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.

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February 2010

1st - A very bright and sunny start to the month even if still somewhat frosty.  Light WNW winds during the morning that turned slightly to NW by late afternoon.  Coverage this morning included a walk along to the Frinton end which provided views of 60+ Fieldfare, 6+ Mistle and 1 Song Thrush, 2 Redwing and a single Skylark, while the shoreline gave Sanderling and Turnstone numbers of 6 and 10 respectively.  Amongst numerous Gulls on the frozen scrape area were 1 Blk T Godwit, 7 Curlew and 12 Wigeon.  The Geese counts were those of 1juv White Fronted, 3 Brent and 181 Greylag.  A Sparrowhawk was in the vicinity. MR/PRD.

2nd - Cold, grey and wet to begin with, turning bright for a while before becoming overcast again for the afternoon.  The chilly winds were W throughout.  Although high numbers of Gulls were again on a still frozen scrape, a slight variation of species and totals this morning with 3 Blk T Godwits, 30 Wigeon, 20 Teal and some 70+ Corvids being noted.  The juv White Fronted Goose was still on view along with 1 Brent and a single Pink Footed.  The Greylag Geese numbered 180 while along the beach, the Sanderling numbers were down at just 3 during this visit.  Off-shore were c500 Wigeon sitting on the water. MR.

3rd - Very cold and icy but at least the sun was trying to break through.  Wind direction initially WNW, turning by early afternoon to SSW.  Site coverage once again included a walk through to the Frinton end and back.  Sitting off-shore, the Wigeon still numbered c500 while the shoreline gave 4 Sanderling and 8 Turnstones.  Views across the golf course and fields, provided 6 Curlew and 25+ Skylarks, with Thrush counts of 75+ Fieldfare, 10+ Redwing and 6+ Mistle.  Checking out the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh today, supplied totals of 1 Little Grebe, again 1 Brent and 1 Pink Footed with 1+ White Fronted GeeseShoveler were at 7, Wigeon at 38 and Teal were up at 134.  60+ Gulls and 70+ mixed Corvids were also noted for this particular area. MR/PRD.

4th - Very overcast during the morning and chilly with S winds.  Into the afternoon it remained overcast and 'fresh' with a slight change of wind direction to SSE.  Visits this morning and some different numbers for the scrape area with Wigeon at 250+, Teal up to 189 and viewable Shoveler down to 5.  The Greylag Geese numbers were also down considerably during today's count - only 50+ seen and 1 Brent Goose.  2 Cormorants were noted as was a single Lapwing and a Sparrowhawk was out hunting.  Herring Gulls numbered 23 on the scrape, Common at 3 and just 2 LBB Gulls.  No sign of the recent colour ringed Gulls of the 1st and 3rd Feb*.  The fields and beach were a bit quieter than yesterday with 10 Fieldfare, 8 Curlew and a Green Woodpecker noted for the fields and 1 of each Sanderling and Turnstone for the latter. BS/MR.   (*see field sightings page 2).

5th - A cold and grey morning was at least dry.  Wind direction was at SW throughout and during the afternoon, the sun did make an appearance.  No reports returned.

6th - NE winds on a bright, sunny and pleasantly fresh day although some mist did roll in during late afternoon.  Reported visits were morning ones today with the site being covered from both ends but unfortunately there were not too many birds around to note.  Initial views of the scrape area supplied 1 Brent Goose among the Greylags and a single Ringed Plover, while atop the hide was a Fieldfare.  Across the road, a Woodcock was seen as was a male Marsh HarrierGG.   A slightly later look at the scrape and species then included 44 Lapwing, 7 Shoveler, 4 Wigeon and 1 Common Gull.  3 Skylarks were heard and along the beach were 14 Sanderling and 4 Turnstones. BS.

7th - A very grey morning with a light N breeze and cool. The afternoon saw some drizzly rain and winds turned slightly from the initial Northerlies to NE with temperatures dropping considerably.  Morning coverage gave sightings of 2 Blk T Godwits, 8 Lapwing, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Cormorants, 7 Shoveler and 1 ShelduckWigeon numbers were at c365 while Teal were at 100+, with 14 Herring and 1 LBB Gulls also being noted.  On the increase again yesterday were the Sanderling along the beach, these numbered 20 with 4 Turnstones also viewed. BS/MR.  An afternoon look at the paddock and a search around the farm, failed to produce any more than good numbers of House Sparrows and Blackbirds.  The approach road was very quiet - just the normal mixed Tit flock including L-T Tits.  Over the road, another mixed Tit flock alongside many Greenfinch. KA/AD.

