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*

FEBRUARY 2014

1st - After some continued heavy rains through the night, the day proceeded to be mostly bright with blue skies and some cloud but very chilly in the strong winds.  Wind direction varied back and forth WSW/SW/SSW with constant variable wind speeds from 25mph/33mph and up to 40mph with gusting at times reaching 46mph.  The winds increased in strength into the evening with speeds of up to 46mph and gusting that exceeded 52mph.  A few observers were on and around the site during the day.  2 Firecrests were located today (1xringing comp. + 1xby Cottages), a Water Rail was viewed over the road and of note on the scrape were singles of both Bar-T and Blk-T Godwits, while two short seawatch sessions during this survey, gave several Red-T Divers as well a Tufted Duck* (drake). GG.  Also added to the list was a Red-Breasted Merganser* that flew S close in-shore during a 30 minute seawatch this afternoon.  The only other birds moving during this time were 3 Cormorants.  A Grey Wagtail was again in the Sewage Farm vicinity as was a Colour-ringed Herring Gull. MR.

2nd - A bit grey earlier in the morning but the skies brightened fairly quickly to leave variable cloud across a mostly blue and sunny sky.  Initial early winds were of SW direction and of up to 34mph with gusting of up to 40mph - these had dropped to c20mph and c26mph respectively by mid-morning.  No reports returned.

3rd - SSE winds throughout the day and mostly strong.  Variable speeds from 19mph up to 29mph with gusting that had reached 35mph by late afternoon.  Dry and mostly bright but very cool at times in the open winds.  Noted for the morning round-up was that 'a few more of the common birds around the site.......... with the sunshine.....' and in the Memorials area there were singles of Little Owl (in his tree), Jay and Kestrel, as well as 10+ Blackbirds.  Across the pools/scrapes beyond here and also around the Sewage Farm there were lots of Gulls but no actual counts made this morning.  Surveying across the main scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and up towards the fields, yielded 2 Grey Herons, 1 Blk T Godwit, 20+ Curlew and c200 Lapwings, whilst noted Ducks and Geese were 6 Gadwall, 11 Shelducks, 21 Shoveler, c400 Teal and c400 Wigeon, alongside 2 Canada and 75 Greylag Geese.  Also from the hide at this time, sitting on the track across the arable were 2 PeregrinesMR.  An afternoon visit to the hide gave the observer views of an adult Kittiwake on the scrape (14.20hrs) - not usually a species that is seen actually on the Haven scrape, these are more likely to be noted at various distances from this site's shoreline. PRD.  An afternoon visit was also made to the Farm but nothing of any particular note was to be found.  A return trip to the hide did find that a Bar T Godwit was in the vicinity. MR.  

****PLEASE NOTE:  A CAMERA was lost on the Haven site today (Mon.3rd Feb) and we would politely ask that should anybody have found the camera and be reading this website,  please either email ourselves (see Home page) or otherwise kindly hand the item in to the local Police.  Thank you.****

4th - Generally a bright day with some blue skies but some variable grey and white cloud formations (and a little bit of barely noticeable morning drizzle).  Southerly winds - with slight swings to either side - were initially moderate to strong (13mph to 26mph) with gusting of c31mph but this increased substantially late in the day and into the evening to speeds of up to 38mph and gusting up to and in excess of 46mph.  At least two observers were on and around the site this morning.  A survey through to the Frinton end gave a Sanderling* on the beach opposite the Golf Course, while 3 Purple Sandpipers were on their rocks by the third turret.  Viewing from the hide gave a male Marsh Harrier and a female Sparrowhawk and notables on the scrape of 1 Blk T Godwit, 13 Shelducks, 18 Gadwall, 250 Wigeon and 500 Teal. LH.  Additional counts for the scrape, grazing marsh and localised reeds/bushes, provided 14 Curlew, c260 Lapwings, 1 Little Egret, 62 Shoveler, 2 Canada and 90 Greylag Geese, also a single Reed Bunting.  A walk along towards Frinton yielded 2 Meadow Pipits and 6 Skylarks, however it would appear that the Sanderling had moved South along the coast and was located back near the Sluice on the observer's return journey.  Of note for the Sewage Farm, were two Colour-ringed Herring Gulls - both returning birds. MR

