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*


1st - A pleasant, warm and fairly bright start to August - early blue skies, although a slight lack of these just prior to mid-morning - the wind speed and direction being light SW turning S.  The initial Wader counts for across the scrape as at 09.00hrs (from the main hide), provided 1 Redshank, 2 Wood Sandpipers, 3 Common Sandpipers, 7 Dunlin, 54 Blk T Godwits and 56 AvocetsMR.  Definitely a superb and surprise bird for Mick Rodwell to find himself viewing at c09.45hrs (see record photo) was that of a CASPIAN TERN* on the scrape.  Unfortunately, the bird took flight in a SW direction over the Sewage Farm by 10.00hrs - a few other observers did manage to get sight of the bird but it was soon lost to view. MR/LW/PNt/LR/PR.  By 14.00hrs the Tern had made no visible return to the area. PRD(Caspian Tern was the predicted bird of Clive Atkins on our 'HHB Team' chart).

2nd - Several observers made visits to the site today but yesterday's star bird had unfortunately failed to return to the vicinity.  Viewing across the scrape initially, provided 1 Ruff (male), 1 Green, 2 Wood and 5 Common Sandpipers, 5 Curlew, 7 Dunlin, 22 Lapwings, c60 Blk T Godwits and 61 Avocets.  A single Marsh Harrier and 2 Common Buzzards were also seen from the main hide. MR.  Additions to today's counts were those of an adult Med Gull, 30 Curlew (fields), a Whimbrel (briefly on the scrape) and leucistic Moorhen chick. D&MJ.  The Wildlife front yielded another Clouded Yellow Butterfly on site. MR.  A colour-ringed Avocet - originating from Cleveland - was also noted within the '61' on the scrape. MJ

3rd - Today's visit gave counts that included 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Curlew, 4 Common Sandpipers, 5 Dunlin, 37 Lapwings, 37 Blk T Godwits and 57 Avocets, alongside 2 juvenile Shelducks, 5 Teal, 2 Common Gulls, 6 L B B and 108 Black-headed Gulls. MR.  A later addition was that of a Whimbrel. DP.

4th - No reports returned.

5th - Surveying from the hide this morning, again gave a change of Wader counts and also a few more viewable species that included singles of L R P, Wood Sandpiper and Ruff (juv).  Also noted were 2 Snipe, 6 Dunlin, 7 Common Sandpipers, 34 Curlew, 35 Lapwings, 54 Blk T Godwits and 58 Avocets.  A Common Tern and 10 Cormorants were also in the vicinity. MR.  Located by the second hide was a Wheatear. TS.  

6th - Of particular note, a Wood Sandpiper was again on the scrape. GG.

7th - No reports returned.

8th - Of particular note during a ringing session today was a Kestrel, while a Kingfisher was also seen and a Greenshank was heard. PNt/LW.

9th - A survey that took in the trees, bushes and hedgerows through to the hide found that there were a few of each Lesser and Common Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Reed Warblers as well as a large flock of Goldfinches and Linnets.  Noted as they moved through were counts of 2 Sand and c40 House Martins and 2 Swifts, while Swallows were reported as a 'steady flow'.  A total of 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Kestrels and 5 Common Buzzards were visible from the main hide, as were a single Common Tern, 1 Wigeon, a juvenile Shoveler and 16 Teal.  The Wader numbers across the scrape during this visit consisted of 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Golden Plover, 3 Dunlin, 3 Ruff (ad male +2 juvs), 3 Common Sandpipers, 20 Lapwings, 33 Curlew, 44 Blk T Godwits and 61 Avocets. MR.  Noted during a family run/cycle ride (in from the Frinton end & badly timed with the on-going Clacton Half Marathon) were just a single Wheatear and 2 Sand Martins heading S to add to the day's reports. PBr&Co.

10th - During a survey from the main hide, it proved to be another day with a bit of variety that included 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Little Egret, 3 Grey Herons, 1 Common Buzzard and 3 Marsh Harriers.  Wader counts across the vicinity being of 1 LRP, 1 Ringed Plover, 3 Ruff (male +2 juvs), 5 Common Sandpipers, 6 Dunlin, 33 Lapwings, 59 Avocets and a high total of 76 Blk T Godwits.  The area near the Sluice held a single Wheatear of note. MR.

