Key: Plain text- Resident/Regular visitor. Green- Likely to be annual. Amber- Less than annual. Red- Rarity. CAPITALS- New bird for site.
1st - Bitterly cold, dry and bright but somewhat treacherous in places, after an overnight light settling of snow and subsequent ice! Moderate winds throughout were slightly changeable in direction and ended the day as NW. The site had coverage continuously from early until dusk and the "Site" species total for today stands at 73. Not a bad result at all. (Jan 1st 2009 was a 65 total and at least 6 species on that Day List were not to be found anywhere today). Some of our most notable birds throughout this First day of 2010, included a Common Buzzard along the fence and hedgerows opposite the 2nd turret, a Peregrine flew across the scrape to the field just right of the hay bales, 5 White Fronted Geese alternated between the field right of the scrape and the rear of the scrape, while across the road, a Water Rail was seen in the ditch area near the gate. Also on today's list were 2 Purple Sandpipers and a Rock Pipit towards the Frinton end, a Med Gull on the tanks at the sewage farm, 37 Fieldfare headed over the site towards the Farm, Redwings were seen in the carpark and at the Farm, Brent and Canada Geese on the grazing marsh and a single Redshank was viewed. Movers off-shore, were a Red T Diver and Common Scoters. AD/KA/GG/MR/BS. Happy New Year to All and Good Birding during the rest of 2010.
2nd - Freezing cold, still dry and quite bright with again light to moderate winds, direction mainly W, fluctuating WNW through WSW. A drake Goldeneye was originally located on the sea this morning before it flew around and across part of the site, going down into the brook but not re-found. The area around a frozen solid scrape, held little of note, however counts for this and the grazing marsh, included 5 Blk T Godwits and 10 Curlew with White Fronted Geese now up to 7. A Little Owl was viewed and 2 Stonechats were along the route to the golf course. GG.
3rd - Lightly snow covered, "fresh", bright and Easterly winds during the morning. A majority of the scrape was still frozen with numerous Greylags around the area, amongst which were 5 White Fronted Geese and newly noted was a single Pink Footed Goose. A Barn Owl was at the first box. MR. A separate visit, heard a Cetti's Warbler calling from reeds just outside the Haven, then it was seen in flight (opposite the layby/gate). A single Little Egret was observed as were 4 Snipe and 3 Blk T Godwits. SC.
4th - Wind direction throughout today varied NW to WNW with these winds being mainly light. Some cloud in a mostly blue sky but bitterly cold. A Woodcock was located this morning, followed by sightings of a Common Buzzard seen again beyond the grazing marsh on the fences. The Pink Footed Goose was still in the vicinity with the Greylag Geese but only 1 White Fronted Goose was on view. PRD.
5th - A dry day with cloud cover throughout and some bright spells. Wind direction this morning was at WSW turning S by this evening and guess what............ it's still freezing cold out there!!! No reports returned.
6th - On/off snow throughout the day, heavier falls come the afternoon and into dusk. Morning ENE winds, later turned to NNE. 11 White Fronted Geese were viewable today and beyond the golf course some 100+ Golden Plover were noted. Once again a Common Buzzard was seen atop an Owl box, while also listed was a single Little Egret. PRD.
7th - Again a day with on/off snow but by afternoon, much less fallen/settled than at this time yesterday. By mid afternoon, wind direction was holding at NE. No reports returned.
8th - Cloud cover all day, on/off snow showers added to the depth of the previous nights heavy snowfall. Wind direction turning slightly from NE to NNE by dusk. No reports returned.
9th - No change to the low temperatures. Winds still NE and some gusts reported locally up to 44mph. No bird reports returned for the site, although some very good counts of Snowmen throughout the local areas.
10th - A slight increase of temperature and some early on/off rain saw some of the snow begin to disappear. Winds by late afternoon were Easterlies. Viewed across the site were both male and female Marsh Harriers. M.Rus.
