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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January 2011

1st - A slightly grey and overcast morning started the day, along with some light N winds and the feel of "misty-rain" in the air.  Unfortunately, a couple of heavy downpours did materialise during the day and although some observers took refuge in the hide to sit the rain out (sorry, to survey the scrape), the rain did call a halt to the ringing team's activities.  At least the day was above freezing, with temperatures holding at about +5 degrees.  Reports in from today's coverage, gave a site total for January 1st 2011, of 70 species actually seen.  These included 2 Firecrests, 3 Goldcrests, Redwing, Rock Pipit, 1 Barn and 2 Little Owls, 5 Blk T Godwits, a Woodcock, 3 Purple Sandpipers, 6 Sanderling, 10 Grey Plovers (on the rocks - 2nd turret), 1 Oystercatcher, 100+ Golden Plovers, singles of Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, a drake Tufted Duck (on the sea), a Red T Diver (that was heading S), 10 Gadwall, 200+ Brent Geese, 1 Little Egret and 2 Little Grebes. AD/GG/IM/MR/AEC/PBr.   

NB. Of interest to some, the "70 species" on the list for this 2011 Jan 1st, included 9 species that were not to be found on site on Jan 1st 2010.  Respectively, there were a total of 13 species seen on the 1st Jan 2010, that could not be located on the Haven Site today, 1st Jan 2011.  

                                       HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011

2nd - Not quite so dull to start the morning but by mid-morning, it was alot more overcast and somewhat darker.  The winds picked up the pace overnight and were a moderate NW until the latter part of the morning, when they dropped to barely a breeze and by mid-afternoon were still NW but light.  A 3 degree drop in temperature today, back down to +2 degrees, made a considerable difference out in the field - some very cold observers!  Much of the site was being surveyed again today, from this morning through to early afternoon.  Counts came in from walks along the front, with 3 Red T Divers seen off-shore, 3+ Purple Sandpipers, 7 Grey Plovers, 2 Sanderling and a Rock Pipit along the seawall/rocks and a single drake Tufted Duck.  Viewing from the hide, taking in the scrape and surrounding grazing  marsh, supplied notes of 5 Blk T Godwits, 1 Redshank and 2 more Grey Plovers, while over/near to the golf course were both a Little Egret and Curlew.  Around the site were also noted, a Redwing, Kestrel and Fieldfares. AD/MR/IM

3rd - Although cloudy at times, it was a fairly bright day in general.  Winds were very light throughout, WSW by nightfall and the strength still light.  It was however, very cold with the temperature bouncing just above freezing and varying to/from +1 and +2 degrees.  The sea was exceptionally calm during the latter part of the morning into early afternoon.  Coverage was again all through the day and also once again across the majority of the site.  Three new Year ticks were noted today but apart from these, species were much as per the 1st and 2nd.  A Kingfisher, located near the main brook, was a very nice sight indeed, as was the Common Buzzard in it's flight, via being mobbed by the Crows, heading towards the scrape.  14+ Fieldfare flew N across the grazing marsh, while 2+ Redwing were seen scratching around on the woodland floor. KA/AD.  Walking along and viewing from along the seawall, (Boating Club to the Golf Course) gave 1 Rock Pipit, 7 Turnstones, 11 Sanderling, 3 Purple Sandpipers, 9 Grey Plovers, 1 Gadwall, 290+ Wigeon (sitting off-shore) and 1 Shelduck (was with the Wigeon, then flew S).  Approx. 1000 Brent Geese were alternating between the scrape, the fields and the sea, of which +/-3 were Pale Bellied and 1 was a Black Brant.  Noted around the rest of the site were a S E Owl, a Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrels, 2+ Little Egrets, 3 Blk T Godwits, a Redshank, 80+ of each Golden Plovers and Greylag Geese, 100+ Lapwing and a Curlew, also 1 Little Grebe, 30+ Red Legged Partridge, 200+ Teal, 5 Shoveler, a further 110+ Wigeon and another +/- 11 RedwingKA/AD/IM/MR/PRD.

4th - A very grey, murky day and it was still very cold!  Some light SW winds started the day - these were expected to gain strength throughout and although the winds did increase slightly to moderate, the wind gusts were c26mph.  Direction changed a little going into the afternoon, to SSW and remained so into the evening.  A little bit of local rain fell late morning.  Not too much around the site today, although the Black Brant along with 2+ Pale Bellied were still amongst the c1000 Brent Geese.  2 Little Egrets were on site, as were 4 of each Blk T Godwits, Sanderling and Shoveler, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 3 Turnstones, 1pr Gadwall, 125+ Teal, c100 Greylag Geese and again today, some 400+ Wigeon. PRD.

