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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Site Year Tick: *

February 2011   

1st - Very cold to start the day and month - alot of "de-icing" going on first thing!  The SW morning winds that turned to Westerlies early in the afternoon, were of light to moderate strength with the occasional gusts of c22mph being recorded locally.  Skies remained overcast throughout and brought a small amount of rain this afternoon.  Winds were at WSW going into the evening and a slight mist was about.  No reports returned.

2nd - After a heavy mist overnight, today held onto the misty feel making the conditions damp and dreary.  SSW winds prevailed from morning until evening, then turned slightly to SW.  Wind strength varied from moderate through to strong with gusts recorded up to c40mph.  A morning visit to site, surveyed the carpark trees and bushes, around the memorials, continued down to the hide and proceeded to view across the scrape, grazing marsh and fields.  Singles of Kestrel, Goldcrest and Mistle Thrush were noted, as were 2 Song Thrush and 20+ Blackbirds, while both a Water Rail and a Little Grebe were on the brook near to Tariq.  On and over the scrape area, counts were 1 Little Egret, 1 Sanderling, 5 Turnstones, 26 Curlew, 400+ Wigeon, 150+ Teal and 50+ Greylag Geese.  1 Sparrowhawk and a further 3 Little Grebes were also seen.  Species and numbers in the fields during the time of this report, were 300+ Golden Plover, 320+ Lapwing, 500+ Brent Geese and 22 Skylarks. MR.  

3rd - Quite bright this morning and a fairly pleasant day in general, however, at times it appeared to be very cool, when actually the temperature was up on recent days.  Winds were SSW throughout, light to moderate strength until the afternoon, then becoming much stronger with gusts recorded locally of up to c46mph going into the early evening.  A Red T Diver was viewed off-shore today, along the seawall was a single Grey Plover and on the beach was a single Ringed Plover.  A fem Merlin* perched briefly on the hawthorns beyond the scrape and both a S E Owl and a fem Sparrowhawk were on and over the site.  Another brief visitor to the scrape area was an adult Yellow Legged Gull.  Other noted species during this visit were 5 Sanderling, 2 Blk T Godwits, 6 Turnstones, 1pr Shoveler and again on the arable were 450+ Brent Geese. PRD.  An additional report was of a Common Buzzard on site today.  

4th - A grey, overcast day throughout and the temperature holding around the +8 to +10 degrees.  Winds today were a constant SW and proved to be very strong to extremely strong!  Gusts locally of c55mph.  No reports returned. 

5th - Another day of cloudy skies and strong SW winds with wind gusts varying from c21mph through to 50+mph.  An hour looking out to sea - from the Sailing Club - produced a single Black Throated Diver sitting close off shore but nothing else of note during this watchWaders on the scrape were 3 Blk T Godwits, 7 Turnstone, 3 Sanderling, 45 Lapwing and 15 Curlew, while a Little Egret settled to give good views.  A Firecrest was loosely associating with a small Tit flock by the approach road entrance. GG.  Slightly later in the day, another seawatch provided 6 Shelduck, 2 Brent Geese and a Cormorant all heading S, while on the sluice were 2 Ringed Plovers.  Additional birds viewed from the hide this afternoon were 61 Fieldfare, singles of Barn Owl and Sparrowhawk and 3 Grey Herons. AD/IM/MR

6th - Strong SW winds throughout with gusts of up to c47mph - so not really much change there and again the skies remained mostly cloud-covered.  The bushes, trees, seawall, beach and the sea itself, were very quiet of birds and today's surveys could not locate any notable species in or around these areas.  Viewing across the arable, provided counts of 350+ Brent and 120 Greylag Geese, 2 Mistle Thrush and again, some 60+ Fieldfare.  Taking in the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, as seen from the hide, were 4 of each Blk T Godwits and Turnstones, 19 Curlew and a single Cormorant, while the duck totals were 1 drake Gadwall, 100+ Teal and 400+ Wigeon. MR/IM.

