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" has changed for several species this year 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).
Site Year Tick: *
1st - A bright, dry and glorious day for the start of this New Year, slightly chilly but refreshing to see those blue skies after the mostly grey ones and the rain of the last days of 2012. Westerly winds throughout today reaching speeds of up to 15mph. The site was generally quite busy with families etc having a wander. A minimum of four observers were scouring various areas of the Haven site, covering from early this morning through until late afternoon and starting from both ends of the site, also taking in the area opposite the Approach Road and the Farm. A total of 67 species were located this 1st January - that is 13 more than last Jan 1st and 3 less than the previous. As found from year to year, a slight variation in the species will always be noted but even with 13 more than in 2012, there were no Plovers of any description, nor even an Oik to be found today. There were however, the likes of a S E Owl, the Little Owl (near Tariq), Barn Owl, a Common Buzzard over the rear fields, 2 Marsh Harriers (the superb male + imm), a female Sparrowhawk (perched in a tree nicely in the sun), a Med Gull, a Water Rail (over the road), Mistle Thrush (farm) and both Gt Spotted and Green Woodpeckers. Fieldfare, Redwing, Stock Doves (3) and Stonechat (2 near the Golf Course) were seen, as were a Rock Pipit (by the raised Golf Tee), 4 Purple Sandpipers (rocks below the second turret/slope), c8 Red Throated Divers (flying N + S off-shore), 550+ Brent Geese (fields beyond the Golf Course), a Little Grebe (near Tariq), Little Egret and Grey Heron. The scrape vicinity and grazing marsh gave sightings that included 6 Shelducks, 5 Gadwall, 28+ Curlew, Snipe, Blk T Godwit and Cormorant, along with the Teal, Shoveler, Wigeon, Mallards etc. Birds seen to fly over and through the site were 2 Siskins (AEC) and 2 Waxwings (visitors via IM). An additional species was that of Goldcrest with 2 of them found later in the day. With the low numbers of species around the site over the last week or so of 2012, at least two of today's observers were quite pleased with the end of day totals. MR/AEC/IM/BS/et al.
HAPPY NEW YEAR & GOOD BIRDING TO ALL
2nd - Very cool again for first thing this morning and the dawn sky was streaked with plenty of colour. Initially very bright but by 08.45hrs the cloud-cover had turned slightly grey - this eventually darkened and gave on/off rain throughout. Westerly winds of speeds varying up to 8mph became SSW for late afternoon and increased to 15+mph. Reported from a walk into the Haven from the Frinton end, gave 50+ Golden Plovers*, 550+ Brent Geese in the fields, 2 Mute Swans, a female Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel. Whilst only 1 Purple Sandpiper was viewable along the front today, there were in the brook by the Water Pump, 2 Little Grebes. BS. Viewing from the hide through the morning by three observers, provided counts of 26+ Snipe, 40+ Lapwings, 42 Curlew, 2 Gadwall, 7 Shelducks, 16 Shoveler, 280 Teal, 350+ Wigeon, 3 L B B Gulls* and 84 Greylag Geese. Seawatching for a short time on the return walks yielded c40 Common Scoters*(S) and 7 Red T Divers (5N+2S). IM/MR/BS.
3rd - After an initial rainy start, the weather and skies broke to give some sun even if slightly still cool. Westerly winds reaching up to 11mph with gusting at times of up to 23mph. Surveying from along the seawall gave 6+ Red T Divers fishing/moving off-shore and 3 Cormorants (S), also singles of Turnstone and Oystercatcher*. Distantly and appearing 'low to the water' was a prob Common Buzzard heading S. A pair Stonechats and a flock of 22 Linnets* were located alongside the Golf Course, while c400 Brent Geese moved continuously between the arable, scrape and sea. A Barn Owl was seen over the grazing marsh during the seawall wander, a S E Owl was later over the marsh beyond the Memorials, the Little Owl was perched near to Tariq and 2 Marsh Harriers (fem/imm) had much earlier been quartering the marshland beyond the main carpark. The scrape and surrounding vicinity held counts of 6 Shelduck, 8 Gadwall, 20+ Shoveler, c200 Teal, c300 Wigeon and 41 Greylag Geese, all alongside 1 Ruff*, 2 Blk T Godwits, 20+ Snipe, 32 Curlew, 40+ Lapwings, a Little Egret and a Grey Heron. Amongst the Blk Headed and Herring were 3 L B B and 2 Common Gulls*. A Green Woodpecker was viewed around the scrape, a Little Grebe was again on the brook (behind the sluice today) and the sluice itself held 4 Purple Sandpipers and a further Turnstone. The carpark bushes gave 2 L T Tits* of note. MR. An addition was of a Goldcrest that was by the five-bar gate. IM.
