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 and again in 2014 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).
Site Year Tick*
1st - After a slightly cloud-covered start, the day brightened considerably and blue skies appeared. The temperature was already at +18 degrees prior to 08.00hrs and increased to that in excess of +22 degrees along the coast. S through SSE light winds (breeze up to c12mph) being variable for the duration. At least two observers were on the site this morning - while along the coastal paths near to the Gunfleet Boating Club/Radar Tower and off-shore, it was evident that the new coastal protection work had begun (see Gallery). On the way to the main hide, 2 Willow Warblers were located in the hedgerows and of particular note, 4 Little Terns flew overhead. PRD. Viewing from the main hide yielded 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Redshank, 2 LRPs, 2 Snipe, 4+ Common Sandpipers, 5 Dunlin, 50+ Lapwings and 63 Blk T Godwits, while the Avocet numbers had decreased somewhat down to just 17. How long before the remaining 17 Avos follow suite? No ducks noted today but 11 Canada and 27 Greylag Geese were in the vicinity. Counts of 2 Sedge and 3 Reed Warblers were also made during this survey. PRD/MR. An evening visit gave the addition of 2 Golden Plovers on the scrape. GG.
2nd - Cloud-cover and SSW light to moderate winds for the start of the day with temperatures c+20 degrees. As the day wore on, it progressed to be a lot hotter and very humid at times, while the skies turned blue again and the sun proved extremely bright. An adult Long-Tailed Skua* headed N towards Frinton c15.05hrs. Picked up as it flew to literally just off-shore (by the Haven Sluice) - giving excellent views to the two observers before it then carried on up the coast. GG/PNt. Across the scrape and in the near vicinity during the morning were 1 Greenshank (heard only), 3 LRPs, 4+ Common Sandpipers, 17 Avocets, 38 Blk T Godwits, 2 Shoveler and 6 Teal. Initially there were also 2 Wood Sandpipers but one of these took flight and left the scrape at c09.30hrs. Also viewed were 2 Sedge Warblers. PRD/MR. The Wildlife notes for today were of a Wasp Spider being located on the site. (see Gallery). MR.
3rd - Mostly SSW directional winds today with speeds variable up to 15mph. A generally bright, sunny day and another hot one at that - the morning +21 degrees reading duly increased both inland and along the coast. Early viewing prior to 07.30hrs gave of note some 60+ House Martins over the Golf Course areas whilst 7 Swifts were seen flying South. GG. The survey during a wander through the Memorials area, up past the Sluice Cottages to the Mounds yielded the Little Owl back in his tree and 25+ Goldfinches in the former, a Blackcap in the bushes near the Cottages and a Willow Warbler and 3 Common Whitethroats around the latter. From the main hide, the viewing across the scrape, surrounding marsh and the skyline provided 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 LRP, 1 Snipe, 1 Curlew, 2 Dunlin, 18 Avocets and 45 Blk T Godwits alongside 2 Wigeon and 10 Teal. Marsh Harriers and Kestrels totalled 2 of each. MR. Additional sightings were of 2 Wheatears - one being on the mounds and the other on the first turret. GG.
4th - SW/S winds varied from c5mph up to 15mph (slightly higher gusting at times) prevailed through a dry, bright, sunny and hot day with temperatures of +21+ degrees along the coast. Mid-evening brought a couple of brief downpours before a session of torrential rain along with much stronger winds for this duration. Surveying today, took in the areas over the road (opp. Approach Road) as well as the Memorials, Mounds and from the main hide. Of note over the road were a family of 5 Reed Warblers, a Sedge Warbler and 2 Whitethroats, while back on the main site the Little Owl was in his tree, a 'nice juvenile' Willow Warbler was in the hedge by the mounds and a further 4 Common Whitethroats were on the mounds. Viewing across the scrape and grazing marsh were a single Wood Sandpiper, 1 LRP, 3 Snipe, 4 Dunlin, 4 Common Sandpipers, 16 Avocets, 42 Lapwings and 45 Blk T Godwits. A Whimbrel was a fly-over, 1 Kestrel was noted and 2 Marsh Harriers were in the vicinity. The Wildlife observations found that the Wasp Spider was still in-situ and the area between the mounds and the radar mast yielded 2 Brown Argus and 5 Common Blue Butterflies. MR.
