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: *

February 2012  

1st - As promised by the forecasters, today was a very cold one!  Temperatures remained around the +2 degrees mark but with strong E winds of c28mph for the morning and stronger (31+mph) E through ENE for the afternoon, along with gusting of up to 36mph, it certainly felt much colder.  The evening brought with it, temperatures of below zero.  Viewing across the scrape (which was partially frozen) during one observation today, noted the variety and numbers of Gull species as 4 G.B.B., 7 L.B.B., 7 Common, 57 Herring (inc. Colour-ringed), 190 Blk Headed, a single Med Gull and for the second time in recent weeks, a Kittiwake was on there again.  At this time, the Duck count in the surrounding vicinity, was of 20+ Teal, 7 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall* and 360 Wigeon, whilst Waders were singles of Knot and Snipe, 2 of both Blk T Godwits and Turnstones, 7 Curlew, 74 Lapwing and c30 Dunlin.  30+ Golden Plovers were located on the arable and some 25 Greylag with c250 Brent Geese, when not visiting the scrape, were feeding on the fields beyond the Golf Course. MR.  Another observation, also taking in the scrape, saw Wigeon still in good numbers (200+), Dunlin still in evidence, increased numbers of Lapwings (100+), whilst - and with the comment of ".....amazing when the Brents flew over the top of the hide and onto the scrape" - the Brent Geese were up at 400+. RWf.

2nd - Following on from a bitterly cold night, this morning began at "below zero" and having barely reached a whole +1 degree prior to mid-day, the temperature dropped once again going into the afternoon.  More strong winds throughout the day - being of mostly ENE in direction and of speeds in excess of 31mph and gusting of c36mph, all recorded locally.  A morning visit to the site and as to be expected, the scrape was found to be circa 80% frozen, proving "interesting" while watching c500 Brent Geese wanting to land in this vicinity!!  Viewing from the hide also gave that 50+ Golden Plovers were today on the arable, whilst Wader numbers around the scrape and grazing marsh again included 2 of both Blk T Godwits and Turnstones and these were alongside 20+ Dunlin and 27 Lapwings.  2 Greylag Geese were also in this area, as were 300+ Wigeon and 15 - NO make that 14 Teal .................  As every bird of every species suddenly took flight, a stunning but hungry Peregrine* took out a Teal and proceeded to dine alone on a then very empty scrape! (see Gallery).  Completing this morning's sightings, 26 Curlew were on the grazing area that is beyond/next the Approach Road. MR

3rd - After a night that saw the wind-chill factor at below -7 degrees locally, it was no surprise that the temperature was still bouncing around the zero mark again this morning.  A very bright, sunny morning with light to moderate winds, provided a temperature by mid-day of just above +1 degree.  Going into the afternoon (also continuing into the evening), the NNW through NW winds had increased to err more moderate to strong and with occasional gusting of c26mph, the wind-chill factor was (at 14.30hrs) approx -3 degrees.  No reports returned.  

4th - The first dusting of the predicted snow arrived for this morning and although a light dusting locally to the site, barely 10 miles away (08.00hrs) the snow was heavier!  In temperatures of just below zero, the moderate S through SE winds kept the wind-chill factor at below -6 degrees and in fact, this went as low as -9 during the day.  The wind strength increased (variable up to 22mph) for the afternoon and evening.  No reports returned.

5th - A dusting yesterday but by this morning there was several inches of snow covering the area and although light, it continued to snow on/off until circa mid-morning.  S through SSW winds of variable speeds (15mph - 33mph) along with gusting of up to 37+mph assisted in giving a wind-chill factor of -7 degrees (09.00hrs).  Actual temperature at this time was -1, this improved during the day, wind speeds dropped for the latter part (also turned to Westerlies) and by 17.30hrs the readings were sitting at +0.2 degrees.  No reports returned.