7th - Another dry but "breezy" day.  The strong winds began as SSW and moved as the day went on, through the compass points in order, to SW, WSW and ended the evening as Westerlies.  Visiting and surveying the site today, provided views of 5 Blk T Godwits and 7 Turnstones on the scrape, 20 Curlew in the field to the right, a Barn Owl to the rear of the scrape, while off to the left was a single Sparrowhawk.  The Teal, Wigeon and Brent Geese across these and the grazing areas, were numbering much as per yesterday.  At high tide, there were 4 Purple Sandpipers, moving their way along the blocks on the underside of the seawall. IM.  

8th - A final change in the weather today - blue skies, sunny and it certainly appeared much warmer with just some light winds about.  These winds began as Southerlies, progressing late afternoon to SSE and had become E by late evening.  There was however, a rapid drop in temperature c19.00hrs to +3 degrees.  A few species were located and totals given, by two observers' visits today and these included a Corn Bunting*(IM) that was singing from atop the paddock fence up at the farm this morning and also a male Bullfinch*(PRD) that was along the access road, while a Snipe was noted as it flew across the road and headed towards the scrape.  The scrape and it's immediate areas, provided 1+ Little Egret, 20 Curlew, 2 of each Blk T Godwits and Shelduck, 100+ Teal, 250+ Wigeon, 3 Grey Heron, 30+ Fieldfare and also a single Sparrowhawk.  Both the sea and the arable played host to 200+ Brent Geese as they moved from one location to the other, 4 Turnstones (inc. a ringed bird) were viewed along the front, as were (second consecutive day) 4 Purple Sandpipers - 3 on the seawall and 1 on the sluice.  Other notables were 2 Goldfinch by the toilet block and a pair of Reed Buntings across the road. PRD/IM.

9th - Not so bright today and just a bit cooler with winds that were light at times but tended to be mainly of moderate strength.  Wind direction ended as S this evening.  This morning on site, the bushes held good numbers of birds and some of these were also in singing mode.  Of note, 2 Goldcrests were near the memorials, while quartering the marsh below/beyond the carpark, were 2 Barn Owls.  Viewing the brook, scrape and grazing areas from the hide, provided counts of 2 Little Grebes, 3 Blk T Godwits, 21 Curlew, 40 Lapwing, 84 Teal, 350+ Wigeon, 5 Brent and 30+ Greylag Geese.  2 Mistle Thrush and 10 Skylarks were also seen from the hide, as were singles of Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.  On the beach, during this visit, were 3 Sanderling and 2 Turnstones. MR.  

10th - A dull, miserable early morning of overcast skies, mist and drizzle with light, sometimes moderate S winds.  These conditions took a turn for the worst by mid-morning by which time the rain had set in properly complete with dark cloud coverage.  The mist hung around all day varying in it's depth.  The weather hampered a survey of the site today (11.30hrs - 14.30hrs) but birds of note were 6 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Sanderling, 6 Turnstones and a Ringed Plover together along the beach, while viewing from the hide, gave 4 Blk T Godwits, 6 Shelduck, a single Brent Goose, 200+ Wigeon and 80+ Teal.  Along the rear of the scrape area, a Barn Owl was on the posts.  An immature Marsh Harrier drew interest from the observer as the bird glided over the scrape, as the Harrier had a it's left leg noticeably "dangling" and this may possibly be damaged. PRD.

11th - A mix of weather during the morning that included a little bit of bright sun but it was predominantly, overcast skies, rain (on/off but heavy at times) and light to moderate SW winds and there was still a misty aura.  The afternoon continued with the on/off rain, that by the evening was very heavy at times.  A visit to the hide at 10.00hrs, provided views of a S E Owl, singles also of Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, 3 Blk T Godwits, 33 Lapwings, a drake Shoveler and 6 Shelduck. JK.

12th - Apart from a few grey clouds hanging around after some early morning rain, the day got progressively better with sun, blue skies and some light WSW winds.  Temperatures cool but not cold.  A short seawatch after the rain had stopped, produced 2 Eider and 7 Shelduck N and 4 Oystercatchers S.  4 Goldcrests were along the approach road, while viewed from the hide were a S E Owl and 2 Blk T Godwits of note. GG.

13th - Starting the day were some moderate to strong S winds, along with gusts of c30mph.  Occasional drizzle, very overcast skies and chilly temperatures completed the conditions until c10.00hrs.  An attempt by the sun was then unfortunately short lived and the conditions proceeded to deteriorate with mainly heavy grey cloud, on/off rain and the winds (moving round to SSE) increased in strength, with gusts locally in excess of 36mph.  No reports returned. 