4th - A bit of a murky start this morning but later brightening to give patchy blue skies and some sun. Wind direction varying W through WNW with speeds up to 11mph. During a survey by two observers (09.30-12.00hrs), a Woodcock* was seen just in from the main road, while counts further inland and also off-shore were of a male Marsh Harrier, a single Little Egret, 4 Blk T Godwits, 5 Turnstones, 18 Curlew, 175 Lapwings and at this time just 7 Snipe that were viewable on the scrape's island. Duck species yielded 7 Gadwall, 14 Shelduck (of which 10 flew S off-shore), 19 Shoveler, 425 Wigeon and 450 Teal. The Brent Geese numbered c900 and were 'annoyingly distant......from the hide....so may have missed an oddity or two!'. Also recorded were 500+ Wood Pigeons and 9 Stock Doves. SC/PC. A Brambling* was located along the Approach Road at 11.00hrs, while mid-afternoon saw 2 S E Owls over the site and views were had of a female Merlin* being dwarfed by the Carrion Crow that was in pursuit. Flying around at one point after the earlier morning count, was an impressive flock of 50+ Snipe - this being a good day count for the Haven in recent years and if the assumption is made that they had 'not dropped in between viewings' it certainly proves to maybe new birders, how concealed a Snipe can be. IM.
5th - Drizzle complete with a very slight mist today with temperatures apparently reaching +10 degrees (not that it felt that warm!), together with Westerly winds of c8 to 10mph for the majority. Observations throughout the day were from morning until late afternoon. The Brambling was still present and moving from bushes by the Sailing Club compound to just along the Approach Road during the earlier part, a Merlin was again seen across the scrape, 2 Med Gulls were on the Golf Course, 3 Purple Sandpipers were viewable from near to the raised Golf Tee, while 2 Red T Divers were noted off-shore. Gadwall, Shoveler, Shelduck, Teal and Wigeon being alongside Common Gulls, 3 Blk T Godwits and 37 Curlews on and around the scrape area. After yesterday's 50+ count of Snipe, when the scrape was disturbed late this morning, two observers got to '70+' of them in the air before these all crossed paths, dropped back onto the scrape and did their disappearing act. AD/IM. c300 Lapwings were morning additions, as was a Goldcrest along the Approach Road. AEC. A visit to the Farm supplied 2 Goldfinches* early afternoon by the pond. IM. Mid-afternoon saw a S E Owl quartering the rear of the scrape, a Kestrel was also hunting, Curlew numbers had increased to 39 (+/- 5 seen flying beyond the Memorials), whilst the Snipe were actually settled on the edges along the rear of the scrape at this time and the count was of 84+ Snipe. KA/AD.
6th - Foggy from morning 'til night !! Several times the fog looked to be lifting but never actually did - the day remained with that 'drizzle in the air' and murky. Initial WNW winds of 5mph, turned through W to SW c6mph winds by the evening. A morning visit gave just 2 Purple Sandpipers - visible in the thick fog - on the rocks. MR. A wander at the Farm - very foggy there too - and along to the Paddock provided a single Fieldfare and 4+ Goldcrests, whilst the Approach Road at the Haven itself gave a further Goldcrest. A Kingfisher* was today's highlight, seen over the road. Of note, at both the Haven and the Farm, Robins appear to be in abundance. KA/AD.
7th - Another grey start with non-stop drizzle although (slightly inland at least) no thick fog. SW initial winds varied between 8mph and 12mph and apart from a move to SSW later in the day, there was little change in strength. At least two observers were on site this morning and joint viewing from the hide supplied counts of 2 Turnstones, 4 Blk T Godwits, 32 Curlews, 180+ Lapwings and another increase to the Snipe numbers - a total of 88+ on the scrape area today! Duck counts being of 3 Gadwall, 10 Shelduck, 12 Shoveler, 250+ Teal and 350+ Wigeon. A Kestrel was in the vicinity. MR/SC. Slightly later, located in the wood behind Tariq were 2 Goldcrests (m+f). MR. A short seawatching session gave a Common Scoter flying N, 6 Red T Divers and a Brent Goose heading S, whilst 5+ Turnstones were along the beach front. A Common Buzzard was also reported. SC.