11th - A noticeable thaw during the morning and wind direction was SE as at midday. Early afternoon and more snow coming down but this did not settle. During a morning visit, both singles of Sanderling and Turnstone were noted (PRD), while into the afternoon, a seawall walk provided increased numbers to 4 Sanderling and 2 Turnstones, with 2 Purple Sandpipers also viewed and on the grazing marsh, a mix of Lapwing and Golden Plover. Of interest, hundreds' of gulls, were seen to be feeding on an exceptional amount of dead crabs along the tideline. MR.
12th - Dull and dismal out there with SE moderate winds. A few species noted from the hide today including 1 of each White Fronted and Pale Bellied Brent Geese both of which came in mid-morning with some 200+ Greylag Geese. Also 3 Blk T Godwits, 6 Snipe, 9 Common Gulls, 1 Shoveler, 30 Teal and 200+ Wigeon. The Bittern made an appearance, flying in from the golf course area, it looked along the brook in front of the hide, then headed W to drop distantly on the opposite side of the road. (Good to know that it is still about). 9 Fieldfare were also viewable from the hide today. The Common Buzzard was once more located atop the owl box by the far back hedgerows. MR.
13th - A dull, generally overcast day with SE moderate winds. Morning visits supplied reports that included an adult Med Gull on the sluice, 3 Coot, 3 Dunlin, 1 Blk T Godwit, 9+ Snipe, 5 Redwing and 3 Song Thrush. Also singles of Cormorant and Sparrowhawk, 30+ Wigeon and 60+ Teal. Across the grazing marsh were good numbers of Lapwing and mixed Corvids, while along the front, gulls were again noted as they fed on the tideline of crab! MR/SC. Later in the day, an adult male Hen Harrier was seen near and over the golf course. JBS.
14th - Yet another miserable, grey day with drizzle that progressed to rain and then more rain!! Winds were at SSE. Coverage of the site today gave sightings of a male Bullfinch in the carpark and also some 18 Redwing. 14 Sanderling was the count on beach, 2 Blk T Godwits were noted, as were 3 Gadwall. PRD.
15th - Overcast - nothing new there with the weather. Wind direction being at SSW. The arable held a flock of 150 Skylarks during today's visit, with 2 Redwing noted on the grazing marsh. A Gt Spot Woodpecker and 2 Goldfinch were viewed from along Church Lane and a Rock Pipit was located back on the shore. The scrape and surrounding area held 1 White Fronted Goose, 2 Blk T Godwits, 7 Gadwall and 8 Shoveler. A surprising but brilliant sight along the beach near the sluice, was that of 72 Sanderling with 18 Turnstones, 2 Purple Sandpipers and a Dunlin. PRD. Even later in the day and the Sanderling count was up to 106, Turnstones were up to 22 and the Purple Sandpipers at 3. A Goldcrest was also noted. JBS.
16th - Wet and overcast with icy WSW winds. A short walk along the seawall produced 52 Sanderling and 16 Turnstones on the beach, while of note on the scrape were 1 Ruff, 3 Dunlin and 5 Blk T Godwits. Plenty of large gulls were drifting in and out but nothing to get excited about. GG.
17th - Fresh but dry and bright, with winds varying S through W during the morning. Exceptional views and counts once again, as a rising tide pushed waders into the shoreline by the sluice, with totals of 78 Sanderling, 11 Turnstones, a single Purple Sandpiper and 2 Dunlin. With c800 on view, the scrape appeared very full of Teal, although 3 Gadwall (2drakes) and 15 Shoveler were also seen in the vicinity. The waders noted for this area, were 2 Ruff, 7 Blk T Godwits and 2 Snipe. Amongst 200 or so Greylags that arrived mid-morning, were singles of Pink Footed, White Fronted (ad) and Pale-Bellied Brent Geese. Other notables across the site, included 14 Curlew, 1 Little Owl, 11 Red Legged Partridge, 3 Redwing, 2 Mistle Thrush, 4 Linnets and 20+ Skylarks. GG/MR. During a subsequent visit, a Kingfisher was seen along the brook. IM.