5th - After the heavy rain of last night, the morning proved another bright and sunny start with temperature readings locally of +18+ degrees prior to 08.00hrs. SSW/SW winds being at this time, variable from barely a breeze up to 9mph. No reports returned.
6th - After a night of fairly constant rain..... it continued into the morning complete with the obvious grey skies. Local temperature readings of +18+ degrees prior to 09.00hrs and Southerly winds of at times, up to 20mph but also dropping to others of a very light breeze. By mid-day the sun was through the clouds and the afternoon (and evening) progressed to be warm, very bright and dry. Located on the scrape at 10.15hrs were 3 adult Curlew Sandpipers*. PRD.
7th - A very bright and sunny day from the early hours this morning, along with a Southerly breeze that occasionally reached speeds of c7mph (The latter part of the day was SE winds). The initial temperature reading for along the coastline was of +18+ degrees but again humidity was high on/off through the day. Surveying during a wander of the site today, found that the Little Owl was in the Blackthorn bushes on the way down to the dead tree/memorials area, while a Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Blackcaps were in this vicinity. The mounds and bushes near the sluice were 'very busy' with seven bird species on and around, being 1 Lesser and 6 Common Whitethroats, 1 Sedge, 2 Willow and 5 Reed Warblers, 5 House Sparrows and a flock of some 30+ Goldfinches. Continuing through to the main hide, the Duck counts across the scrape and grazing marsh were 2 Shoveler, 2 Wigeon and 12+ Teal with notable Gulls being 2 Med Gulls of which these were 1 juvenile and the other a 2cy. The Wader totals and species consisted of 2 Snipe, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Green and 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 LRPs, 3 Dunlin, 3 Redshanks, 14 Avocets, 37 Blk T Godwits and 76 Lapwings. A single Kestrel was also viewed. MR.
8th - Changeable skies to say the least - from initial overcast, to bright and sunny, again overcast with the threat of rain from a few short lived periods of drizzle and so on - with the early evening back to grey skies and this time complete with rain! SE through ESE winds of up to 12mph for the majority but these dropped towards the evening to c7mph and less and were also back at SE in direction. Whilst the observer had hoped for a nice little migratory fall from the overnight change of winds, there was unfortunately nothing to get overly excited about that could be found during today's survey and in fact it appeared that Waders had migrated 'from' the site rather than too it! Across the scrape and surrounding marsh there were counts of 1 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 LRPs, 12 Avocets and 30 Blk T Godwits, alongside 1 Wigeon, 5 Shoveler and 24 Teal. The areas including from the Memorials through to the sluice bushes faired slightly better with views of the Little Owl, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Lesser and 8 Common Whitethroats as well as there being 'good numbers' for each of the species: Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and House Sparrow. The coastal protection work continues - see Gallery. MR.
9th - Variable direction winds of SE through SW of mostly speeds up to c12mph and whilst the majority of the day was bright, grey clouds were evident at times. Temperature readings of +18+ degrees and again high humidity levels noted. Threats of stormy weather, including heavy rain and extreme high winds for late evening and into tomorrow - this from the tail end of Hurricane Bertha. No reports returned.