5th - A slightly warmer day, although the SSW winds were moderate to strong with gusts locally up to c40mph.  Mostly grey and overcast but a couple of times the sun did make a break through.  Rain - again this made an appearance or two.  A visit to the hide this morning saw little change from yesterday with counts being reported of 2 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 400+ Wigeon and 100+ Teal, also 4 Blk T Godwits, 3 Grey Plovers, 2 Cormorant and 100 Greylag Geese.  A single Kestrel was seen.  A very high tide during today's coverage and viewing along the front, gave just 2 Sanderling and 4 Turnstones of any note. MR.

6th - Winds from early morning through to late morning were light Westerlies, these then turned to moderate N and remained so into the evening.  Very grey and once the rain started, there was little let up from it, apart from a few short-lived dry spells late afternoon and evening.  No reports returned.

7th - Today, as per yesterday, was very grey and dismal.  Wind direction began as Easterlies and the strength was moderate to strong, moving to SSW and moderate strength by mid-afternoon.  Gusts locally of 30+mph.  Rain for most of the day, again a slight break in the weather and an attempt by the sun during the afternoon.  No reports returned.

8th - Some moderate to strong, mainly SW winds this morning, though these had moved to WSW by early afternoon and to SSW by evening.  Strong gusts locally were again reaching 30+ mph.  Rain also featured once more in today's weather, while temperatures dropped by late afternoon to just +2 degrees and by mid-evening, car windscreens were ice-covered.  No reports returned.

9th - Freezing cold and icy this morning along with some light to moderate WSW winds.  A mostly blue sky complete with the sun, made it very bright indeed and from late morning through into mid-afternoon, it was generally pleasant weatherwise.  The temperature dropped considerably again c15.30hrs.  An early visit to site this morning provided two new Site Year Ticks with 6 White Fronted Geese in the field to the right of the hide and also 4 Linnets being noted.  The site was covered through to the Frinton end, included a walk to the farm and back and also viewing from the hide. Counts of note, over/above the Geese and Linnets were 1 Purple Sandpiper, 5 Sanderling, 3 Grey Plovers, 3 Blk T Godwits, 4 Shoveler, singles of Common BuzzardSparrowhawk and Goldfinch and 4 Redwing.  Amongst the numerous Brent Geese (these alternating in split flocks, sea and land) was once more a Black Brant. AD.

10th - Bright to start the day but by mid-morning it had turned very cloudy.  Southerly winds began as moderate strength and occasionally dropped to very light during the morning, however, the afternoon brought much stronger winds and gusts of 40+mph noted locally.  A few observers on and around the site this morning supplying reports for the seawall/beach areas, across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh and the area just opposite the main site entrance.  80+ Wigeon were noted on the sea with another 300+ viewed from the hide, singles of Sanderling and Grey Plover and 2 Turnstones were seen, as were 3 Blk T Godwits, 1 Snipe (site year tick), 1 Little Grebe, 6 Shoveler, 200+ Teal and 60+ Greylag Geese.  A Black Brant and 2 Pale Bellied were in with c700 Brent Geese and alongside were 300+ Golden Plover and 100+ Lapwing.  A Common Buzzard was also on show. PRD/PB/MR.  Both a Water Rail (site year tick) and a Kingfisher were located across the road. PB.  An additional morning report was given of 4 Purple Sandpipers.  The Black Brant could not be located during an after-lunch visit but the count of Brent Geese was up to a good estimation of 1250 and still included at least 1 Pale BelliedGolden Plover on view were down to 185. SC.  

11th - What a horrible and miserable day out there today!  Grey skies, on/off rain, strong NW through WNW winds, gusts of c35mph, misty out to sea (from the turbines out) and it was not too warm either!  However, some were on site awandering and hoping to locate some feathered delights.  A brief look across the road from the site entrance at c09.00hrs, located once again a Kingfisher.  Viewing from the memorials gave a site year tick of 2 Egyptian Geese as they flew in from the SW and promptly flew out in a NW direction.  2+ Common Buzzards were seen during this visit, with a single bird noted whilst it was being mobbed and later, two birds were perched.  Species on the scrape included Shoveler and Gadwall, the counts being 7 and 3 respectively, while 5 Turnstones were on the sluice and a single Sanderling and 3 Grey Plovers were along the beach, the Black Brant was still with some 1200+ Brent Geese.  Seawatching provided of note, 2+ Kittiwakes (site year tick) and 14 Red T Divers.  Other off-shore movement was evident but extremely distant. AD.  Additions during a "Bird Club" walk, were 2 of each S E Owl and Little Grebe, singles of Kestrel and Sparrowhawk, Lapwing at 40 and Teal, Wigeon and Greylag Geese being 200+, 400+ and 60 respectively. MR.  Another site year tick was a Ring-Tail Hen Harrier, seen briefly at the rear of the scrape, while Purple Sandpipers were at 3, Sanderling increased to 10+, Little Egrets were at 2 and Golden Plover at 35+. PRD.