18th - A misty start to a day that remained grey and overcast, as the sun failed to make a successful breakthrough. Winds moderate and variable WSW to WNW. Coverage over a two hour period today, confirmed that there were still 80 Sanderling, 5 Turnstone and 2 Purple Sandpipers along the shore. The Pale-Bellied Brent Goose was again among c150 Greylag Geese but at the time there were no sightings of either the Pink Footed or White Fronted. Teal numbers were reduced to 400+ on the scrape, alongside 100+ Wigeon, 11 Shoveler and 3 Shelduck. Singles of Blk T Godwit and Dunlin were viewable, as were 5 Curlew and 22 Lapwing. MR/BS.
19th - Slightly misty again this morning proving difficult at times to locate the birds that were in the vicinity. A very light NE breeze turned E by mid afternoon. Today's visit included the surveying of across the road, where a single Chiffchaff was amongst a Tit flock and a Sparrowhawk was noted. Back within the Haven Park, a single Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 16 Blackbirds and 6 L-T Tits were viewed, while along the beach were 26 Sanderling, 11 Turnstones and 2 Purple Sandpipers. The latter shoreline numbers being much lower than in recent days but with the mist around - maybe they were just out of sight! MR. Also a belated report of a Woodcock by the five-bar gate over the road. SC.
20th - Another grey day and according to reports, a "Very Cold Wind" across the Haven. Coverage today was over a low tide and whilst there were good numbers of duck sitting off-shore, only 18 Sanderling and 4 Turnstone could be found along the beach. The scrape and it's surrounding area provided counts of 4 Blk T Godwits, 3 Snipe, 1 Dunlin and 58 Lapwing, with Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck and Shoveler totals at 300+, 300+, 4 and 15 respectively. Both a male Marsh Harrier and a Sparrowhawk were viewable and amongst c200 Greylag Geese were a single Pink Footed, 2 White Fronted (1ad/1juv) and 4 Brent Geese. A single Chiffchaff was again noted and throughout the rest of the site were some 7 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, a Song Thrush and 2 Little Grebes. MR/BS/PB.
21st - Overcast with a slight but cool NNW breeze throughout the morning to mid-day. Staying cold into late afternoon, wind direction moved more to WNW. Viewing from the hide during the morning, saw that the White Fronted Geese had increased to 13 in number and the single Pink Footed Goose was still there. A Yellow Legged Gull, a 1stW Med Gull and 2 Common Gulls were on the scrape area, as were 2 Blk T Godwits, 1 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, 15 Curlew and 80 Lapwing. The "duck" count for the day being 2 of each Gadwall and Shelduck, 25 Shoveler, 340 Teal and 460 Wigeon. Greylag Geese were at 224 and a single Barn Owl was in the vicinity. MR/SC/PC. On the shore were 41 Sanderling and 3 Turnstone, while the return walk past the mounds, flushed a Fieldfare and 2 Woodcock. MR.
22nd - A day of SSE winds, rain, cold and generally quite miserable. No reports returned.
23rd - Another grey day with cool NE winds. Coverage across the site today was plentiful with counts pretty much the same from morning through to late afternoon. The morning provided a Chiffchaff again across the road with the Tit flock, while a Woodcock flushed in the same area. Back onto the main site and a second Woodcock was seen in the area SW of the ticket-machine and flying W were 5 White Fronted Geese. The scrape and grazing marsh gave numbers of 5 Blk T Godwits, 1 Dunlin, 3 Gadwall and 1 ad White Fronted Goose amongst the Greylags. 140+ Brent Geese were around and about, while the shoreline had some 35 Sanderling and 5 Turnstones. GG. By the afternoon, Sanderling on the beach were up at a total of 50, singles of Barn Owl and Sparrowhawk were located and 120 mixed Corvids were noticeable beyond the scrape. Teal, Wigeon and Shoveler counts were 300+, 400+ and 16 respectively, with Shelduck at 2, Lapwing at 98 and Snipe at 3. The Pink Footed Goose was once more in the area. MR.
