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 - On/off rain throughout the day to start February and while the sun and some blue skies made an appearance, it was mostly grey and overcast the rest of the time.  Winds were unsettled in both the NW through N direction and in speed alike - it seems that only the temperature was at a constant...... very cold!  Reported for along the Approach Road at c11.26hrs was that a female Bullfinch* had been located. MR.  Quite a rarity at the Haven these days, the last Bullfinch to be reported being in 2012.  Seen feeding ‘down tide’ of the outfall buoy were some 25+ Cormorants, while viewing from the hide yielded singles of Little Grebe and Little Egret, 2 Grey Herons, 6 Blk T Godwits, 25 Curlew, 200 Lapwings and 210 Golden Plovers, c20 Shoveler, c150 Teal, c300 Wigeon, 5 Greylag and c700 Brent Geese (the latter included the Piebald).  Counts of 16 Red-legged Partridge, 1 Stonechat, 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Kestrel were also noted from this viewpoint. MR.

2nd - A cold (-2 degrees) frosty start once more, along with NW winds of up to c10mph and a dawn break with a few pink hued cloud strips across the skies.  The sun did appear.  Visiting the site during today found that numbers and species were much as per yesterday with the addition of a male Marsh Harrier for this survey. MR.

3rd – No reports returned.

4th –  Amongst the regular species today, there were of note 5 Canada Geese on the scrape, while the Little Owl (having lost his tree) was in the evergreens between the Sewage Farm and Sluice Cottages.  Seen again from the raised platform (Memorials area) was the Yellow-legged Gull. MR.


5th – Observations today included counts of c300 Lapwings and 350 Golden Plovers, the 5 Canada and some 800 Brent Geese amongst the Teal and Wigeon, while Birds of Prey included Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard. MR.


6th – Again the Little Owl was in the vicinity and the female Bullfinch – while elusive – was viewed a couple of times too (the latter some c50m in from the main road on the Approach Road).  Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard made the notebook today, as did 2 Snipe, 4 Blk T Godwits and 24 Curlew, while after the last few days, the counts of both Lapwings and Golden Plovers were down to just c100 and 20 respectively.  It is thought that the rest of these two flocks were over the road at this time).  Teal, Wigeon and Shoveler were noted for the scrape, the 5 Canada Geese were still on site, also 6 Greylag Geese.  The Brent Geese today, numbered c500 and included within them, a single Black Brant. MR. 


7th – Several observers were on and around the site today – the following counts being from 10.00-12.00hrs.  The Black Brant was still amongst the Brent flock which at this point numbered c1800.  2 Greylag and 3 Canada Geese were also viewed.  Duck species were those of 5 Mallard, 7 Shoveler, 65 Teal and 605 Wigeon, while the Gulls consisted of 2 L B B, 35 Black-headed and 50 Herring.  A single Little Egret, 3 Cormorants, 4 Moorhens, 8 Golden Plovers, 9 Blk T Godwits, 39 Curlew and 295 Lapwings were viewable, as was a Common Buzzard. SC/PR/LR/JH/ et al.  During a Ringing session, a Green Woodpecker was noted to have been previously ringed in 2013. PNt.


8th – Early afternoon found that the female Bullfinch was once again viewable along the Approach Road, while the Black Brant was also still on the site. DS.


9th – Of particular note during today’s visit, were that a single Redshank* was visible from the main hide and that both the Black Brant and the Piebald were still with the Brent Geese. MR.


10th – More like a ‘Spring morning’ for today’s survey with a noted ‘quite a few birds’ around/seen from the Approach Road……. although unfortunately, there was no sign of the Bullfinch!  Highlights of along this area included a singing Song Thrush and a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, while 3 Snipe and c30 Teal were on the wet marsh beyond.  On route to the main hide, views from the Sluice area gave 4 Purple Sandpipers flying S and 7 Wigeon were sat upon the sea. The species from the main hide, across the scrape, grazing marsh, arable and visible skyline included 1 Redshank, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Curlew, 4 Snipe, 20 Blk T Godwits and c100 Lapwings, 2 Little Egrets and 2 Grey Herons, 2 Shelducks, Teal, Wigeon and Shoveler (no counts for the latter three), also 2 Canada, 7 Greylag and c1500 Brent Geese (inc. the Piebald).  A Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrels and 2 Sparrowhawks were the birds of prey in the vicinity at this time. PRD/IM/MR.    