12th - Some moderate to strong WSW winds today, along with some on/off rain.  A quick survey of the scrape, bushes and seawall/beach as far as the 2nd turret this morning, provided 2 Goldcrest next to the boating club compound, 3 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Grey Plovers, 6 Sanderling and 4 Turnstones along the front and on the scrape were 2 Gadwall, 14 Shoveler, a single Shelduck and 40+ Greylag Geese.  Singles of Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Little Grebe were also noted from the hide. MR.

13th - Quite warm this morning (+12 degrees), considering the recent cold spells.  Light to moderate WSW winds prevailing by mid-morning, changing to SSW later in the day.  Overcast skies but fairly bright, some rain today, more going into the evening and still heavier rain expected overnight.  Reports for today concluded that there was "nothing of note around the bushes or Approach Road", while along the beach areas, were 4 of each Purple Sandpiper and Turnstone and 2 Sanderling.  Viewing from the hide, gave totals of 1 of each Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Snipe and Sanderling, 2 Shelduck, 3 Blk T Godwits, 4 Grey Plovers, 6 Gadwall, 13 Shoveler, 80+ Lapwing, 100+ Greylag Geese, 450+ Wigeon, 650+ Teal and c500 Brent Geese (inc. 1 Pale Bellied). PRD/MR

14th - Today's report is taken from details submitted as part of the January 2011 WeBS.  5 of each Grey Plover and Turnstone, 1 Blk T Godwit, 2 Snipe, 190 Lapwing, 3 Common and 255 Blk Headed Gulls were all seen and noted, as were 725 Brent Geese.  Teal were at a count of 1165, which was more than double the number of viewable Wigeon on site today, these numbering 565 - good numbers for both species.  Gadwall were at 4, Shelduck at 2, Shoveler at 16 and let's not forget the humble Mallard, their count today was at 42. SC.

15th - During a 90 minute visit, it was noted that just c60 Brent Geese were in the top field today but there were again numerous Teal and Wigeon on the scrape area.  Also on the scrape were 5 Shelduck and 4 Grey Plovers. IM.

16th - Three hours on site today added two more site year ticks, namely a Ringed Plover and a Reed Bunting.  Located on the rocks along the front (besides the Ringed Plover) were 4 Purple Sandpipers, 1 Grey Plover and 4+ Turnstones, whilst the scrape held of note, 8+ Shelduck.  Quartering the field beyond the dipping pond, was a Barn OwlIM.

17th - Moderate S winds with gusts of c30mph throughout the morning, turned to NNE light winds by late afternoon and continued as such into the evening.  A good amount of rain today!!  An afternoon survey of the site gave the highlights of both a S E Owl and a Barn Owl.  Also noted were 2 Blk T Godwits, 3 Gadwall, 8 Shelduck, 22 Shoveler, 60+ Lapwing and 20+ Greylag Geese. MR

18th - After a full day of rain yesterday and then non-stop "very heavy rain" all through last night, this morning and subsequently the day, became and continued to be, quite pleasant.  Although not the case under-foot, from above ground level to the skies, it remained dry for the duration with light to moderate WNW winds, slightly cool but bright.  Site coverage during the morning, took in the walk from the carpark through to the Frinton end and included viewing from the hide.  A S E Owl was noted from the carpark, as were singles of Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Goldcrest, whilst the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, held 2 Gadwall, 10 Shelduck, 14 Shoveler, c350 Wigeon, c450 Teal, 50+ Lapwing, 2 Mute Swans and 76 Greylag Geese.  On and around the golf course were 50+ Common Gulls and 7 Mistle Thrush of note, slightly further afield and showing as they drifted over the arable, were 2 Marsh Harriers (site year tick), off-shore were 6 Shelduck sitting alongside c100 Wigeon, while the Brent Geese were down to just "9" on site during this visit and these were located along the front.  Waders along the seawall and rock areas, numbered 5 Purple Sandpipers, 3 Ringed Plovers and 6 Turnstones, with views of 6 Skylarks and a single Rock Pipit concluding the morning surveillance. PRD/MR.  Time spent at the Haven this afternoon, provided a report of the SE Owl being still viewable (from the hide), as was a fem Sparrowhawk and a Common Buzzard.  With the exceptions of the addition of 2 Blk T Godwits and the Gadwall being up to a count of 3, all else on the scrape appeared much as per the morning details. APh.