8th - Cold, wet, grey and NE winds was the start to a rather miserable day.  By late morning sleet showers were about and these were followed by snow flurries into early afternoon.  The only report being that of a Gt.C Grebe that was off-shore from the sluice at 12.30hrs. PRD.  This brings the Haven 2010 Year List up to a total of 93. 

9th - Icy and subsequently bitterly cold, with some blue skies, occasional sleet showers and strong ENE winds.  An afternoon visit between 15.00 and 16.00hrs gave views of c400 Wigeon again sitting off-shore, while along the beach and by the sluice were 2 Purple Sandpipers and a single Ringed Plover.  The Sanderling count along the shore was just 4 today.  The scrape and surrounding area was quiet of Geese of any description but 2 Blk T Godwits were seen along with 20+ Lapwing, 60+ Teal and 100+ Wigeon - which were over and above those sat on the sea. MR.  

10th - A snowy start with some of it already settled and iced up, however, the sun did attempt to thaw some of this during the morning.  Very icy and sharp NE winds varied slightly to become more Northerly by early afternoon but unfortunately also brought more snow blizzards.  Reports today were from site coverage this morning for the scrape, surrounding fields and off-shore.  Noted species for the scrape were 220 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 5 Turnstones, 3 Blk T Godwits, 120 Lapwing, 11 Common Gulls, 5 LBB and 79 Blk Headed Gulls, while views off-shore gave a further 20 Common Gulls and 22 Brent Geese.  A total of 9 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush and 20+ Skylarks were located across the fields. BS/MR

11th - Another freezing cold day, laced with early snow and ice and some very strong, bitter NE winds throughout.  A change of wind direction round to NNW did nothing to better any conditions going into the evening and it remained extremely icy.  A search of the site this morning provided counts of 3 Canada and 126 Greylag Geese, 2 Teal and 80+ Wigeon, 1 of each Little Grebe and Snipe, 4 of each Turnstones and Curlew, 49 Lapwing and a Barn Owl was also noted.  Gull numbers were today at 9 Common, 100+ Blk Headed and just 2 LBB.   Located beyond the golf course were 40+ Fieldfares. BS/MR.  

12th - A bright, fresh morning, still on the icy side with light NE winds. Only two birds of note were reported today, one of which was a Brent Goose amongst the Greylags, while the other was a single Blk T Godwit on the frozen scrape. JK/MK.   

13th - Again an icy NE wind for this morning's site visits.  The scrape produced 4 Blk T Godwits, 5 Turnstones, 25 Lapwings, 44 Wigeon, c20 Teal and 106 Greylag Geese.  Gulls noted in this area were 125 Black Headed, 5 Common, 21 Herring, 7 LBB and 2 GBB.  A Sparrowhawk was also seen. GG/BS.  200+ Wigeon were on the sea and during a one hour seawatch the counts were 5 Red-T Divers, 1 Common Scoter, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 9 Brent Geese and 7 Cormorants all flying NE. GG.  Viewing across the fields provided sightings of 40 Curlew, 4 Red Legged Partridge, 13 Fieldfare, 2 Skylarks and a single Kestrel. BS.   

14th - A fresh and mostly bright day with some very black clouds but no rain.  No reports returned.

15th - Overcast with some outbreaks of sun and still very cold with E winds.  A very slight appearance of sleet during the day and wind direction turned to SSE by evening.  Morning coverage provided views across the scrape of 4 Blk T Godwits, 18 Lapwing, 120 Wigeon, 28 Teal and Greylag Geese that today numbered 98.  A pair of Sparrowhawks and a single Kestrel were noted while the fields/grazing marsh held some 50 Curlew, 40 Fieldfare, 2 of each Redwing and Mistle Thrush and 21 Skylarks.  Along the seafront and the count for Wigeon sitting off-shore was at 400+, with the shoreline giving totals of 5 Turnstones and a single Sanderling. BS/MR.  A slightly later visit saw an increase of Curlew on the marshland to 53 and noted Sanderling were up to 12.  A mid-day look out to sea, provided sightings of a summer plumaged Gt C Grebe, while heading N was a Red T Diver.  2 Purple Sandpipers were located on the rocks. PRD.   