11th – Surveying the site today, yielded of note, the Redshank still on the scrape, 4 Purple Sandpipers on and around the sluice area, a Grey Wagtail in the Sewage Farm and a Colour-ringed Herring Gull which was also in the Sewage Farm. MR.


12th – At least three observers visited the site today and both morning and early afternoon reports were submitted.  The counts and species across the scrape and grazing marsh proved much as per yesterday and gave at this time 3 Golden Plovers, 4 Blk T Godwits, 35 Curlew and c100 Lapwings, 2 Little Egrets and 2 Grey Herons, 2 Gadwall, 2 Shelducks, 4 Shoveler, c100 Teal and c300 Wigeon, while the Geese consisted of 5 Canada and c1500 Brents (the latter on/off the arable).  A Common Buzzard and 2 Kestrels were also viewed.  The hedgerow near to the first turret held 2 Stonechats, a small flock of 6 Greenfinch – not too many seen so far this current year - were near to the raised platform (Memorials area), 2 Goldcrests were located (1 x Dell and 1 x Sluice Cottages area), while a colour-ringed Herring Gull was again in the Sewage Farm. MR.  An early afternoon walk for two observers, along the seawall towards the Frinton end of site, gave the additions of 3 Med Gulls* of which two were behind the Golf Course and the third was on the sea, a single Sanderling was with 6 Turnstones on the beach by the second turret and 30 minutes spent seawatching from the Sluice area gave a single Oystercatcher flying S while 2 Red-T Divers sat upon the sea. IM/PRD.


13th – No reports returned.


14th – Surveying from the main hide and also from the sluice area gave the counts for today’s visits by two observers.  Singles of Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Little Egret were on the survey notes for the main hide, as were 1 Redshank, 6 Snipe and 34 Blk T Godwits, 7 Shelducks, c120 Teal, c300 Wigeon and 33 Greylag Geese.  The noted counts from the Sluice area were of 1 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Sanderling, 5 Turnstones, 1 Gt. Crested Grebe, 7 Red-T Divers and c1500 Brent Geese. IM/MR.   


15th – Initial views of the Sluice area and offshore, provided another Haven 2015 Year Tick in the form of a Ringed Plover* that was feeding on the sluice, while out to sea, some 40 Cormorants took flight from the water and proceeded to head S. IM.  The viewing from the main hide gave both a S E O and a Barn Owl, a single Redshank, 2 Snipe, 31 Blk T Godwits and 50+ Curlew, along with c150 Teal, c300 Wigeon and c1700 Brent Geese of particular note. IM/MR.  Later viewing along the coastline and off-shore, added 4 Turnstones (on sluice), 5 Purple Sandpipers (rocks beyond sluice), 2 Red-T Divers that were seen to fly N off-shore and a Grey Wagtail that flew overhead. IM/MR/PL.      


16th – No counts/main reports returned, however another colour-ringed Herring Gull was in the Sewage Farm today and notes were made that there were no Brent Geese in the vicinity.


17th – No counts/main reports returned, however notes were made that again, there were no Brent Geese.


18th – Observations began today with a brief look from the lay-by (main road/on left going from the Haven) where a few of each Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinch, Wren, Robin and Reed Bunting were noted, as was a Linnet*.  Across the marsh were ‘lots of Corvids’ and counts of 4 Meadow Pipits, 12 Pied Wagtails and 22 Curlew.  Walking around the main site carpark trees, bushes and hedgerows yielded 6 Greenfinch, 10+ Blackbirds, a Green Woodpecker and 2 Kestrels.  Surveying from the main hide gave counts of 1 Redshank, 3 Golden Plovers (the latter on the arable), 30+ Blk T Godwits, 32 Curlew (over & above those over the road) and c100 Lapwings (on the arable).  Very distant and with too brief a view, was a possible Ruff.  Duck counts included 6 Shelduck, 10 Shoveler, c120 Teal and c300 Wigeon, while conspicuous by their absence in recent days, the Brents numbered just 12 today with the Greylag and Canada Geese numbering 9 and 10 respectively.  A Common Buzzard was also on the report for this duration, as was a Kingfisher that was seen to fly past the hide. MR.        