10th - Some heavy rain overnight and into the early morning in some local areas - worse in some than others - this was then on/off through and into the afternoon with some of it proving very heavy indeed along with some thunder and lightning. Sun between the rain and again after c15.00hrs, remaining quite bright into the evening. Warm at +20+ degrees, whilst the high winds proved variable from SE round to W with general speeds in excess of 26mph, the gusting was at times quite continuous and of much higher speeds. Seawatching was the focal point for all of today's observers and prior to 09.00hrs, two of the observers were provided with views of a Pomarine Skua* that flew S. LD/PL. Counts for species between 09.00hrs and 11.30hrs included 3 Arctic Skuas* (2N+1S), 2 Common Terns (S), 2 Sandwich Terns (N), a Fulmar (N) and 29 Gannets (16N+13S), also 2 Bar T Godwits, 3 Oystercatchers (S), 7 Grey Plovers (S) and 5 Common Scoters (S). The off-shore viewing also yielded 12+ Swifts flying N, a further 5 Swifts heading S, while looking behind the viewpoint (Greensward Shelter) i.e. across the Haven site, some 150+ Swifts were seen heading South over the land. PL/LD/IM/MR.
11th - Although appearing to be cooler - be it a bright, dry and sunny start to the day - the temperature before 09.00hrs was at +20 degrees. The SW winds were however, strong at 24+mph with higher speeds of gusting. All change c14.00hrs when extremely dark clouds moved quickly in and gave torrential rain, thunder and lightning - twice within a couple of hours! By 16.30hrs, the skies were quite blue again and the sun assisted with providing a very pleasant evening. A site visit yielded singles of LRP, Ruff and Snipe, along with 2 Common Sandpipers, 10 Avocets and 43 Blk T Godwits, also 1 Wigeon and 60+ Teal. A Kestrel was viewed, as were 2 Marsh Harriers. MR.
12th - Wind direction was once again SW for this morning and of speeds mostly in excess of 19mph with some extra blasts along the way. Definitely a cooler start with temperature readings along the coast of barely +17 degrees, increasing slightly during the day. The afternoon at times provided some very dark clouds (some local areas also had a few spits of rain) in what remained to be a blue sky... at least into the early evening. Even lower counts of species noted on the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh today - for which some of this is probably due to the recent torrential downpours helping to unfortunately keep the water levels very high on the main scrape. A single Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 9 Avocets and 61 Blk T Godwits were the Waders surveyed, while the Ducks were a Wigeon and c20 Teal. Birds of Prey consisted of a Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk and a Marsh Harrier. On a Wildlife note, a further two Wasp Spiders have been seen in recent days and today saw the count rise to a total of 4 of these species and all within c3 metres of each other. MR.
13th - After occasional rain during the night, the early morning was bright and sunny but a seemingly cool +14 degrees - this did increase by mid-day to +21 degrees. Wind direction prior to 06.00hrs was still at SW but turned to Westerly as the morning progressed and these remained mostly at moderate speeds of up to c13mph into the latter part of the afternoon at least. A site survey today (10.45hrs-12.30hrs) yielded 1 Ruff, 1 Common Sandpiper, 9 Avocets, 64 Blk T Godwits, 65 Lapwings and 20+ Teal. Singles of Med Gull (juv), Barn Owl, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier (juv) and Reed Bunting (male) were also viewed and noted during this time. Wasp Spiders were again located - still at a count of 4. LH.
14th - Grey and overcast this morning with variable WSW through NW winds - these from c8mph up to and in excess of 18mph, along with gusting of 21+mph. Generally a cooler day throughout (max. +18 degrees) and the predicted rain when it turned up, was initially in the form of on/off showers before a few heavy downpours got thrown in.... together with thunder and the odd flash of lightning too! The wind speeds during the stormy sessions reached 29+mph whilst mid-evening saw at times, not even a breeze. A visit to the main hide during today supplied views of 2 Common Sandpipers, 8 Dunlin, 9 Avocets, 12 Snipe and 57 Blk T Godwits of note being on and across the scrape. Also seen from this point were singles of Peregrine and Marsh Harrier. IM.