11th - During a ringing session (06.30-08.30hrs) this morning that included Willow, Reed and Sedge Warblers, it was noted as 'not a great deal happening'.  A few Sand Martins and c40 Swallows were seen to move through the site and a flock of 20 Goldfinches were also viewed. SC.

12th - At least two observers were on and around the site during the morning with reports for off-shore and from the main hide.  Wandering to the hide with a brief look out to sea, gave 7 Commic Terns and 1 Gannet flying NE.MR. A Yellow Wagtail was again viewable from the hide, while ducks comprised 2 juvenile Shelducks, 4 Shoveler and 28 Teal of note.  The counts for the Waders across the scrape were singles of LRP and Snipe, 2 Redshank, 3 Ruff, 4 Green Sandpipers, 6 Dunlin, 6 Common Sandpipers, 42 Blk T Godwits and some 50 Avocets.  Also in this vicinity were 2 Sandwich Terns and 3 Kestrels.  During the walk back to the carpark, a 30 minute seawatch provided an Oystercatcher (SW), a Little Tern (juv) and a Common Scoter (NE). PRD/MR.

13th - Surveying the carpark bushes late morning, having already held an earlier seawatch session, the second of today's site Year Ticks brought the 2015 total so far, to 154.  A Pied Flycatcher* was located in the Carpark area c12.00hrs by one surveyor - after making a comment to other observers that "I'm going to find a Pied Fly"...... if only it could always be that easy!!  Also located in this area were a Blackcap and 5 Willow Warblers. MR.  Included in the report for the off-shore species were an adult pale phase Arctic Skua* (NE), 5 Common Scoters and 6 Gannets. PRD.  Across the scrape there were particular notes of 1 LRP, 2 Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpipers and 3 Ruff (the latter increased to 4 at a later survey. IM), while both Avocets and Blk T Godwits were in the vicinity.  A colour-ringed Herring Gull was also reported. MR.  

14th - Several observers were viewing across the scrape and surrounding areas from the main hide this morning and until the 3 Curlew Sandpipers (all adults) dropped in at c10.35hrs, the species and counts were much as per yesterday.  Reported for the multi-viewing session, were 2 Redshanks, 2 Snipe, 4 Common Sandpipers, 4+ Ruff, 5 Dunlin, 36 Blk T Godwits and 48 Avocets, all alongside the Curlew Sandpipers. Over and through the area were 10+ Swifts with Swallows, Sand and House Martins all viewed. PRD/IM/TS/DP/MR.  During a couple of evening visits to the site, a Green Sandpiper was on the scrape (until at least 19.30hrs) and a Kingfisher had been seen. AEC.  Both a Barn Owl and a S E O were visible at c19.30hrs. MR.

15th - A site visit during late afternoon (15.00-16.30hrs) provided counts that included singles of both Green and Common Sandpipers, 1 LRP (juv), 2 Snipe, 3 Whimbrel, 4 Ruff, 4 Dunlin, 17 Curlew, 19 Blk T Godwits and c30 Lapwings, alongside a single Wigeon, 40+ Teal and 5 Grey Herons.  A Common Buzzard and 2 juvenile Marsh Harriers were in the vicinity.  Also noted were 1 Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Whinchat and c25 Goldfinches - the latter being a mix of adults and juvs. LH.    

16th - No reports returned.

17th - Making the most of a gap in commitments, a trip to the main hide (in from the Frinton end) supplied noted counts across the scrape and surrounding area of 1 Wigeon and 2 Greylag Geese, 5 Ruff (2 in general viewing + 3 at that time being tucked into the NE corner), 6 Snipe, 6 Avocets and some 58 Blk T Godwits, while 44 Curlew disturbed from the grazing marsh were seen to fly towards the Memorials area.  Along the seawall route, a single Wheatear was located by the Golf Course Dump, 3 Yellow Wagtails (3 x individual areas) and 2 Kestrels were viewed over the marshes. PBr.  Additions from another survey were of 26 Lapwings viewed from the hide, as were a juvenile Shelduck and an increase of Teal to 57, with singles of Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard also recorded.  Surveying the bushes and trees "it was more of a case of what wasn't on site...." with species being just a few Blackcaps, Common and Lesser Whitethroats with a note of 'a couple of Willow/Chiffs heard'. MR

18th - No reports returned.