5th - The strong winds continued through the night into this morning reaching speeds of 42+mph and gusting of up to 55mph.  These eased down to mostly c23mph and c37mph respectively for the daylight morning hours - all being of S to SW in direction.  On/off bright periods after the early rain stopped....... but the rain and the strong winds returned for late morning and the afternoon with a vengeance.  The Southerly winds again reaching up to and in excess of both 42mph and 50mph respectively.  This morning's survey was a fairly quick site visit but there was nothing of particular note on the scrape - with numbers and species being much as per those of yesterday.  Once again there were 2 Peregrines sitting on the track that runs across the arable as you look towards Gt. Holland, while the beach held a single Turnstone and 2 Sanderlings. MR.

6th - Initially just grey and overcast with strong SSW winds of up to 31mph and gusting of c36mph, the latter part of the morning saw some drizzle before rain appeared at lunchtime.  By c14.00hrs, the winds had increased to 34+mph and 40+mph respectively, along with a variable direction SSW/SSE and very heavy rain.  It was noticeably quiet around the trees/bushes this morning apart from a Song Thrush (Approach Road) whose singing had the appreciation of the observer.  The continued route to the hide gave singles of Sanderling and Turnstone on the beach, while viewing from the hide, again gave the 2 Peregrines sitting on the track.  Across the grazing marsh were counts of 11 Canada and 80+ Greylag Geese, 11 Gadwall, 12 Shelducks, 44 Shoveler, c400 Teal and c500 Wigeon.  The only Waders of any note consisted of 5 Curlew and 272 Lapwings.  The wander back towards the Cottages found that a Yellow-legged Gull* (see Gallery) had descended upon the Sewage Farm. MR.  

7th - Weather-wise it appeared a bit more settled after some early rain although various cloud colours and formations remained through the day - even the sun decided to show itself at times.  Afternoon wind direction moved W through SW and overall speeds were from 10mph up to 29mph and gusting varied up to 34mph.  Of note along the coastline of the site (14.00/14.45hrs) were 2 Stonechats (m+fem), 2 Rock Pipits and 3 Purple Sandpipers. DS.

8th - A changeable day that included some extremely dark clouds and heavy rain, as well as bright sun and blue skies!  The wind strength had increased again for today with speeds up to and in excess of 47mph and gusting of 53+mph - these from variable WSW through SSW directions.  Surveying that took place during a walk to the hide and back to the carpark areas provided 10 Curlew, 7 Gadwall, 24 Shelducks, 30+ Shoveler, c300 Teal, c400 Wigeon, 11 Canada and c80 Greylag Geese across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh areas.  The beach area by the sluice held 3 Sanderlings and observations of the trees/bushes gave the Little OwlIM.

9th - No real let up from the winds this morning and although some visible brighter patches, the majority of the sky being various shades of grey.  Wind direction being W/WSW, of up to 42mph and gusting of c49mph.  Of note, a Colour-ringed Herring Gull was seen in the Sewage Farm vicinity. MJ

10th - Overall, quite a grey and dismal day with on/off rain throughout and this being heavy at times.  The initial Southerly winds had become Westerlies by the evening with speeds varying across the day from c7mph up to 27mph and gusting also variable from single figures up to 31mph.  A site visit from 15.00hrs to 16.15hrs this afternoon, gave the observer views of a Barn Owl and an immature male Sparrowhawk, also 3 Purple Sandpipers - the latter being situated on the sluice rocks, a count of 5 Snipe and 13 Curlew.  A noted Duck count at this time was of 18 Gadwall, 25 Shelducks, 37 Shoveler, 400+ Teal and 500+ WigeonLH.