24th - No change to the weather with it being once again, grey and cold. An early report for today was that of 52 Sanderling seen on the beach prior to mid-morning. DDell. A further report was of 5 ad White Fronted Geese - these were originally located on the scrape before they took flight and headed NE. (These White Fronts were a different 5 to the mixed age flock from yesterday). 3 Blk T Godwits were also noted on the scrape, while an adult Yellow Legged Gull was at the sewage farm. GG.
25th - Rain started yet another grey day but eased by 08.30hrs and light winds began and subsequently continued, into the afternoon as NE. Morning visits today covered the site coming in from both ends. Amongst the numerous Wigeon, Teal and Greylag Geese on and around the scrape, were a single White Fronted Goose, 11 Shoveler, 2 Shelduck, 3 Blk T Godwits and 37 Lapwing. An ad Yellow Legged Gull was viewable again, this time on the scrape, plus 10 LBB Gulls, whilst on the sluice was a 1yr Med Gull. Early morning 72 Brent Geese were seen from the hide, with a further 17, including a Pale Bellied Brent, noted late morning as they headed N off-shore. Across the fields and grazing marsh were 20 Curlew, 6 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle and 1 Song Thrush. Both a Common Buzzard and an imm Marsh Harrier were out and about, with views also of both Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. Across the road and the Chiffchaff was once more located by the five bar gate. BS/MR/PBr.
26th - Quite a bright morning but very chilly! Wind direction at ENE. The afternoon became very grey. No reports returned today.
27th - Temperatures nose-dived over night leaving the morning very frosty and going into mid-afternoon, still very cold with the occasional spot or two of rain. Heavier rain into the night and winds at Westerlies. The scrape was totally frozen this morning and the birdlife was very sparse. 168 Greylag Geese were on the grazing marsh, while just a few Teal, Wigeon and Mallard were in the vicinity of the scrape. 2 Gadwall were located on the brook, 8 Sanderling were along the beach and some 400+ Wigeon were sitting off-shore. Did state that the birds were sparse today!! MR. (Some ditch works have begun to the right of the scrape area).
28th - A bright morning, still cold/fresh but dry with W winds. A few spits of rain in the afternoon but nothing really came of this until nightfall. Along the beach and by the sluice area during a two hour visit this morning, were 10 Sanderling, 6 Turnstones and a single Purple Sandpiper, whilst off-shore, there were c500 Wigeon just sitting on the sea. The scrape was a little bit more busy today than it was yesterday, with a White Fronted Goose amongst 161 Greylag Geese, Teal numbers of 177, Wigeon of 15 and Shoveler at 4. 6 Curlew were noted, as were 18 Red Legged Partridge and located throughout a good number of Gulls were at least 10 Common Gulls. MR.
29th - Some blue skies seen prior to mid-day, disappeared into the afternoon, leaving it overcast and drizzly once again, with the WNW winds being slightly on the cool side!!. "Cool" became very cold with NNW strong winds and sleet showers just prior to dusk, with nothing actually settling into the early evening. A belated report was of a Ringed Plover on the beach, 5 Fieldfare over and 10 Shoveler on the scrape. PRD.
30th - After an overnight light settling of snow, it was this morning, still freezing cold with NW winds but bright. 14 Fieldfare and 2 Redwings flew NE over the carpark, while on the sewage farm, be it unseasonal for the Haven, was a Grey Wagtail. Around the edge of a totally frozen scrape were 56 Lapwing, 1 Snipe, 110 Blk Headed and 3 Common Gulls. Located on the beach were 6 Sanderling and 3 Turnstones. Walking along the seawall proved the Common Buzzard to still be on site, as it was seen feeding by the 4th owl box. GG.
31st - Another fairly bright day following a very frosty night. Winds varied WNW to W throughout and it remained bitterly cold. A belated report for today was of 180 Wigeon sitting off-shore, while along the beach and shoreline were 6 of each Sanderling and Turnstone, also 2 Purple Sandpipers and 1 Ringed Plover. PBr.