6th - Very bright with plenty of sun today and mostly light W winds.  The sun began to thaw the settled snow from yesterday but little impact could be made with the temperatures remaining variable of literally just above and just below zero.  A site visit did however, produce three new Year Ticks after a Woodcock* was flushed along the Approach Road at the start of the visit and later from the hide, 3 Fieldfares* and a Hen Harrier* were viewed.  Also seen from the hide were singles of Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels, 2 Reed Buntings and 4 Song Thrushes, while the Waders were just a single Snipe and 114 Lapwings.  Across the fields, the farmer was trying to remove some 500+ Brent Geese.  Surveying off-shore and along the coastline gave totals of 3 Shoveler and 200+ Wigeon sitting on the sea, while along the shore the numbers were 1 Grey Plover, 2 Sanderlings, 3 Oystercatchers and 4 Turnstones.  Of note, the Little Owl was also located today. MR.  Additional sightings from a survey of the fields/arable beyond the Scrape and Golf Course provided 2 Woodcocks, a single Snipe, 9 Golden Plovers and 200+ Skylarks.  Also viewed in this vicinity was a Peregrine (adult fem) and a Water Rail....... the Water Rail unfortunately for it, was the fresh kill of the Peregrine....... she sat feeding on the outer branch of an old tree. BS.   

7th - Another very bright sunny day that began with moderate ESE winds, temperatures that quite quickly moved up to +2 degrees and a wind-chill factor of -4 degrees.  By mid-day, the wind speeds had increased, this subsequently dropped the wind-chill factor to -7 and the occasional gusting of up to 20mph was definitely not going to help!  Some late evening E wind speeds and gusting of 31+mph and 37+mph respectively, took the wind-chill to -9.5 degrees!  Having been on site during the morning and then reaching the mounds on the return journey (heading back towards the sewage farm), one observer had the "pre-lunchtime highlight", when he saw a flock of 100+ Cormorants. MR.  These birds flew overhead in a NE direction and were watched until they were lost to view over Frinton.  Prior to today, the largest flock seen from/over/at the Haven was on 13th March 2010 (71 birds) with a total day count of 77, previous to March '10 the highest day count of Cormorants was of 27 from records before 1988.    Continuing the sightings with a combined survey from this morning (using just the higher counts of the two reports), 2 Woodcocks were seen, one of which was near to the Sailing Club compound, the other was flushed from the carpark bushes.  A Coot decided to sit off the end of the sluice on the sea before moving to the breakwater, while the seawall/shore provided 1 Grey Plover, 3 Turnstone and 7 Sanderlings.  Six Wader species were viewable across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh today, being a single Blk T Godwit, 3 of each Dunlin and Golden Plover, 5 Snipe, 40 Curlews and 115 LapwingsDucks across the scrape, on the sea and also including Little Holland Hall Pond were 650+ Wigeon, 1 Gadwall, 24 Mallards and just 10 Teal.  Geese were totals of 26 Greylags and c200 Brent, while Gulls were 8 Common and 150 Herring.  1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels and 4 Song Thrushes were once again noted from the hide, additions today being 3 Meadow PipitsMR/SC/PC.  A second observer making a late afternoon visit (from the Farm, down to the seawall and returning to the former), had the "afternoon highlight" of 12+ Woodcocks.  This total included 5+ feeding together in the little spinney by the Farm Pond.  Added to the two birds seen this morning, a total of 14+ for a single day's count, beats that of the day count of 10 Woodcocks that was recorded on 20th December 1981.   Be it not so good for ourselves on a daily basis, the bitterly cold weather has, in agreement with the notes on this submitted report, brought a new influx of birds..........  and the Haven site definitely needed the kick start there after a very quiet January.  The arable this afternoon was hosting a flock of 200 Skylarks and near to the paddocks was a Fieldfare.  A Gt. Crested Grebe flew SW off-shore and singles of Grey Plover and Sanderling were +/- the earlier birds on the beach.  A Goldfinch (calling) was a flyover and at least 1 Common Buzzard was in the vicinity.  The Brent Geese were still at c200 at around 16.00hrs when at this point, the temperature had dropped severely again with the re-freezing of the day's thaw being noted. PRD