15th - A very changeable day as far as the weather was concerned...... intermittent blue skies, sun, both white and dark grey clouds, on/off heavy showers and variable temperatures up to +19 degrees. Wind direction was initially NNW, moving through N to NNE/NE, speeds only being consistent in that they were constantly up/down from c7mph through 25+mph! At least two observers were on site today and surveys took in the Dell through to the Mounds as well as the wander to the main hide and the viewing from that point. A bit more bird-life in the former areas than of late, with counts of 1 Little Owl, 1 Blackcap, 5 Willow Warblers, 7 Lesser and 20+ Common Whitethroats, also 2 Wheatears. Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were totals of 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 5 Dunlin, 9 Avocets, 37 Blk T Godwits, 97 Lapwings and c50 Teal. Also seen from the hide were 1 Sedge Warbler and 2 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk and rounding up the bird species, a single Marsh Harrier. IM/MR. The Wildlife species again included Wasp Spiders - today a further 2 of these were located between the sluice and main hide. MR.
16th - A bright, cool start to the day with coastline temperature readings at barely +12 degrees at 06.30hrs. Initial wind direction and speeds being of WNW, up to 15mph and gusting in excess of 19mph - these increased substantially up to and in excess of 30mph later in the day. Observations during a day that also included a Ringing Session, yielded of note 1 Hobby, 1 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawks and 2 Green Woodpeckers, also 50+ Sand and 60+ House Martins. A single Wheatear was located, as were 4 of each Whinchats and Pied Wagtails and some 70+ Linnets. Waders across the site included singles of Golden Plover, Green Sandpiper, Curlew and Whimbrel. Of particular interest during the ringing session, were both a Sand Martin and a Whinchat - whilst both species have previously been ringed on the site, the last records relate to during/prior to 1996. GG.
17th - Fluctuating wind direction from W through/back to WNW with speeds of up to 24mph and gusting that reached 30mph prior to mid-morning, changing after this to include WSW winds and stronger speeds of 32+mph and 37+mph respectively. The local temperature readings made it up to at least +17 degrees, sun and skies were changeable while rain made an appearance to complete the picture. Viewing from the main hide during today gave of note, 1 Tufted Duck (duck), 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Redshanks, 7 Dunlin, 7 Avocets and 30 Blk T Godwits, while the skyline yielded a single Marsh Harrier. The wander to the second hide gave the addition of 2 Whinchats that were located on the adjoining fence. IM/PL.
18th - Some WNW winds for early this morning with variable moderate to strong speeds of c15mph through 24mph, along with gusting of up to 28mph. Temperature readings along the coastline by 07.00hrs being of +12 degrees and at this time, a slight grey tinge to the skies. A nice find on the scrape at 09.50hrs today (by Mick Rodwell) was that of an adult Grey Phalarope*. What had appeared to be a morning with little difference on the main scrape, most definitely changed when this little one decided to appear from the right-hand back corner. This is the third record of Grey Phalarope for the site but the first in the month of August. The previous two were both at the very end of October - single birds in each of 2005 and 2007. MR/PRD et al. Also on and around the vicinity this morning were 3 Dunlin, 6 Avocets, 34 Blk T Godwits and 35 Greylag Geese of note. Record photos of the Grey Phalarope are in the Gallery. MR. Another site visit during the day gave totals of 3 Gadwall and 24 Teal, 1 Common Sandpiper, Dunlin were up to 4 total and Lapwings were at 70. A Sparrowhawk and 8 Swifts were also viewed. LGRE. Evening visits to the main hide found that the Grey Phalarope was still viewable and additions to earlier counts, included 4 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper and Avocets were up to a total of 7. Some 20 Swallows were also noted at this time. LH/PL/AD.
