable off-shore at c18.45hrs, as they flew S past the Haven. PNt.      

As at 31st August, the Haven 2011 Year List stands at 166.