8th - A very grey and "typical wintery" sky for this morning with temperatures fluctuating (barely) either side of zero.  Winds of an Easterly direction with speeds of moderate to strong (14mph through 28mph), occasional gusting of up to 33mph and the dreaded wind-chill factor of circa -5 degrees.  Prior to mid-day there were a couple of brief appearances of sleet but generally bitterly cold and no further thaw of the existing snow.  By the evening the winds were fluctuating to NE and back to ENE.  At least two observers were on and around the site today with the morning report giving counts of a Common Buzzard, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 25 Skylarks, singles of Dunlin and Snipe, 2 Golden and 2 Grey Plovers, 100+ Lapwing, 6 Teal, 80+ Wigeon and 13 Greylag Geese all being viewed from the hide.  A Rock Pipit was located on the sluice, while the seawall/beach provided 3 Turnstones and a further Grey Plover.  On a wildlife note, during this survey there were 8 (possibly more) Brown Hares on the marsh areas. MR.  Additional sightings from further surveillance were of 3 Woodcocks located on the Farm area again and another single Woodcock was feeding in the carpark bushes.  On the rocks (shore - opposite the 2nd hide) there were 3 Purple Sandpipers. IM

9th - NW winds of moderate strength to start another bitterly cold day.  Temperatures by 08.00hrs were at +1 degree and the wind-chill factor at -4.9.  Not quite the dull grey sky of yesterday and indeed, that big orange ball was quite bright this morning.  Unfortunately, the sun made little impression on either the temperature or the snow and ice.  A very slight increase in temperature after dark however, did see a little bit of a thaw.  At least four observers made visits to the site today with time spent by all, watching off-shore movement.  The first report was of 3 Gt. C. Grebes off-shore from the Sailing Club, 1 Black-T Diver, 6 Red-T Divers (4 on the sea and 2 flying N), 3 Turnstones flying along the shore, 2 Grey Plovers that flew to the area between the sluice and the Boating Club, a Sanderling on the sluice and a Golden Plover on the beach.  Walking the seawall towards the centre point (Haven/Frinton), a Rock Pipit was located, 5 Meadow Pipits were noted and a Common Buzzard was on the hedgerows between the Owl boxes. AD.  The second report included viewing from the hide which gave 3 Grey and 2 Golden Plovers, 2 Woodcocks, 1 Snipe and 100+ Lapwing, with the Ducks consisting of just 4 Gadwall, 6 Teal and 12 Wigeon, while the Geese were 16 Greylags.  10+ Common Gulls were noted, as were 10+ Song Thrushes, singles of FieldfareKestrel and +/- a Common Buzzard that may or may not have been the same bird as on the initial report.  Walking to the Frinton end of site, gave views of 7+ Red-T Divers off-shore (this count may be +/- the previous 6). IM/MR/PRD.  Flushed from the ringing compound today, were 2 Woodcocks which took the day's count to 4 of this species. PRD

10th - Grey skies again by 09.00hrs, although earlier had seen the sun breaking through quite nicely.  Some light to moderate ESE winds at this time with the occasional gusting of up to 17mph.  Temperatures began the day at +1.7 degrees - so not very warm but it was better than below zero!  The sun did appear again and made for a generally bright day in the end, although the temperature was back to "zero" by dusk.  Winds by early evening were Easterlies of moderate strength.  Little to report from the site today, which also included coverage of the Farm areas.  The farm did yield a mobile flock of some 200 Skylarks again but there were no signs of any Woodcocks.  There was however a "highlighted bird" of the day, which, while the observer was searching through 200 Wigeon off-shore, came into view, drifted towards the end of the sluice, then the 1W Velvet Scoter* took up and flew South.  This Velvet Scoter (only the 14th ever site record) is the first one recorded from the Haven since September 2010 and is also the first recorded of this species at the Haven in the month of February (see Birds of the Haven & Bird Report 2010).  Quiet and freezing cold the site may have been but a good bird to add to the observer's List as well as to the Haven Year ListIM

11th - No change to the bitterly cold conditions and moderate winds but at least the day was generally bright again and there was plenty of sun throughout the morning into the early afternoon.  The scrape being very much still frozen but could be classed as picturesque even if quiet of birds!  At 11.50hrs, a Spoonbill*(PC) was seen to fly over the Sewage Farm area but checks made of the scrape concluded that the bird "probably didn't land".  Singles of Grey Plover and Sanderling were located along the beach, as were 2 Turnstones. SC/PC.  Additional sightings for today were of a Common Buzzard and a Barn Owl. RWf.  