8th - Pretty much overcast for the morning with on/off views of the sun!! SW winds of up to 12mph and a temperature of around the +8 degree mark - very little change weather-wise throughout the day. A morning walk from the Frinton end of the site supplied views of a Barn Owl perched atop a post, a pair of Stonechats, 3 Skylarks (singing), 5 L-T Tits and 2 Common Gulls. The numbers and species across the scrape at this time were 1 Little Egret, 2 Turnstones, 5 Blk T Godwits, 6 Snipe, 13+ Curlews, 1 G B B Gull, 2 L B B Gulls and 5 Cormorants, also 26+ Greylag Geese and 9 Shelducks. A Kestrel was hovering nearby. BS. The early part of the afternoon saw a S E Owl flying along the rear hedges on site. KTc. Observations from the hide during the afternoon found that the Snipe had decided to show again and a total of 84 were counted. Blk T Godwits had increased to 6, Greylag Geese were at 33, Teal and Wigeon were both at c200, while additional notes were of 2 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler and 176 Lapwings. During this survey there were 3 Turnstones on the beach. MR.
9th - Drizzle started the day along with Westerly winds of 6mph and a temperature of +9 degrees. The skies cleared by mid-day leaving the afternoon clear and mostly bright. The winds turned to N for a while but back to NW for the evening and the temperature made a sudden drop to +3 degrees. Surveying this morning located the Kingfisher across the road again, whilst Birds of Prey viewable from the hide were singles of Peregrine*, Marsh Harrier (ad male) (see Gallery) and Kestrel. The scrape and surrounding area held singles of Little Egret and Ruff, 7 Blk T Godwits, 41 Curlews, 56 Snipe and 116 Lapwings, also 5 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, c250 Teal, c350 Wigeon and 46 Greylag Geese. Seawatching for one hour supplied movement both N and S of 1 Guillemot* (N), 1 Oystercatcher (S), 5 Common Scoters (1N+4S), 7 Wigeon (S), 7 Shelduck (N) and a total of 46 Red T Divers (18N+28S). MR.
10th - An icy morning to wake up to, along with NW winds of 7mph (by 06.45hrs). The winds were slightly lighter by 09.15hrs but fog was moving in fast at this time and remained in-situ for the duration, as did the temperature of just +1 degree. NNW light winds prevailed for the afternoon. Needless to say, viewing was somewhat hampered on site today, although a Water Rail was noted for over the road (opp. Approach Road) and 2 Goldcrests were in the bushes by the five-bar gate (near the Boating Club compound, up on the service road). Walking to the Frinton end of site and back, supplied 2 Stonechats on fencing by the second hide, a Brent Goose was on the rocks below the second turret, c10 Turnstones were spaced along the beach, whilst 'out of the mist for a few seconds' appeared a S E Owl. 1 Little Grebe was in front of the hide and a male Sparrowhawk - with a penchant for the fence by the hide - was inclined several times to upset c100 Wigeon on the barely viewable scrape. Also reported today, were 2 Herring Gulls seen on the sluice - both wearing colour-rings - one of them last seen at the Haven in 2011 while the second was seen here twice in 2012, this being just a few days after originally rung at Pitsea. MR.
11th - A cold, damp, drizzly and misty morning complete with NNW winds of a light c5mph. Little change to the general conditions for the afternoon although the winds turned to ESE before turning back up to NNE (increasing to c11mph). This morning saw the January WeBS count take place and amongst these totals were singles of Green Woodpecker, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk, 2 Fieldfares, 1 Little Egret, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 5 Turnstones, 8 Blk T Godwits, 19 Curlew, 21 Snipe, 190 Lapwings, 7 Brent and 12 Greylag Geese. The Gulls were represented by 2 Common, 3 L B B, 10 G B B, 110 Herring and 625 Black-headed. The Duck counts (inc. on Little Holland Hall Pond) were of 1 drake Eider* (S off-shore), 4 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, 42 Mallards, 67 Shelduck (just 1 on the scrape, whilst 64 flew S off-shore and 2 flew N), 185 Teal and 560 Wigeon. Rounding up the selection, 9 Cormorants and 2 Red-T Divers were also observed. SC.