16th - Overnight snow flurries failed to settle but the morning started very wet with SSW winds.  Rain continued throughout the day with wind direction turning WSW by mid-day and back through SSW late afternoon to SSE going into the evening.  No reports returned.

17th - Initially very cold, turning to quite a fresh pleasant day with light winds until temperatures dropped severely into the evening, turning both foggy and icy.  Coverage of the site during this morning saw 4 Blk T Godwits on the scrape area, along with singles of Ringed Plover and Redshank, a Little Grebe and 77 Blk Headed Gulls.  Views across the fields and grazing marsh gave totals of 49 Fieldfare, 12 Skylarks, 57 Lapwing, 6 Turnstones, 52 Teal, 9 Brent Geese and 3 Red Legged Partridge, while Herring Gulls numbered 21.  A Common Buzzard was seen today - whether this is the same bird reported regularly on site a few weeks ago, is at present unknown.  Counted along the shoreline on this visit, were 8 Sanderling. BS/MR.  A further report was received from an RSPB member, of both Sanderlings and Turnstones seen on the beach and a large raft of Wigeon off-shore.  The bushes behind the Sailing Club held a probable Willow Warbler and several singing Dunnock. LJ.   NB. Works along the edge of the scrape are today underway, with these edges being drawn back towards the brook.  Hopefully the end result will give some more muddy feeding ground that can be more easily viewed and just possibly encourage those waders that always find the rear of the scrape, to come to the foreground.  Yup, as we all know, the interesting one is always the one that needs to be a few metres closer!!

18th - Ice and thick fog at 05.30hrs that improved slightly during the morning, however, snow flurries were back by mid-day, although nothing settled at the time.  Light SSE winds continued from early until dusk and the day remained damp, grey and miserable.  No reports returned as yet. 

19th - Snow, sleet, heavy rain, bright spells and cold - all variations of the weather during today, along with NW through W winds.  Coverage in and across from both ends of the site this morning and a digger still in action on the scrape.  Hardly surprising that the scrape itself was quiet, however, 3 Pink Footed Geese were among some 79 Greylags and a single Redshank was seen on there.  The surrounding fields supplied views of a Little Egret, 6 Brent Geese, 12 Curlew, 24 Lapwing and 110+ Teal, while other movement in this same area included 23 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush, a Redwing, 2 Kestrels and a Marsh Harrier.  The Wigeon were located off-shore and numbered 395+ and the shore-line counts gave 2 Purple Sandpipers and 3 Turnstones. BS.  A single Woodcock was seen near to the main road entrance. SC.   

20th - A harsh overnight frost left everything very white early today but bright sun and fairly clear skies by 08.00hrs making for a fresh and beautiful morning.  A light, if cool, WNW breeze turned SSW later in the day.  Temperatures dropped quite rapidly into mid-afternoon but it remained dry.  4 Pink Footed Geese seen on the site and later flying away from it, were the only notables this morning. AEC/JBS.  This afternoon and the Pink Feet were back on the scrape area amongst 77 Greylag Geese and a single Brent Goose.  2 Ringed Plovers and 3 Turnstones were also viewed from the hide during this visit and the duck count gave 1 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 40+ Wigeon and 60+ Teal.  Gulls and Corvids were both numerous across the scrape/grazing marsh. MR.

21st - A total opposite to yesterday with conditions giving a wet, windy and a very miserable Sunday morning.  Varying S to SSE, wind gusts locally were up to 40.3mph by mid-day.  Brief appearances by the sun during limited dry spells for the afternoon, while wind direction turned to SSW then to WSW by the evening.  No reports returned.

22nd - Very grey, very wet and NE winds throughout the morning and into early afternoon after which, the rain did let up slightly for a while but it remained dismal into the evening.  No reports returned.