19th - Wind direction during the morning being of WNW through NNW and initially of speeds c12mph up to 22mph and gusting that reached 29mph - much later the winds were down to just 3mph. Generally a bright day but cooler temperatures along the coast - barely +11 degrees by 08.00hrs, increasing slightly to +14 by late morning, then a high of +16 for mid-afternoon..... to go with the brief showers. The Grey Phalarope was found to still be on the main scrape as at 07.15hrs this morning and further still viewable as at 15.30hrs. MR/PBr/IM/PRD. A wander to the second turret provided one observer with a total of 5 Whinchats that were perched along the fence by the second hide, some 3+ Wheatears that were in the area and also a single Little Egret that was seen to fly over the Golf Course as it headed in the direction of the main scrape. IM. At 15.30hrs - while surveying from the main hide - a juvenile Caspian Gull* appeared (see Gallery). PRD/MR/AA/PA. Additional species from other reports covering visits made from c11.00hrs into early afternoon, were of a Med Gull, a Bar-T Godwit (still in summer plumage), a single Ruff and 1+ Dunlin on the main scrape and surrounding grazing marsh - all alongside the Blk T Godwits, Lapwings, 5+ Snipe and the now very depleted number of Avocets, while 2 Oystercatchers were seen on the sluice rocks. A single Swift was seen, as were a few Sand Martins and 50+ Swallows, singles of Lesser Whitethroat and Reed Warbler were noted, the Mounds held 2 Common Whitethroats and 10+ Linnets, while 'best seen in the sheltered corner of the pond' were several Willow Warblers along the lower hedge of the carpark. A Kestrel and 2 Stock Doves finalise todays species counts. SM/GB.
20th - The initial NNW wind direction of early morning remained fairly constant prior to latter day movement towards WNW, while its speed varied greatly throughout. Early c7mph to 11mph with gusting of up to 15mph later dropped to barely a breeze at times, 17+mph at others with gusting up to 20mph. Coastline temperatures of +9 degrees at 07.15hrs reached a high point of +17 later. The first report was of the Grey Phalarope that whilst still on the site, didn't show until 09.36hrs (IM) but from then on was visible for many birders pretty much throughout the day - showing well over lunchtime and until 15.30hrs (PBr/SN), noted again for 17.15hrs (HE). Overall the day proved eventful for sightings with the following species gained from several reports made. The totals as listed are the highest counts taken from the reports per species and have not been combined. An Osprey (PBr) flew south over the scrape at 13.40hrs, while an adult Hobby also flew over the scrape (twice), at least 7 Common Buzzards were viewed at one time (these being 'apparent family groups of 3 and 4'. PBr) and an adult Marsh Harrier was also in view. A Yellow-Legged Gull (juv) was on the scrape from lunchtime until mid-afternoon, while a 3cy Caspian Gull (SN) 14.00hrs to 15.30hrs was the second of this species within two days (see Gallery for Grey Phal/Caspian/Y-L Gull). Noted for on and around the scrape were also a Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Avocets, 6+ Snipe, 41 Blk T Godwits and 2 Med Gulls (1ad+1W). Other species on site, included 1 Kingfisher, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 3+ Wheatears (2 of these noted for along the seawall), 5+ Whinchats (5 were initially on the fence near the second hide as per yesterday) and rounding up the reports were some 10+ Sand Martins. PBr/SN/PRD/HE/IM et al.
21st - Mostly a bright and dry day until late afternoon when it became overcast, subsequently leading to a couple of showers during the evening. At least the weather held for the first day of the Air Show. Initial SW winds varied to W and speeds of up to 17mph and gusting of up to 20mph increased later to 28+mph and 34+mph respectively. The coastline temperature reached a high of +17 degrees. The Grey Phalarope was viewable at 07.55hrs this morning (still on view per RBA at 16.15hrs) and was on the scrape alongside singles of Sandwich Tern and Redshank, 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Avocets, 4 Snipe, 30 Blk T Godwits and 52 Greylag Geese. IM.
22nd - A mixed day for the weather but for those enjoying the second day of the Air Show, only a couple of brief daytime showers appeared. Intermittent times of overcast skies and sun with the temperature along the coast reaching a maximum of +18 degrees - although feeling much cooler with some of the high 32mph gusts that were around. Initial W/WNW winds moved to NE with general speeds up to c19mph. Reported for 08.15hrs - from the main hide - was that the Grey Phalarope was again showing well. Also on the scrape at this time were 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 5 Avocets, 39 Blk T Godwits and 35 Greylag Geese. Singles of Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard were visible from this viewpoint. IM. Afternoon species in flight included the annual return of the Red Arrows - definitely displaying!