19th – No reports returned.


20th – At least two observers visited the site today and included viewing from the main hide and also a walk from the Frinton end of the site along to the second turret.  The walk in from the Frinton end yielded 4 Stonechat (2prs), also 2 S E O’s – these seen to be quartering the fields next to the Golf Course, whilst near to the second turret there were 3 Purple Sandpipers and 3 Turnstones feeding on the rocks below the seawall and rounding up the species of this wander, was a Rock Pipit that was located by the third turret. IM.  Surveying off-shore, from the main hide and across the marsh provided 1 Black Throated and 10 Red-T Divers, 2 Purple Sandpipers (these possibly over & above the previous report) also 1 Merlin*, 1 Marsh Harrier and 2 Peregrines. AM.


21st - A bitterly cold day at times with NW winds and both the sun and some rain making appearances.  Two observers were on and around the site covering the areas from the Farm down through to the main carpark, stopping to have a seawatch from the second turret and later a shorter seawatch from the Sluice area.  The Farm paddocks yielded 2 Mistle and 5 Song Thrushes, whilst a Sparrowhawk showed well and 2 Common Buzzards were viewed overhead.  The first of the two seawatch sessions (second turret) gave 1 Common Scoter* that flew N and 12+ Red-T Divers that also headed N.  The rocks below the seawall provided 3 Turnstones with 4 Purple Sandpipers.  Viewing from the Sluice, added a flyover Med Gull (AdW) and a Gt. Crested Grebe that was drifting on the water. IM/PL.


22nd - Another day of strong winds and some very heavy rain for early evening.  Very high tides as expected for today.  Initial reports gave that the female Bullfinch was again in the Approach Road at c09.20hrs. IM.  During a survey by three observers, there were of particular note 3 Purple Sandpipers viewed while they were on the rocks by the Sluice, while the species from the main hide included 1 Redshank, 4 Snipe, 25 Golden Plovers, 31 Blk T Godwits and 35 Curlew.  Also viewable were 3 Shelducks, 7 Canada Geese and a single Common Buzzard. IM/MR/PL.


23rd - After a night of mostly heavy rain, the morning started very bright and sunny - albeit very chilly in the variable WSW through WNW winds.  No reports returned.


24th - A mixed day of sun, blue skies, dark clouds, sudden downpours and hail, alongside variable speed W winds.  No reports returned.


25th - No reports returned.


26th - Very grey, wet and horrible out there today.  NW winds of c15mph (afternoon) and apart from the heavy downpours, still very cool too.  Sitting side by side on the arable during today's visit to the main hide, were 2 Peregrines, while singles of Kestrel and Common Buzzard were also seen.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were counts of 2 Canada and 29 Greylag Geese, 2 Gadwall, 3 Shelducks, 6 Shoveler, c150 Teal and c300 Wigeon, all alongside singles of Little Egret and Grey Heron, 23 Curlew, 35 Blk T Godwits and 85 Lapwings.  Amongst the Blk T Godwits was a Colour-ringed bird of note. MR.


27th - Light to moderate SW winds by early evening, following a fairly bright but sometimes grey day.  No reports returned.


28th - A grey, very cool and windy day to finish the month.  Two observers had a short wander this morning and located 1 Oystercatcher and 4 Purple Sandpipers on the sluice, while off-shore there was a single Knot* that flew through S.  Viewing across the scrape and grazing marsh found that species and counts were much as in recent days, although up on the arable there was just the 1 Peregrine during this particular survey. MR/PNt.


As at 28th February 2015 the Haven 2015 Year List stands at: 100.