19th - After an extremely frosty night, the day was as expected, cool to start but dry and relatively bright for the duration.  Winds varied NW through NNW and were mostly of light to moderate strength with some gusts reaching c25mph.  Located along the seafront today were 3 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Ringed Plovers and 4 Turnstones.  Viewing from the hide and hence taking in the scrape, grazing marsh and fields, supplied counts of 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrel and both male and fem Sparrowhawks, also 70+ Lapwings, 8 Shoveler and 22 Shelduck, Teal and Wigeon were approximated numbers of 600 and 400 respectively and the Greylag Geese totalled 90.  Amongst the carpark bushes, a single Little Owl was on show. MR.  NB. The brook levels were noted as very high.

20th - Quite a cool day again (+5deg) but reasonable for the conditions and time of year - fairly bright, mainly blue skies if a little cloudy at times, moderate winds being NNE before turning later in the day to finish at NNW.  Early evening saw a drop in temperature down to +2 degrees.  Carpark bushes through to the golf course today, including a half-hour seawatch and viewing from the hide.  The seawatch session was over high tide and produced a total of 4 Red T Divers, 2 of which were sitting on the water and the other 2 headed N.  The seawall, rocks and shoreline gave 5 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Ringed Plovers and 5 Turnstones, while the golf course supplied 5 Mistle Thrush.  Into the hide and viewable numbers and species were singles of Common Buzzard and Kestrel, once again both male and fem Sparrowhawks, 1 Blk T Godwit, 1 Sanderling, 140+ Lapwing, 3 Gadwall, 14 Shelduck and 28 Shoveler, c400 Wigeon and c700 TealGeese on show during this visit, totalled 1 Egyptian, 2 Brent and 100+ Greylags.  The trees and bushes were surveyed but nothing of any particular note could be located. MR/PRD. A Barn Owl was additional c16.00hrs. PBr.

21st - Early rain today, followed by a mix of skies from grey to blue and some really dark clouds later.  The sun did appear at various stages and winds were mainly NNW.  No reports returned.

22nd - After some early rain, again, it remained fairly overcast and very cool, with some N winds.  A brief walk this morning gave only reports of a single Sparrowhawk from the carpark and a Sanderling on the shoreline.  The turbines at this time were not even viewable. AD.  A drake Pintail* was on view from the hide mid afternoon. PL.  (*Site Year Tick).

23rd - Drizzle to start, winds very light N and grey overcast skies.  A look around the farm area early morning produced 5 Redwing and 3 Mistle Thrush in the paddocks, whilst Woodpeckers were represented by 4 Green and 2 Great Spotted*A single Brambling* was feeding with several Chaffinch by the dung heap and 33 Lapwings headed N. Viewed from the lay by, were c1000 Brent Geese supported by 2 Egyptian and 23 Greylag Geese. GG.  A Barn Owl was again on site, seen quartering the fields towards the golf course.  At sea, a good movement of divers was witnessed and it seemed that they were feeding distantly off shore, taking flight when disturbed by a fast moving boat.  Totals of 1-2 Black Throated*, 2 Great Northern* and 80+ Red T Divers were observed, along with a single Gt Crested Grebe*. GG/MR/PRD.  Other species noted today, included 3 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 5 Turnstones, 4 Sanderling, 1 of each Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Little Grebe, 6 Gadwall, 7 Shelduck, 8 Shoveler, 200 Wigeon and c400 Teal. MR(*Site Year Ticks).

24th - A mild day today that was dry and quite bright at times.  Light winds began as NW and turned slightly through the day to become WNW by early evening, moving again and to Westerlies by late evening.  Covering the carpark through to the hide today, provided views along the beach of 2 of each Sanderling and Turnstone, while the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh/fields, gave a single Common Buzzard, 3 Egyptian, 400+ Brent and 100+ Greylag Geese, 10 Shoveler, 350+ Wigeon, 500+ Teal, 2 Blk T Godwits, 12 Common Gulls and an adult Yellow Legged Gull*.  Across the road from the site entrance, a Kingfisher was showing this morning. PRD/MR(*Site Year Tick).