11th - The early brilliant gold and red daybreak sky gave way swiftly to a grey overcast one with the addition of rain.  The afternoon did have some bright spells.  The winds were SSW for most of the day, turning to Westerlies for the evening.  Initial 22mph through 28mph speeds with gusts of up to 33mph were mild compared to the later speeds of 48+mph and gusting of 57+mph.  At least two observers made visits to the site during the afternoon and their counts included some 25+ Common Gulls that were seen (from the sluice area) to be feeding offshore by the Outflow Buoy, while on the localised rocks were 5 Turnstones.  Viewing from the main hide yielded 10+ Curlew, 11 Canada Geese, 19 Shelducks, 30+ Shoveler, c300 Teal and c400 Wigeon with other species in the vicinity and across the skyline being of 1 Barn Owl, 1 Marsh Harrier and 2 Common Buzzards*. IM/PL.     

12th - Variable winds throughout the day, moving mostly S through SW and back with - as predicted - exceptional speeds varying from 44mph up to 52+mph and some fairly constant gusting that exceeded 65mph.  The rain that fell today was at times almost horizontal and very, very heavy!  Today's survey by two observers included a stop at the sluice to seawatch for a while and this provided just six birds and three species - these being 2 of each Dunlin (S), Shelduck (S) and Red-T Diver (feeding).  A Sparrowhawk was the only bird of prey viewed today, while totals across the scrape, surrounding marsh and the brook below, consisted of 1 Little Grebe, 6 Turnstones, 11 Canada and c50 Greylag Geese, 15 Gadwall, 17 Shelducks, c40 Shoveler and as per yesterday c300 Teal and c400 Wigeon. IM/MR.  

13th - Although the sun did win through a few times today, the rain made appearances morning and early afternoon and some of this once again torrential.  WNW winds, as recorded locally, were initially of up to 32mph but dropped as low as 13mph during the day, while gusting reached up to and in excess of 40mph at times.  Noted for mid to late morning, there were 2 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks opposite the Golf Course. MP.  A short, late afternoon visit to the site (while taking a break or was it escaping?? from doing weather-damage repairs), the observer viewed a superb Barn Owl hunting the marsh beyond the carpark, while the Little Owl was on his tree and the hedgerows half-way along the Sewage Farm, gave a Firecrest. MR.     

14th - Grey, cold (down to -1 degree at times during the day) and more rain - all alongside more very strong winds of direction S through SSE for the majority.  General speeds of c35mph increased up to 38mph and gusting at times exceeded 45mph.  No reports returned.

15th - Yesterday's severe winds and rain continued throughout the night with the rain finally easing during the early part of the morning to give some brighter skies.  The winds turned to WSW through W but increased in strength up to 50mph and the fairly constant gusting exceeded 58mph. A three hour visit by one observer saw that the 2 Peregrines were once again together and on the fields beyond the scrape, while 3 Purple Sandpipers were located on the rocks, an adult Kittiwake was noted on the Sewage Farm, as was a colour-ringed Herring Gull. HE.

16th - A very bright, dry and opposed to days of late, a very calm one too.  Winds were initially W through WNW, turning to SSW later in the day with speeds varying during the morning from 13mph to 21+mph and for the afternoon they were as low as 5mph.  Gusting at times reached 26mph.  Reported as being located on the rocks again, were 3 Purple Sandpipers per RBA.

17th - A mixed day with varying bright and slightly grey skies but at least, once again dry.  SSW through S winds that varied from 10mph up to 21mph through the day, complete with some gusting of up to 24mph.  The February WeBS counts were also going on during the morning observations, so further details may also be reported later.  Noted for generally around the bushes was that there were 'a few extra Greenfinches and Chaffinches' while Gulls were numerous at the pools and during the latter part of the morning, the Little Owl was on the dead tree. MR.  The counts across the scrape and surrounding vicinity gave 1 Blk T Godwit, the first 3 Avocets* of this year, 9 Curlew, c140 Lapwings and 11 Canada Geese amongst the Greylags, with Duck numbers of 19 Shelducks, 21 Gadwall, 49 Shoveler, c140 Wigeon and 710 Teal.  Just a single Peregrine was viewable on the farm track today. MR/SC.  Several returning colour-ringed Herring Gulls were on site. MR.  During an afternoon survey, a summer plumaged 'bridled' Common Guillemot was seen close off-shore, between the sluice and the Golf Course at 15.15hrs.  A male Stonechat was in the vicinity along the route. PRD.  Another afternoon visitor and a further survey, namely located 4 Purple Sandpipers on their rocks opposite the Golf Course (see Gallery). AS

18th - Today's winds tended to vary SW through SSW, of speeds c13mph up to 21mph and additional gusting was of up to 24mph.  Occasional short-lived showers but generally it was a reasonable day before some heavier evening showers.  Overall, not too cold a day either.  No reports returned.