23rd - Easterly winds on another grey day, very cold but at least it stayed dry until mid-afternoon, then drizzle started and turned to heavy rain.  Due to the recent weather conditions, the grazing marshes are flooded on both sides of the main road with numerous Wigeon and Teal making use of these areas, also many Gulls in the same vicinity.  Viewing from the hide this morning and a distinct lack of Greylag Geese for a change, with only 7 of them in sight.  2 Ringed Plovers, 6 Turnstones, a single Curlew and 130+ Lapwing were on the scrape and it's surrounds, along with 4 Gadwall, 10 Shelduck and 6 Shoveler.  Also within scoping distance were 4 Stock Doves, 200+ Starling, 2 Skylarks and singles of both Kestrel and SparrowhawkMR.  Noted within the boundaries on the opposite side of the road, again during a morning visit, were additions of 4 Little Grebes, 9 Shoveler and 2 Shelduck. PRD.

24th - A damp morning turned into a dryer, brighter afternoon with some cloud in a mainly blue sky.  Wind direction E as per yesterday.  A morning visit provided more views of the many Wigeon, Teal and Gulls on the flooded grazing marsh, while along the beach were 2 Ringed Plovers, a single Sanderling and 2 Turnstones.  Definitely more movement on and around the scrape today, with a wader count of 1 Avocet, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Redshank, 1 Oystercatcher, 2 Ringed Plovers, 6 Turnstones and 133 Lapwing.  8 Shelduck and 6 Shoveler were noted, along with 1 Cormorant, 4 Canada and 83 Greylag Geese.  Still viewing from the hide and other species included 2 Reed Buntings, 6 Pied Wagtails, 4 Skylarks, 2 Kestrels and a single SparrowhawkMR.  

25th - The weather was a bit hit and miss today with the rain but the winds remained constant Easterlies.  A Grey Wagtail was with 5 of the Pied variety this morning on the greensward and sitting off-shore was a Gt C Grebe.  Moving round to the hide and the waders on the scrape, were 1 Redshank, 3 Ringed Plovers, 7 Turnstone and 100+ Lapwing with the duck count giving 5 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler, 9 Shelduck, 34 Teal and 250 Wigeon, while Greylag and Canada Geese were at 26 and 2 respectively.  6 LBB Gulls, a Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were also noted and +/-3 Ringed Plovers were viewed along the shoreline.  On the golf course during this visit, was an adult Med Gull amongst 6 Common and 70+ Blk Headed Gulls and the surrounding area held 4 Mistle Thrush, 5 Skylark and a single Reed Bunting. BS/MR.  A search of the farm area provided 2 singing Corn Buntings below Gt. Holland Hall. PRD.  

26th - Following evening and overnight heavy rain, the day remained grey with moderate to strong E winds.  The grazing marsh over the road and through behind the main site, is still very flooded and according to the weather reports, there will be no let up over the weekend??  Site coverage today began from the Frinton end of the Haven and gave the following counts.  Waders were singles of Redshank and Golden Plover, 6 Turnstones and 61+ Lapwing with ducks being 8 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 20 Shelduck and 71+ Wigeon, while Greylag Geese were at 45.  16+ Common Gulls were viewed, as were 3 LBB, 17 Herring and 46+ Blk Headed.  Also noted were 2 Mistle Thrush, 3 Meadow Pipit, 7 Stock Doves, 200+ Starlings and 3 Red Legged Partridge.  Singles of Little Grebe and Sparrowhawk were other notables of the visit. BS

27th - Quite bright this morning - some blue sky and dry!  By late morning back to being overcast and cold with variable strength S winds.  Early morning at the farm and 2 Corn Buntings were in full song, with singles of Fieldfare, Redwing, Song and Mistle Thrush around the paddocks.  The approach road and car park bushes held very little, while birds of interest on the scrape were a Peregrine feeding on a kill, a Little Egret that flew W, an increase of Shelduck to 32, Gadwall still at 8 and Shoveler numbers up to 13.  Waders seen were 1 Golden Plover, 1 Dunlin, 1 Redshank, 3 Ringed Plover and 9 Turnstones.  On the sea, the Wigeon flock were at c350 and a single Red T Diver flew SW.  Over high tide 3 Purple Sandpipers were located on the far rocks. GG.   

28th - Torrential rain again for overnight and into this morning, with very little let up at all until the afternoon.  WNW variable to NW winds throughout.  Generally a miserable day to finish the month.  A most exciting one hour seawatch this morning - NOT!!  2 Red T Divers sitting on the sea were the only notables for the duration of this visit. GG.  

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