25th - After a night of fairly constant rain, it was still raining c08.30hrs this morning but by late morning, the day was looking to be much brighter and again quite mild.  Winds were initially light WNW and turned through the day to even lighter Westerlies by the evening.  Coverage across the site today, started at the farm (Gt. Holland Hall) and took in the walk over the site and down to the hide, then the return to the farm.  Seen on both the arable and the scrape, the adult Yellow Legged Gull was still around from yesterday, while the Brent Geese numbered higher today with a count of 750+ and included a single Pale Bellied.  2 Blk T Godwits were noted and the Wigeon, Teal and Shovelers were at 450+, 550+ and 3 respectively.  Looking out to sea gave 1+ Red T Divers on the water, on the beach near to the sluice was a single Oystercatcher and along the seawall areas were 3 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Rock Pipits and 1 Grey Wagtail*PRD(*Site Year Tick).

26th - A very misty night turned to a very dismal, grey and windy day with some rain thrown in for good measure!  The temperature much as the last couple of days but it sure felt alot colder.  Winds began as moderate NE, becoming much stronger later in the day and the direction turned to ENE.  Heading through the site, on route from Frinton to Holland-on-Sea along the seawall, provided views of 2 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks, 2 Mute Swans, 450 Brent Geese (these seen as they were leaving the fields and heading towards the Hamford roosting site) and a single Kestrel, whilst singles of both S E Owl and Barn Owl were over the grazing marsh and "on the path/beach in line with the hide" was a Snow Bunting*.PBr. (*Site year Tick).

27th - A cold start this morning with temperatures back down to +2 degrees and some moderate NE winds.  Generally very dull and overcast throughout the day, the winds increased in strength and the later part of the afternoon and going into the evening - it just got even colder!  No reports returned.

28th - Strong ENE winds this morning and the temperature sat at +1 degree to start the day.  A "very little" bit of blue sky above the dark grey clouds and the hint of sun at 08.00hrs, did improve to become quite a bit more blue and the sun appeared fully for a while.  It unfortunately remained very cold throughout and the winds remained mostly strong, however, late in the day these did ease totally before picking up once more.  No reports returned.

29th - Once again the temperature sitting at a very cold +1 degree.  No sign of any blue skies, just generally grey and overcast with some light to moderate NE winds.  The winds increased in strength later in the day and turned slightly to become NNE, continuing to help keep it bitterly cold across our local area.  Good coverage of the site by at least three observers today, included surveying the approach road, carpark and memorial areas, from the hide, the seawall right along to the Frinton end, the fields up to and including the farm and also a seawatching session.  The reports concluded with 12 Fieldfare (farm), 5 Mistle Thrush (3 farm + 2 golf course), a Barn Owl, 5 Goldcrests, 3 Egyptian Geese on the scrape along with a single Blk T Godwit, 2 Little Grebes in front of the hide, a fem Tufted Duck on the brook and 728 Brent Geese on the field by the lay-by.  27 Golden Plover and 2 Sanderling were noted, whilst on and around the sluice were a single Purple Sandpiper, 5 Turnstones and an Oystercatcher.  The time spent seawatching, provided 2 superb drake Eider*, 1 Black Throated and 8 Red T Divers - these all heading N, while flying S were 2 of each Grey Plover and Shelduck.  A further Blk T Godwit was seen as it flew through. AD/IM/MR(*Site Year Tick)

30th - Just slightly warmer today at +4 degrees and some light to moderate ENE winds.  There was blue sky with some cloud this morning and it was fairly bright, this changed by early afternoon to overcast and dull before changing again to very bright, sunny and warmer.  Birds of prey came into their own late this afternoon with 3 Barn Owls all on view at the same time, while also seen within the same 30 - 40 minutes were singles of Common BuzzardS E Owl, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.  A pair of Mute Swans flew onto the scrape along with their family of 5 juveniles, still on this area were 3 Egyptian Geese, also 6 Common Gulls, on the field beyond the scrape were 123 Golden Plover, while to the right of the central reedbed, 14 Curlew were noted.  The farm area provided 6 of each Fieldfare and Redwing along with 2 of each Mistle and Song Thrush.  Near to the sluice and adjacent rocks were a Purple Sandpiper and a Sanderling. AD/IM/PRD.  Also reported was that one of the Barn Owls was out hunting the marshes at 08.30hrs. MRsl.  

31st - Overcast this morning with a very light NW breeze and although cool, the conditions were quite pleasant.  Very slightly brighter during the afternoon but the temperature dropped rapidly going into the latter part of the day and all looked towards an extremely cold night - once again!  No reports returned.

As at 31st January, the Haven 2011 Year List stands at 93.