19th - Winds were variable WSW through W, slightly lighter than yesterday at speeds of c9mph up to 18mph with gusting of up to 21mph at times.  Some early showers, followed once again, by some reasonable weather for the time of year.  Surveying from the hide this morning found that an Avocet was on the scrape, along with counts for this and the immediate surrounding area, of 1 Little Egret, 3 Snipe, 30 Curlew, 104 Lapwings, 4 Mute Swans, 2 Greylag and 11 Canada Geese, 10 Gadwall, 34 Shelducks and 47 Shoveler.  No counts were made of Wigeon or Teal but good numbers of both species could be viewed across the entire area. IM/MR.  Observations (late morning) on the site and along the coastal route yielded 4 Purple Sandpipers still on their rocks opposite the Golf Course, while a Rock Pipit was in the vicinity of the second turret and on the rock groyne close to here, was a Colour-ringed immature Shag. LD.   

20th - WSW through W winds were of speeds up to 29mph with gusting at times being of up to 35mph on a day that included on/off showers.  Some brighter periods occurred amongst those of overcast skies - which at c17.00hrs had some rather weird colouration just prior to another shower.  A few observers on and around the site today with an early morning survey providing views of a Little Grebe and a Little Egret from the hide, along with notes of 20 Curlew, 12 Gadwall, 30 Shelducks, 33 Shoveler and 11 Canada GeeseLapwings, Teal and Wigeon were 'still in high numbers' and again spread far and wide across the scrape and flooded grazing marsh. IM/MR.  While watching from the sluice, 2 Turnstones took flight from the beach after being chased by a dog. IM.  A half-hour visit (from 12.15hrs) found that 3 Purple Sandpipers were on rocks opposite the Golf Course and also located was a male Stonechat. SB

21st - A glorious morning - if slightly cool to start - with bright sun and blue skies alongside variable moderate c11mph through to stronger 23mph W/WNW winds and gusting at times reaching 27mph.  No reports returned.

22nd - A bright sunny morning that while warm 'in the sun' was still fairly cool in the winds and shade.  On/off bright periods through the afternoon with definite drops in the temperature at mid-afternoon and again at dusk.  The only species of note this afternoon was that of a Red-T Diver sitting/drifting on the sea. GG.

23rd - SSW through SW winds of speeds up to and slightly exceeding 32mph along with gusting at times reaching 39mph.  The wind-chill factor giving temperature readings locally of just +3degrees and the skies often overcast and grey as the day progressed.  Another very quiet site today - with notables of a Rock Pipit along the front on the rocks and a count of 12 Barnacle Geese that were seen to fly N.  A returning colour-ringed Herring Gull was viewable in the Sewage Farm. GG

24th - A tad breezy this morning but dry and very bright with some blue skies too!  Winds varying from 16mph through 21+mph and gusting of up to 27mph, being of a SSW direction.  Surveying across the scrape and grazing marsh areas from the main hide, found that a single Blk T Godwit, 3 Turnstones, 21 Curlew and 140 Lapwings were the visible Waders.  The Ducks and Geese spread across this vicinity totalled 8 Gadwall, 26 Shelducks, 38 Shoveler, c200 Teal and c400 Wigeon with 11 Canada and 20+ Greylag Geese.  Singles of Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were noted. IM/MR.  Observations on the way back past the Mounds gave a Woodcock that flushed from this area.  Several Gulls were again seen on the site bearing colour-rings, while on the Wildlife side - a Common Lizard was seen "taking the sun this morning". MR.  A further Wildlife note today was of a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly seen along the seawall opposite the Golf Club, while back on the birding front.... 2 Sanderlings were on the beach. PBr