14th - A bright but chilly start that warmed slightly by mid-morning and with it being dry, the sun out, a little bit of blue sky and light SSW winds - a glorious day to be out and over at the Haven.  Located c11.45hrs, a 1W Kittiwake was seen on the scrape (see gallery).  Although seen and noted off-shore from the Haven, this species is not a bird usually associated with the scrape area.  A total of 3 Common Buzzards were viewed during this visit, 2 Rock Pipits were along the seawall, while numbers of Ringed Plover, Sanderling and Turnstone were 2, 4 and 6 respectively.  3 Blk T Godwits and 2 Brent Geese were also noted. PRD

15th - Another chilly start today (+4 degrees) and early winds were strong SSE but it was quite bright until cloud cover movied in at c08.00hrs.  Weather forecasts for a clear dry day, failed to materialise and by mid-morning, no blue sky nor the sun remained viewable.  The afternoon brought drizzle before rain set in.  Wind direction varied slightly, returning to SSE this evening.  No reports returned.

16th - Light SSE winds from morning through into the afternoon with the morning cloud cover clearing by mid-day to leave blue skies, the sun and just a few white patchy clouds.  It remained chilly throughout but quite pleasant.  Wind direction by late evening was at ENE.  A couple of hours spent on site this morning, surveyed the trees/bushes from the carpark through to the hide and then from the hide, the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh/fields were viewed.  The tide was high and no birds were along the front.  A Barn Owl was once again seen quartering the marsh below the carpark, while the bushes held of note 1 Little Owl, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Goldcrest and a flock of 16 Greenfinch.  A Common Buzzard was seen from the hide, as were 1 Little Egret, 3 Blk T Godwits, 3 Turnstones, 9 Curlew, 36 Lapwing, 2 Mute Swans, a drake Shoveler, 200+ Wigeon and 70+ Teal, along with 8 Common and 40+ Blk Headed Gulls.  6 Skylarks were noted on the marsh right of the central reed bed and sitting in the field all alone was a single Brent Goose. MR

17th - Misty this morning and again this evening and although it cleared pretty much through the day locally, that damp feeling of it hanging around was there throughout.  Temperatures once more attaining just +5 degrees.  Mainly light to moderate winds today and these began ENE, turned to NE by the afternoon and returned to ENE by dusk.  No reports returned.

18th - A cold morning (+3 degrees), overcast with light to moderate Easterly winds, which by lunchtime had become ESE and more moderate, than light.  A cracking male Black Redstart* was located this morning - near to the first turret from the Frinton end of site (i.e near to the Purple Sand rocks/corner). IM.  A very good Haven tick c12.28hrs, came in the form of an adult Caspian Gull* that was found on the scrape.  Unfortunately, some ten minutes later, the bird took flight and headed in the direction of SE. PRD.  Other notable species during today's visits, were 2 Blk T Godwits, 23 Shelduck and a brief appearance by a Little Egret, all on the scrape, while 2 of each Ringed Plover and Turnstone were seen on the beach and half way along the seawall was a single Purple Sandpiper.  The "presumed injured" imm Marsh Harrier was once more over the site. PRD/IM.

19th - Rain and more rain today alongside some moderate to strong SE winds, these became ESE late in the afternoon and had decreased in strength but not by much - at least it was slightly warmer at +5 degrees!!  Along the approach road this morning, a Firecrest gave some good views to it's observer.  An afternoon visit to the hide and during a break in the weather, both a Barn Owl and a single Kestrel were showing, as were 3 Blk T Godwits, 2 Ringed Plovers and 200+ Wigeon.  The Teal numbered less than 10. IM.

20th - Overcast, bitterly cold, Easterly through ENE moderate to strong winds and late afternoon, the mist was totally obscuring the off-shore turbines.  Four hours spent on and around the site today gave views of 2 Dunlin*, again 3 Blk T Godwits and a Barn Owl, (also noted c8am hunting the roadside.MRsl) while the Teal were up at 150+, Wigeon at 300+, Shelduck at 10 with a single Brent and 6 Greylag Geese also counted.  A Little Grebe was also seen from the hide. IM.  A brief look across the fields late afternoon (from the Marsh' Road) gave totals of 5 Turnstones, 7 Golden Plover and among the many gulls on the field, was a single Common Gull. AD.   