19th - At least eight observers made visits to the site today giving some very full coverage of the Haven.  A full WeBS count was also carried out and subsequently reported for this page.  Species across the site included 2 Little Grebes (ad + tiny chick), 1 Grey Heron, 8 Cormorants, 1 Turnstone, 2 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 3 Avocets, 3 Snipe, 4 Oystercatchers, 5 Moorhens, 44 Blk T Godwits and 76 Lapwings.  Also 3 Mallards, 78 Teal, 13 Canada and 76 Greylag Geese, 3 L B B, 55 Herring and 95 Black-headed Gulls.  Counts were also noted of 1 Wheatear, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 35 Goldfinches, a Marsh Harrier and some 5 Common Buzzards that were together in the stubble field.  Seen from the site were 20 Common Scoters (DP) while in the Sewage Farm, a colour-ringed Herring Gull (SC) was located - the latter was a first sighting since ringed in 2014. SC/TS/CS/DP/C&J/Mt/MR.

20th - No reports returned. 

21st - Several observers were on the site during the morning and a ringing session also took place from 06.00hrs to c12.00hrs.  It was the current regular species that found the nets today and these included Swallow, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Reed Warbler (see Ringing). SC.  Of particular note, 2 S E O's were reported as seen from the main hide, first thing this morning. Vtr.  A wander near the Golf Course, provided 3 Wheatears along the seawall, while on a Wildlife note, 3 Clouded Yellow Butterflies were also located just prior to mid-day. LH.  From the main hide during the morning, as viewed across the scrape, grazing marsh, visible skyline and the reedbeds, there were counts of 1 Golden Plover, 2 Dunlin, 2 Snipe and 2 Common Sandpipers, 5 Ruff, 5 Avocets, 34 Blk T Godwits and 61 Lapwings, alongside 2 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler, c70 Teal, 13 Canada and 104 Greylag Geese.  Singles of Hobby, Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard were noted, as was the favourite of many, a Kingfisher. LH/IM/TS/MR.  A single Wheatear was located by the Sluice - so a probable 4 of these on the site today, while seen amongst today's Herring Gulls, was a returning 'NTGG' colour-ringed bird. MR.    

22nd - A few observers out and about at the Haven through this morning and a Haven 2015 Year Tick species too.  A Garden Warbler* was located in the Carpark bushes c10.52hrs. Early afternoon saw visits to both the main and the second hide where the wander to the latter, provided views of a Little Grebe carrying its 3 youngsters on its back.  Across the main scrape and surrounding area were of note 4 Common Sandpipers, 6 Avocets, 9 Ruff, 55 Blk T Godwits, 25 Canada Geese and c70 Teal, while 2 Common Buzzards were also viewed from the main hide. IM/PL.  Another ringing session also took place from 06.15-10.00hrs and included some 21 Swallows as well as various counts of Reed Buntings, Willow, Reed and Sedge Warblers (Ringing).  During this time there were views of a Kingfisher, 2 Yellow Wagtails and a S E O. SC.

23rd - A morning visit and subsequent report gave counts across the scrape and grazing marsh of 3 Common Sandpipers, 5 Ruff, 10 Avocets, 18 Curlew and 71 Blk T Godwits, alongside 4 Shoveler, 101 Teal, 22 Canada and c100 Greylag Geese.  Also seen at this time was a Hobby. IM/PL.  A late afternoon/early evening seawatch session by four observers (from the Greensward Shelter, 16.30hrs to 18.15hrs) supplied eight species of note, all of which were heading S and included a total count of some 22 Arctic Terns*.  The other species were singles of Cormorant and Oystercatcher, 2 Grey Plovers and 2 Ringed Plovers, 3 Sandwich and 3 Common Terns and 4 Dunlin.  It was also noted that there was "alot of movement at distance...... no chance of ID". PL/IM/PNt/MR.   

24th - Mostly a day of grey cloud-cover and on/off rain.  During a one-hour visit 15.00-16.00hrs, Waders of note were a Common Sandpiper, 3 Ruff, 12 Avocets and 68 Blk T Godwits.  Also viewed were 2 S E O's. DP.