12th - A light dusting of snow appeared from overnight but by mid-day, a couple of short-lived spells of rain had washed this away and along with the following sun and the very slightly improved temperature of +2 degrees, the existing snow was again beginning to thaw.  Winds by the early afternoon were fluctuating N through NNW and were of moderate strength with some gusting.  Earlier winds had seen the wind-chill factor hit -10.1 degrees!!  Viewing across the scrape from the hide today, gave 2 Blk T Godwits, 10 Greylag Geese and seen as it flew low over the scrape was a Peregrine. IM/PNt.  Located near to the five-bar gate (just down from Sluice Cottages) was a single Woodcock with another later located as it fed in the wooded area along the Approach Road. IM.  An early afternoon visit, beginning at the Farm and taking the walk down to the Golf Course, provided 4+ Woodcocks (1 in flight may have been 1 of the previous 4) and a brilliant male Marsh Harrier, also 37 Curlew (30 Paddock + 7 fields), 8 Red-Legged Partridges, 14 Meadow Pipits, a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel.  Upon returning to the paddock (and giving a "site" day total of 7+), a Woodcock was happily feeding right next to the car...... a camera is never around when you need it!! AD.  The two observers also viewed between them, a Barn Owl that was near to the Golf Course, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Song and 3 Mistle Thrushes, a Pied Wagtail, 1 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, 2 Grey Plovers and 3 Turnstones. AD/IM

13th - A chilly morning but the temperature was again above zero at +2 degrees and it did improve a little bit on that later.  Fairly bright to begin the morning but cloud-cover by 10.30hrs was alongside mostly moderate strength W through WNW winds.  A few sleet/drizzle episodes occurred during the morning into early afternoon and a couple of heavier downpours were late in the day.  Today's viewing across the scrape (from the hide) provided details of 6 Gadwall (4drake+2fem), 1 Blk T Godwit and singles of both Common Buzzard and Kestrel.  The Farm paddocks, during a short walk/survey of the area, produced five species of Thrush being 2 Fieldfares, 1 Redwing, 1 Song and 2 Mistle Thrushes and also 12+ Blackbirds. IM.

14th - And the temperature climbed again to give readings of +4 degrees for this morning and after the rain of yesterday and being generally warmer overnight, alot of the snow (roads, pathways and gardens) had disappeared although little had defrosted in the way of ponds and similar.  Grey clouds and the sun alternated prior to mid-morning with an early downpour included.  Moderate but erring towards strong, the NW morning winds were also complete with some gusting of c24mph, while the afternoon saw little change apart from further improvement to temperatures to above +6 degrees.  Woodcocks were again the notable birds for today, 3 of them this time, proving that they were on site and in three different areas - just across the road, one flew (towards the houses) from the ditch, one was flushed from the woodland along the Approach Road and another was seen to fly across the Farm fields.  During this visit, seen as they flew over the Church towards the Farm woods, were 20 Curlews.  Viewing from the hide provided counts of 2 Blk T Godwits, 1 Dunlin, 1 Grey Plover, 1pr Shovelers, 2prs Gadwall, 20+ Greylag Geese and also a Common Buzzard. IM.  A quick visit to the Farm paddocks mid-afternoon gave nothing of any major note - a mixed Tit flock doing the rounds, Green and Goldfinches, visible numbers of Blackbirds and an abundance of Magpies. KA