21st - Another overcast, misty day with drizzle in the air and the temperature sat around the +4 degrees.  Winds were mostly of moderate strength but occasionally dropped to just a breeze and they remained throughout, ESE in direction.  Surveying the site from 09.45 to 13.30hrs today, gave the highlights for on/around and over the scrape area, as a Ringed Plover, 3 Blk T Godwits, +/- 250 Lapwing, 1pr Gadwall, 4 Shelduck, 1 Brent Goose, 40+ Teal and 200+ Wigeon.  Along the seawall were 4 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Sanderling and 4 Turnstone, while 2 Dunlin flew in from the shore to the wet grazing marsh between the scrape and Golf Course.  On the Golf Course itself were a total of 11 Mistle Thrush and over the marsh was a single Barn Owl. PRD

22nd - Light SE winds this morning and lurking behind the cloud cover, there was a blue sky and occasional hint of the sun.  The late afternoon winds moved around to S and temperatures were again very cold going into the evening.  A site visit during today, observed a Little Egret and 9 Curlew on/around the Golf Course and along the seawall were once more 4 Purple Sandpipers along with 4 Turnstones.  Near to the sluice were 3 Ringed Plovers.  Amongst the Teal, Wigeon and Lapwing on the scrape were 13 Golden Plovers and 3 Shelduck, whilst c180 Brent Geese in this area and on the arable, later took flight, heading over Frinton.  Quartering the grazing marsh, either side of the brook was the imm Marsh Harrier. PRD.

23rd - What a day out there - rain from early morning with little let-up until the afternoon, cold, misty hues and Southerly moderate strength winds.  By late afternoon the winds had turned slightly to SW and gusts locally of c25mph.  On such a "lovely day for the ducks", a morning view from the hide gave the counts and species as 3 of each Dunlin and Blk T Godwits, 2 of each Golden Plover and Turnstone, 11 Curlew, 104 Lapwing, 300+ Wigeon and 80+ Teal.  On the beach this morning were 2 Ringed Plovers. MR.

24th - Mostly a bright, pleasant day with initially light WSW winds that turned by mid-afternoon to SW.  Appearing cool at times, the temperatures were actually varying +10 to +11 degrees.  The weather also handed out some cloud during the day and a couple of short-lived attempts of rain.  Surveying around the site this morning, produced of note, 3 Blk T Godwits and a male Sparrowhawk on and around the scrape, while a pair of Mute Swans were on the grazing marsh.  The sluice area held a single Purple Sandpiper, 8 Turnstones and 2 Ringed Plovers. SC.  

25th - An overcast and slightly wet start to the day but this did clear to leave a much brighter day throughout until the evening brought rain once again.  Light S winds became moderate SW while the temperature reached +13 degrees.  No reports returned.

26th - This morning began as very grey with heavy rain (this being a continuation of overnight conditions) alongwith light WNW winds.  By c09.00hrs the wind strength had increased considerably and locally gusts were c30mph.  The conditions remained much the same through the day with the wind direction turning just slightly to NW, the on/off rain was much heavier going into the evening.  No reports returned.

27th - After yet another night and early hours of constant heavy rain, this morning's weather of bright sun, blue skies and moderate NW winds made for a generally pleasant day.  The winds did get stronger late in the day and the temperatures dropped rapidly at nightfall down to +3 degrees.  A belated report was returned for today and was that of a Jack Snipe*. PL.

28th - A bitterly cold day to end the month, along with moderate Northerly winds, temperatures varying +3 to +4 degrees, grey overcast skies and drizzle at times.  Reported from a visit today were a single Gannet* and 6 Common Scoter*, also 3 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, 8 Brent Geese, 50 Wigeon and 11 Teal, while a Firecrest was located in bushes near to the sewage works.  2 Linnet and a single Kestrel were other species noted. JM/NK.

As at 28th February, the Haven 2011 Year List stands at 102.

NB. The Hide on Holland Haven Country Park was SHUT & Out of Bounds from the 28th February 2011 until the 12th March 2011, while contractors re-painted it.