25th - Early rain was followed by alot of grey cloud cover with S through SSW winds of up to 33mph and gusting at times of up to 38mph.  At least three observers were on site today and there were two new Haven 2014 species added to the current year's list.  Pausing by the sluice on the way to the hide, saw that a single Ringed Plover* was on the aforementioned area. IM.  Counts made for the viewable brook, scrape, grazing marsh and skyline from the hide included 2 Little Grebes, singles of Dunlin and Snipe, 4 Turnstones, 6 Gadwall, 25 Shelducks, 52 Shoveler and 11 Canada GeeseLapwings, Teal and Wigeon were noted as being in similar numbers to those of recent days. IM/MR.  An additional report included that of a Rock Pipit (Spring plumage 'littoralis') on the seawall by the Golf Course and also a fly-over of c60 Fieldfares*. PRD.     

26th - A mostly bright and sunny day and much warmer than of late - however late afternoon, when the temperature dropped, it became very cold, very quickly!  Winds varied WSW through W during today with speeds mostly 15mph up to 22mph and gusting of up to 26mph.  This evening saw the light disappear at c17.50hrs.  Visits by two observers this morning gave that the Little Owl was in his tree 'sunning himself' down near to the Memorials.  Over on the scrape and its surrounding areas, there were counts of 1 Snipe, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Ringed Plover, 5 Avocets and 27 Curlew, alongside 5 Gadwall, 20 Shelducks and 40 Shoveler of note.  As per the last few days, very little, if any change in the numbers recorded of the Lapwings, Teal and Wigeon. IM/MR.  Surveying (also this morning) during a walk through to the raised Golf Tee via and along the seawall route, supplied 1 Little Egret on the Golf Course, 2 Purple Sandpipers (Frinton end of site), a male Reed Bunting (singing), 1 pair Stonechats and 2 Rock Pipits. SC/PC.  Early afternoon and one observer located a single Coot* on the Farm Pond.  It may seem strange to many but this was 'breaking news that brought smiles and laughter' to some of the Haven Birders - a Coot of all species had not been seen on the site at all since prior to the New Year..... no doubt the bird has been enjoying the larger pond area beyond the Farm....... that is also beyond our Haven boundaries!  Also at the Farm this afternoon, some 28 Fieldfares flew over. IM.  Seen to be working his way across the fields (14.15hrs - 14.20hrs) was a male Hen Harrier. DS.  

27th - Changeable winds saw the direction move from S to WNW with variable speeds up to 40mph and some of the extra blasts reaching 46mph.  After overnight rain, it was a bit 'hit and miss' at times with a few downpours both during the morning and again later in the day and into the evening.  The temperature also fluctuated from +1 degree with the wind-chill factor, up to a high point of +10 degrees.  Reported viewing today was mostly from the main hide and included notes of a single Sparrowhawk in the surrounding vicinity, 1 Little Egret and again on site the 11 Canada GeeseOystercatchers and Dunlin numbered 2 and 3 respectively, Curlew at 22 and Lapwings at c150, while the Ducks consisted of 4 Gadwall, 22 Shelducks, c40 Shoveler, c250 Teal and c350 WigeonIM/MR.  Be it briefly, the Farm got another look-in today - to find that the Coot was still in-situ and 4 Mistle Thrushes were also around. MR.

28th - After a heavy frost in the very early hours, rain took over and continued on/off (mostly on and heavy too) for the duration of a generally dismal grey day.  By early evening the winds were at NE through ENE and had at times, reached up to 22mph with gusting of up to 26mph.  Of note for the lower end of the carpark were 2 Song Thrushes viewed as they were feeding, while a Rock Pipit was near to the Sluice.  Observing from the main hide located Wader species across the scrape and surrounding area of 1 Blk T Godwit, 2 Oystercatchers, 5 Snipe, 7 Turnstones, 10+ Curlew, c60 Golden Plovers and c250 Lapwings.  A single Little Grebe and a Brent Goose were seen from this point, while a Duck count included 5 Gadwall, 32 Shelducks, 40+ Shoveler, c300 Teal and c400 Wigeon. IM.  

As at 28th February, the Haven 2014 Year List stands at 105.

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