15th - Some strong NW winds and rain to start the day, along with gusting of up to 33mph.  Whilst the rain proceeded to be somewhat on/off throughout the day, the winds remained fairly strong - fluctuating NW through NNW.  Again there was an increase to the temperature, which by mid-afternoon was at +8 degrees.  Today's report was from a two and a half hour survey and also confirmed that the scrape was once more "ice-free".  As per yesterday, the scrape and surrounding grazing areas, held 2 Blk T Godwits, 1 Grey Plover, 2prs Gadwall and 1pr Shovelers, while the additions were 5 Shelducks and the Dunlin count was up at 5.  Located along the beach were 2 Sanderlings.  During a short sea-watch, there was only one species of particular note and that was of the Cormorant.  25+ Cormorants were seen (all flying North) and this total included a "line of 21".  Maybe not the most exciting of bird species but this is another good recorded count for the Haven. IM.

16th - A bit of a dismal start to the day, grey with an initial light misty-type drizzle which although this cleared, it still "hung in the air" for the majority of the morning.  Winds throughout were mainly of a moderate strength, there were occasional extra blasts of up to c21mph and all were fluctuating WNW through NW and back again.  The temperature rose to above +8 degrees and the afternoon did see some brighter skies.  Located in front of the hide by Jim Kendle at c13.00hrs, an adult Red-Breasted Goose* was showing very well on the scrape (with Brents) before all the Geese on this area took flight and moved West - but thankfully for many observers, only across to the field adjacent to both the scrape and the main road B1032.  The Red-Breasted Goose was viewable from the lay-by until at least 16.45hrs and was a brilliant site tick for many.  This R-B Goose is only the second of it's species to be recorded at the Haven site (see Birds of the Haven).  The Brent flock itself, was of c1500 birds and also included 5 Pale Bellied and 1 Black Brant.  Other birds noted for the site today were a Woodcock located on the corner of the entrance to the Approach Road, while 40+ Curlews and singles of Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Snipe and Sparrowhawk were viewed from the hide. JK/PRD/KA/AD/LR/PR/PNt/MR/SC/PC/SN/IM.   

17th - A chilly start to the day but initially very bright.  At least two observers were on and around the site today, covering areas including across the road from the main site entrance, the farm, along the seawall, the scrape and viewable grazing areas thereof.  At c14.28hrs, while watching a Little Egret during a walk to the second turret, one observer was very pleased to see - and then proceeded to watch - a Ringtail Hen Harrier come into view and then drift towards the Farm.  A Barn Owl was also noted, as it quartered the field next to the Golf Course, while the Farm itself, provided counts of a single but vocal Corn Bunting and also 5+ Reed Buntings.  A Kingfisher and 2 Woodcocks were located in the area opposite the Approach Road. IM.  A further Woodcock was found to be in the Ringing Compound and elsewhere on site, a search through the c700 Brent Geese confirmed that both a Black Brant and a Pale Bellied were amongst the flock. PRD.  The scrape held just 10 Blk T Godwits and 3 Dunlin of any note. IM/PRD.

18th - Searching very thoroughly through the Brent Geese on site (and in other local vicinities) appears to have been the order of the day.  Although the R-BG was only at the Haven for one "known afternoon", as per any birds, this or another could re-appear/appear at any time - especially with the knowledge that the Brents at the Haven seem to more often than not, move between this site and that of the backwaters at Lower Kirby/Walton and the fact that an R-BG has today, been reported in the Naze area.  Our bird from Thursday ???   Approximately 900 Brent Geese were moving themselves between the scrape and adjoining fields today and it was confirmed, from surveying prior to 14.30hrs and also as at 15.30hrs, that at least 2 Pale Bellied and a Black Brant were again within the flock. PL/PBr.  Seen to fly S were 2 Golden Plovers, while a single Kestrel was viewed while it hunted. PBr.  Taking the Haven 2012 Year List to 100 species, were 3 Ruff* also located today. IM

19th - A House Sparrow was located near to the Sewage Farm this morning - a rarity within the Haven Site. GG/PRD.  Surveying by one observer from the hide this morning (10.00hrs), provided singles of both Peregrine and Kestrel, while on and around the scrape there were of note, 4 Blk T Godwits, 12 Shelducks and 26 Brent Geese. JK.