25th - A bright and dry morning .......same could not be said for the afternoon!  At c10.32hrs a Pied Flycatcher was located in the 'large clump' of bushes some 50mtrs/yds to the SW of the Dell area (i.e. from Toilet block). IM.  Slightly later at around mid-day, a Spotted Flycatcher was also in the same bushes as the 'still in-situ' Pied Fly. LR/PR.  An early wander along the Haven to the Frinton end, gave of note a single Common Sandpiper and 10 Wheatears (DP), while the area between the main hide and the Golf Course, provided 8+ Whinchats sitting along the fence-line. PRD.

26th - No reports returned.

27th - Day '1' of the Clacton Airshow and the 'Red Arrows' once again made the Year Tick List.  An early evening trip from the Frinton end down to the main hide and back, proved to show a good influx of Wheatears from c17.35 to c18.35hrs.  Just a single bird was noted on the way to the hide, 18 were located along the Seawall on the return journey and by this time, 20+ were on the fields beyond the Golf Course (total of 39+).  At least 8 Whinchats were in the vicinity too.  Counts for across the scrape during this survey were singles of Ruff and Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 5 Avocets, 27 Blk T Godwits and 54 Lapwings, singles of Gadwall and Wigeon, 2 Grey Herons, while once again there were 22 Canada Geese and also some 120 Greylag Geese.  Feeding just in front of the main hide were a total of 31 GoldfinchesPBr.

28th - Day 2 of the Clacton Airshow proved to be a sunnier day although rain did threaten (a few spits) at times during the afternoon.  A visit to the main hide by two observers, provided counts of a single Ruff, 3 Common Sandpipers and 65 Blk T Godwits, 5 Shoveler, c100 Teal and 100+ Greylag Geese across the main scrape and surrounding area.  Also viewed were 2 Marsh Harriers and 6 Common Buzzards.  Observations on route to the second hide added 2 Wheatears and 5 Whinchats to today's report. IM/PRD.

29th - Today saw several observers on the site, including four members of the Ringing Team.  During the various ringing sessions of today, 'on/over Haven' species viewed by the team included a Tree Pipit* over early (GG), a Honey Buzzard* that was mobbed by Corvids as it flew through, also a S E O and 2 Med Gulls (PNt/LW), as well as 1+ Barn Owl (SC/PNt/LW).  A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen to land on the second hide, while 26 Curlew flew to beyond the main scrape and a count of 120 Swallows had flown through by 09.30hrs. SC.  Other reports for the site during today, added totals of 6 Common Buzzards (PL), 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 L R P and 8 Ruff (JH), a single Wood Sandpiper and a total of 72 Blk T Godwits. (PRD/PL).

30th - Rather a blustery (ENE) morning through to just after mid-day at least, mostly cloud-covered but warm.  Surveying this morning found that apart from a Wood Sandpiper of note, there was little else around.  Mid-day through to c13.40hrs provided notable additions of 1 S E O and 4 Whinchats, while a 'pale' Warbler sp. seen in a brief flight view on the mounds was being most unhelpful - by declining to show itself again to the observer. PRD.  Further reports from a run through the Haven and back again to the Frinton end (c12.00-13.00hrs) were of 2 Wheatears along the Seawall, 5 Whinchats (2xGolf Course dump + 3xSecond Hide), c35 Swallows headed N and at 12.53hrs, viewed as it flew N (close inshore) was a Fulmar. PBr/Mt.

31st - A typical August Bank Holiday Monday with plenty of rain - along with Northerly winds and temperatures appearing slightly cooler than of late.  A morning visit to the site - up to mid-day - provided, from the main hide, views that included 3+ Wood Sandpipers of particular note.  Observations confirmed a 'small fall of common migrants' including 10+ Blackcaps, c20 Willow Warblers and good numbers of Chaffinch too. PRD.  Surveying from 13.45-16.30hrs - again taking in the views across the main scrape - gave counts of 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Dunlin, 1 Avocet, 4 Snipe, 9 Blk T Godwits and 81 Lapwings, alongside 4 Wigeon, 9 Shoveler, 15 Mallards, 76 Teal and 160 Greylag GeeseGulls numbered 2 Med Gulls, 4 G B B, 7 L B B, 11 Herring and 72  Black-headed, while noted hirundines were of 4 Sand and c100 House Martins and c80 Swallows.  A total of 12 Cormorants (sinensis) were seen at this time, as were singles of Willow and Reed Warblers and finalising the report for the last day of this August month, there were 2 Whinchats in the vicinity. PNt.

As at 31st August 2015 the Haven 2015 Year List stands at: 158.