23rd - Wind direction proved to be WNW through NW and of variable speeds up to 21mph and gusting of up to 30mph. Mostly bright and sunny, the coastline temperature reached +15 degrees. Viewing by three observers - from the main hide - yielded of note 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Snipe, 3 Avocets and 36 Blk T Godwits, a single Common and 2 Med Gulls. Skyline viewing provided 2 Common Buzzards. PL/IM/PRD. Additional sightings included 1 Wheatear, 2 Reed Warblers, 1 Lesser and 2 Common Whitethroats and singles of both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. Common Sandpipers, Snipe and Blk T Godwits had also increased to 3, 4 and 40 respectively. MP. The fencing near to the second hide played host to some 9 Whinchats (per RBA).
24th - Initial wind direction of NW/WNW with speeds up to 14mph, turned to S and then SW with speeds of up to 19mph and gusting at times in excess of 22mph. Local temperature readings reached +16 degrees while the skies throughout, alternated back and forth from bright to cloudy. Surveying this morning gave a Garden Warbler in the bushes by the Sailing Club Compound (compound situated between the Approach Road and the Dell), while further Autumn passage was noted with one of two Spotted Flycatchers viewed in the hedgerows of the lower carpark and the other being located in a fir tree next to the Sluice Cottages - along with a Pied Flycatcher*. A further Garden Warbler was found during this survey by two observers which covered the areas from across the road and through the main site. Other counts included 1 Sedge, 2 Reed and 12 Willow Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 12 Lesser and c20 Common Whitethroats. Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were a Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 3 Avocets and 34 Blk T Godwits of note. Overhead and skyline viewing from the main hide yielded singles of Swift, Hobby, Kestrel and Common Buzzard. IM/PL. The Pied Fly was still in-situ as at 12.28hrs, then by 16.05hrs, the bird was in the bushes beside Tariq. DS/PRD.
25th - A change of wind direction for today round to S through SSE with speeds of up to 26mph and gusting that reached some 30mph at least. A grey overcast Bank Holiday Monday with on/off (mostly on) rain. Birds aside for a moment, the highlight of the day for a few observers was that of a Convolvulus Hawk-Moth (see Gallery). The Hawk-Moth was seen to fly in/off and then land where it was luckily still viewable and a few photos were able to be gained. These particular moths have a wingspan of anywhere between 80mm to 120mm. A superb record for the Haven site. PRD/PNt/LD/MR. First thing this morning, a one hour seawatching session provided 1 Fulmar, 4 Oystercatchers and 15 Teal of note. IM/MR. Viewing from the hide slightly later yielded 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Dunlin, 2 Greenshanks (fly-overs), 3 Avocets, 4 Snipe, 34 Blk T Godwits and 50+ Lapwings. A few of each Swallows, House and Sand Martins, 2 Swifts and a Marsh Harrier were also noted from the main hide. MR. Some additional species and counts included 1 Arctic Tern*, a juvenile Med Gull, an immature Gannet and 8 Common Scoters. PNt.
26th - A day of strong Easterly winds (slight variation from E to ENE at times) with speeds of up to at least 28mph and plenty of gusting up to and in excess of 32mph. Mostly a grey day again with on/off rain. Seawatching took place this morning from 07.50hrs to 11.50hrs(SC) with a few observers taking part at various stages. The notable species and counts for the duration were 17 Arctic Skuas (all heading S), a Grey Plover (N), 1 Bar-T Godwit (N), 3 Oystercatchers (S), 7 Common Scoter (S), 16 Shelducks (2N+14S), c30 Teal (S) and c70 Duck sp.(S), while 5 Grey Herons flew in/off. Terns numbered 130+ "mainly distant and nearly all flying S" and consisted of c30 Sandwich Terns while the balance were noted as Commic. SC/IM/Mt/MR. A Spotted Flycatcher was located behind Tariq during a survey of the memorials area - in the same bush were also counts of 1 Lesser and 1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcaps and c30 Goldfinches. Seen to be feeding overhead at this point was a Swift. IM. At 15.25hrs the site played host to the third Caspian Gull in eight days. Today's 'Caspo' was a juvenile bird "classic, straight out of the field guide". Initially on the scrape, the Caspian Gull flew to a roof within the Sewage Farm. PRD.