20th - A very colourful dawn this morning and also a very frosty one!!  The WSW winds were moderate to strong for the morning and again through the afternoon, while gusting was more than just occasional and was of variable speeds up to c23mph.  Although quite a bright day, it was quite cold with temperatures reaching a maximum of +5 degrees, while the wind-chill factor was virtually 10 degrees lower at -4.9.  No reports returned.

21st - A very bright sunny start to the day and this continued with blue skies and some white clouds for the duration.  The morning saw W moderate to strong (13mph - c22mph) winds - these by mid-afternoon had turned to SW, while the gusting throughout, varied up to 26mph.  The temperature rose from +5 degrees (08.30hrs) to a high point of slightly above +10.  A four hour survey of the site today (09.30hrs-13.30hrs), located nothing out of the ordinary - with the report notes including the phrase "roll on the spring" !!  The Waders included singles of Snipe, Dunlin and Sanderling, while Turnstones totalled 4.  A pair of Mute Swans made the notebook and the Duck count provided 8 Shelduck, 70 Teal and 200 Wigeon.  A Rock Pipit was on site, as were 4 Reed Buntings, while off-shore a Gt. C Grebe was viewed as it flew SW and either this same bird or a second one was later seen sitting on the sea. PRD.    

22nd - The colourful skies at dawn soon changed to grey and overcast for the duration of the morning.  The early moderate strength SSW winds changed to much stronger ones prior to mid-day (afternoon they reached 30mph) and gusting varied from 27mph through to and in excess of 33mph.  The temperature, recorded at +10 degrees, certainly feeling much cooler with the winds.  On/off rain occurred during the afternoon.  No reports returned.  

23rd - A bright and sunny start with some early blue skies and patchy white clouds.  A good variation to wind speeds before 09.00hrs, with blustery extras of c19mph - all at a SW direction.  Afternoon winds turned slightly to West and speed/strength became a little bit stronger.  The temperature on the coastline was up to +17 degrees, while less than 3 miles from the site, the readings were +19 degrees!!  No reports returned.   

24th - Not as warm as yesterday and not so bright either - but then today's +13 degrees was closer to our lower and more realistic February temperatures anyway!  A lot of variation in the sky today, from white clouds to some very dark ones at times and occasionally, virtually full cloud-cover.  Westerly winds began the day and were of moderate to strong with slight gusting, mid-morning to early afternoon saw lighter winds but stronger gusting, then by the middle of the afternoon, the direction had turned to WNW and speed was very variable, although the gusting had increased to some 30mph.  Surveying from the hide at 10.00hrs provided another Haven 2012 Year Tick.  Earlier onto the site than last year (5th Mar'11), this morning saw a total of 11 Avocets* on the scrape - will they be staying or just passing through??  Also in this vicinity were 3 Blk T Godwits, 2 Curlews, a single Oystercatcher and 36 Lapwings, alongside 26 Shelduck of note. JK.  

25th - Mostly a bright glorious day, if a tad chilly in the stronger winds at times.  The winds varied a great deal in strength throughout today (c2mph through 18mph) and didn't appear to settle at any speed for any length of time.  The direction began as NW and turned by late afternoon to WNW.  Gusting was very much on/off through the day and this reached a locally recorded maximum of 27mph.  Observations today gave that a Kingfisher was located in the area across the road (opp. Approach Road), while viewing across the scrape found that the Avocets had increased from yesterday's 11 to a total of 16 today.  Also in the vicinity of the scrape were a single Ruff and 11 Curlew, 30 Shelducks, c100 Teal, c300 Wigeon and 26 Greylag Geese. IM.