27th - A bright, sunny morning along with E/ESE variable strength winds (c8mph up to 18mph) and some gusting both up to and exceeding 21mph. Initial reports were that a Wryneck* (MR) was in the hawthorn bushes and viewable from the platform in the memorials area (i.e. from near to Tariq). An evening visit saw the Wryneck again in this area before it disappeared towards the rear of the Sewage Farm. (PL). Virtually an annual species at the Haven now - a Wryneck has been recorded in six out of the last eight years and more than just 'one' bird in some.
28th - Southerly winds turned by the evening to Westerly and the speeds of up to at least 24mph (plus gusting of 27+mph) dropped to light to moderate in the process. A fairly warm day (coastline temperatures reached a high of +19 degrees) there were times of drizzle. An initial survey today took in the areas of the Approach Road through to the Memorials and on to the main hide. The former areas were noted as fairly quiet although a Spotted Flycatcher and the Little Owl were both near to the 'Owl's tree'. Seen from the platform by the Memorials, 2 Greenshank took flight from the scrape. Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh - as viewed from the main hide - were noted counts of 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 3 Avocets and 42 Blk T Godwits. A Marsh Harrier was also visible. The Farm areas (viewable from Public Footpaths) during the afternoon, yielded singles of Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard and Corn Bunting, 3 Whinchats and c10 Wheatears, as well as 6+ Yellow Wagtails. IM.
29th - A day of variable SW through WSW strong winds and subsequent gusting of up to and in excess of 26mph and 31mph respectively. Bright but breezy along with temperature readings of c+16 degrees. Several observers were on and around the site today taking surveys of the Carpark bushes, Memorials area through to and past the Sluice, on to and from the main hide, as well as notable over-head movement. Noted counts and species for the trees and bushes were of 2 Chiffchaffs by the Dipping Pond (lower carpark) and 2 Cetti's Warblers (heard: 1xMemorials + 1x front of main hide), while both Lesser and Common Whitethroats - not physically counted - were noted as 'good numbers'. Fly-overs/through South included 10 Swifts, c30 House Martins and c100 Swallows. PRD/MR/AEC. The scrape proved to have a bit of variety as well as some movement in/out during the different surveys. Initial observations of this area included a juvenile LRP, 1 Green Sandpiper and 4 Redshanks (AEC), while later viewing included c14 Ruff which is a good count for this species on the Haven scrape ('a group of 12 joined a pair on the scrape before flying to the marsh over the road') and also at least 1 Yellow-legged Gull (PRD/MR). Other counts for the scrape and surrounding area were of 1 Med Gull (ad.W), 2 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler and c130 Teal, alongside 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Avocets (still hanging on in there), 8 Snipe, 42 Blk T Godwits and 120 Lapwings. Rounding up today's reports, was the fly-over (across the scrape) of a Grey Wagtail. MR/PRD/AEC et al.