26th - Another bright and sunny one with blue skies and a few white clouds.  SW light to moderate winds along side temperatures in excess of +9 degrees - still fairly cool in areas open to the winds but it was not so cold that it was not enjoyable.  There were 18 Avocets viewable from the hide during a morning survey, while other Waders were 40 Curlews, 4 Blk T Godwits and a single Dunlin.  2 Gadwall, 14 Shelducks and 30+ Greylag Geese were also counted and a single Reed Bunting was noted. MR.  Observing whilst walking from the Frinton end of site, gave views of 3 Gt. C Grebes (together) sitting/drifting on the sea, while 2 Oystercatchers were feeding on the Golf Course. IM.  

27th - After a slightly dismal start to the day (rain), it brightened to some extent although the cloud cover was still intact by c11.00hrs.  Westerly winds for the majority of the day, fluctuated light to moderate with occasional gusting (variable 9mph through 24mph), all alongside a mediocre temperature of +9 degrees.  Wind direction turned to WSW for the latter part of the afternoon/going into nightfall - the latter bringing more rain.  At least three observers covered areas of the site today and provided reports for pre 14.00hrs.  Upon viewing from the hide, a single Ruff was alongside 9 Curlews, 9 Avocets and 4 Blk T Godwits, with Ducks of note numbering 4 Shoveler, 20 Shelducks, 200+ Wigeon and 250+ Teal, while the Greylag Geese were at 20+.  Both a Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk were in the vicinity.  Noted off-shore species were 2 Red-T Divers sitting on the water and 3+ Gt. C Grebes.  On the sluice was Ringed Plover. PRD/MR/IM.  Located on the rocks this morning were 2 Purple Sandpipers. PRD.  An additional report was that of a Little Egret - which viewed from the carpark/dipping pond area, the bird was harassed by 3 Herring Gulls prior to it landing in a ditch. IM.

28th - A grey start this morning soon gave way to brighter conditions and overall it was a very pleasant day.  By 08.00hrs the temperature was already at +9 degrees and had increased by lunchtime to in excess of +13.  The light Westerly winds of the morning increased slightly during the day and turned to NW in the process.  Several observers were on and around the site this morning and another made an afternoon visit.  Birds of Prey were on show at the earlier viewings, being singles of Peregrine, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.  These four birds were seen from a crowded hide, from which the counts for the scrape and it's surrounding areas, gave 22 Avocets, 26 Curlews, 3 Blk T Godwits, 110 Lapwings and a single Oystercatcher.  Singles of both Shoveler and Gadwall were noted, as were 22 Shelduck, c200 Teal, c300 Wigeon and c30 Greylag Geese. IM/MR/JK/MK/LR/PR.  Near to the sluice, 2 Mute Swans were sitting on the sea. IM.  The afternoon survey began at the Farm, took in the walk down to and across the Golf Course before returning back up to the Farm.  The grazing marsh provided a Little Egret, while 13 Curlew were on the arable (maybe +/- the earlier 26) and along the footpath Farm/Golf Course, a Linnet was seen.  Below the seawall, a Rock Pipit was on the rocks and afternoon off-shore observations located 3+ Red-T Divers. PRD

29th - Another grey early morning which by 08.30hrs was already looking to be and did turn into, a glorious day.  Light winds of c9mph through 13mph fluctuated WNW to W and back again during the morning and temperatures were around the +9 degrees.  A morning survey of the scrape and it's surrounding grazing marsh, gave 2 of each Dunlin and Redshank, 4 Blk T Godwits, 9 Curlews, 22 Avocets and 90 Lapwings, along with 2 Gadwall, 22 Shelducks, 150 Teal, 330 Wigeon and 10 Greylag Geese. (Of note: Amongst the Avocets, there are two Colour-ringed birds, one being a Bird originally rung in France).  Also viewed from the hide were singles of Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk.  Around the site at this time, there were 2 Song Thrushes (singing), 5 Reed Buntings, 6 Meadow Pipits, 12 Skylarks and a single Little Owl. MR.  Observations into the early afternoon (12.20hrs), located the first Chiffchaff* of this Haven Year and this bird was half-way between the Radar Tower and Clacton Sailing Club and was in the tamarisk. PRD

As at 29th February, the Haven 2012 Year List stands at 103