30th - The early rain cleared to give a fairly warm (+17+ degrees) and pleasant day and evening. Winds of up to 27mph and gusting of 32+mph varied WNW/NW. The highlight of today was that of a Wood Warbler* (see Gallery) which appeared in the nets during a ringing session this morning. PNt. Various site records for this species date back to 1985 although from records held, this would appear to be the first time a Wood Warbler has been trapped and ringed here. Several observers already on the site were lucky enough to be able to see the bird at release and whilst it disappeared quickly into the bushes, the Wood Warbler did, be it briefly, re-appear atop before disappearing totally. PNt/PRD/MR/SC/PC/PR/LR/PL/AD. Surveying generally around the Haven site, the early checks of the lower Carpark and Approach Road trees, bushes and hedgerows found these pretty quiet apart from a Spotted Flycatcher (PL) along the said Road and a Blackcap. The Little Owl was in one of his normal haunts and a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker was around throughout the morning. After good numbers yesterday, there were only a few of both Lesser and Common Whitethroats around today and a few Willow/Chiffs too. Noted over-head movement was of 2 Sand and c20 House Martins, c20 Swifts and c60 Swallows. Viewing from the main hide provided singles of LRP, Ruff, Redshank and Common Sandpiper, 2 Avocets (has number 3 now gone for the year?), 4 Snipe, 48 Blk T Godwits and 90 Lapwings for the Wader counts, with Ducks consisting of 2 Shoveler and c120 Teal. Additional in and near this vicinity were a Sparrowhawk, 1 Little Egret, 1 Med Gull and a juvenile Caspian Gull, the latter of which was not the Caspo from 26th August but it is possible that it was the bird from the 19th August (Per the observers of these birds, their obvious notes and record photos taken at the time). Rounding up today's reported species, there were 5 Common Buzzards that drifted through/over during late morning. PL/MR.
31st -A bright morning with some fairly constant gusting going on at times and some dubious looking clouds in an otherwise blue sky. The NNW through WNW winds moving back and forth continually and of speeds up to and in excess of 19mph with those extra blasts being of 27+mph. Coastline temperatures by mid-day were at +17 degrees. The first report gave that brief sightings were had of a Redstart* (MR) at 08.30hrs over the road (opp. Approach Road) with notes included that there were lots of Warblers around. A second Redstart (09.40hrs) was located in the Greensward hedge near the Radar Mast and was still visible by the Mast/Sluice Cottages area as at 11.18hrs (see Gallery). MR/PL/DS. At 11.55hrs, on the track near the second hide, a Wryneck was located (MR) - this may or may not be a different bird to that of the 27th but given sightings of Wryneck literally just along the coast at Frinton (PBr) and the number of this species arriving up and down the rest of the coastline, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent and further - probably a second bird for the Haven site this year. The Wryneck (see Gallery) was still on view (on posts along path to the right of the second hide) as at 13.40hrs (DS) and also still at 16.21hrs (PBr). A juvenile Caspian Gull was noted on the scrape at 16.58hrs - although it did go out of view for a while. PBr/S. The two Redstarts from earlier in the day were still on the site late this afternoon too, with one in the bushes on the down-hill route to the Memorials (16.00hrs) and the one over the road as at 16.40hrs. MR. The last day of the month proved fruitful for several and the variety of species was generally quite good. From a joint report by two observers, the counts over and above the aforementioned, were of 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, 15+ Common Whitethroats and 25+ Willow Warblers around the trees and hedgerows, while Birds of Prey consisted of 1 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawks, 1 Peregrine and some 10+ Common Buzzards - the latter three species viewed from the main hide. The walk to the second hide gave of 2 Wheatears and 5+ Whinchats and all of which, at this time, were seen on the seaward side of the hide, as if you were heading along the lower path to Frinton. The counts for the scrape and surrounding marsh included singles of Little Egret, LRP, Dunlin and Green Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, 2 Avocets, c30 Blk T Godwits, c60 Lapwings, c90 Teal and a total of 130 Greylag Geese. PL/MR. An evening visit - from the Frinton end of site c17.00hrs - proved some movement in/out from the scrape from the earlier sightings - with increases for Dunlin, Ruff, Blk T Godwits and Greylag Geese to 2, 3, 48 and 148 respectively and the addition of 11 Snipe, the latter looking superb as they 'fed out in the open in a loose group'. At this time the Green Sandpiper was not visible. Near to the Wryneck were at least 6 Whinchats (second hide), 2 Wheatears were slightly S of here, 4 Yellow Wagtails flew over and a Med Gull (1Y) was off-shore. PBr. While viewing from above the sluice, a distinct direction change to NE also caused the evening winds to become suddenly colder - subsequent searches failed to re-locate the Wryneck in what had become a windy spot. PL/PBr.