12th - A cold and extremely breezy day! Strong SSE through ESE to E winds with gusting in excess of 34mph, alongside a temperature that got to a maximum of +4 degrees - but in the on-shore winds it certainly felt much, much colder. Over high tide and slightly afterwards, the spray from some severe white horses was reaching very well over the seawall up from the sluice. Observations during a morning visit supplied of note a Reed Bunting* over the road, whilst the walk to the hide gave 500+ Brent Geese, just 50+ Lapwing and 20+ Curlew. Teal and Wigeon numbers appeared lower at this time. IM. From mid-day through to mid-afternoon, surveying across the scrape and it's surrounding vicinity provided 1 Little Egret, 7+ Turnstones, 6 Blk T Godwits, 38+ Snipe and an increase in Curlew to 41. 3 Gadwall (2 drakes) were viewed - 1 pair had initially been on the pools beyond the memorials but flew onto the scrape with c150 mixed Teal and Wigeon from the same pools. 2 Kestrels (rear and side field) were viewed and a Peregrine was sat on the top field just below the hay bales. KA/AD.
13th - Although there was a period of brighter skies this morning, the majority of the day was cloud-covered and grey. (A very slight/brief hint of sleet early afternoon). NE winds of up to 10mph with occasional gusting of up to 22mph, moved to NNE alongside bitterly cold temperatures of +3 degrees that were moving rapidly down to zero. At least three observers visited the site today with two of them locating the Kingfisher once more over the road, a Sparrowhawk was flushed twice from the bush on the bend of the brook and 2 Little Grebes were on the brook near to Tariq. A flock of c20 Golden Plovers flew around/over the pools beyond the Memorials, along the front there were 6 Turnstones feeding on the rocks by the groyne and noted 'flying around the meadow to the right of the hide' were 30+ Curlew. Viewing (to the left) from the hide also provided a S E Owl that was quartering the fields beyond the pools. IM/PL. Also seen from the hide, the Peregrine was again up on the top sections of the fields - surveyed as it flew from the field and headed towards the farm. PL. Additional sightings were of a single Kestrel, 5 Blk T Godwits on the scrape and off-shore movement of 2 Red-T Divers, one heading N and the other S. AlfM.
14th - An icy cold start gave way to a bright and even, quite pleasant morning - until c11.00hrs when the skies began to cloud over and from then on in, it just continued to get darker until the icy rain appeared by mid-afternoon! Initial light Westerly winds (up to 8mph) turned to SSW later in the day and increased to 13mph alongside on/off gusting of 20+mph. The Kingfisher gave good views again and a Water Rail was seen briefly in the same area, whilst across on the main site, Turnstone numbers were at 4 on the beach today and some 500+/- Brent Geese couldn't decide whether they wanted to be on the sea, the scrape or the arable beyond the Golf Course! A walk to the third turret this morning also gave views of 4 Stonechats and a single Song Thrush. Surveyed from the top gate by the second turret, 4 Blk T Godwits, 13 Snipe, 32 Golden Plovers, 44 Curlew and 80+ Lapwings were alongside 60 Teal, c200 Wigeon and 15 Greylag Geese that were on and around the partly frozen scrape and grazing marsh vicinity. Observed on the return wander to the carpark, the bushes by the five-bar gate held 12+ L-T Tits. MR.
15th - After sleet and snow late last night until c02.00hrs, little of it was left around this morning apart from icy ponds and very lightly covered hedges, roof tops and vehicle roof/screens. Still a very cold start at barely +1 degree but as per yesterday, becoming bright and sunny - again light winds (morning: up to 11mph), initially NNW turning N by mid-day. Surveying this morning took in the area over the road, viewing across the pools, the shoreline and from the hide (main carpark was shut due to road resurfacing). The former provided a single Little Egret and a flock of L-T Tits, a Sparrowhawk was intent on upsetting the Gulls at the second area and on the beach were 4 Sanderlings*. The field beyond the scrape - being ploughed at the time - gave 7 L B B and 12 Common amongst c500 Gulls. The arable beyond the Golf Course held 170+ Golden Plovers whilst on and around the scrape itself, were 4 Blk T Godwits, 42 Curlews, 194 Lapwings, 2 Shoveler, 150 Teal and c200 Wigeon. Touching down very briefly before continuing on a NW flight-path, 4 Dunlin*. MR. Additions from afternoon observations were 2 Redshanks* on the scrape. IM.
16th - Temperatures of -3 degrees overnight were still very much in evidence this morning and the subsequent heavy frost and ice-covered ponds etc were giving those "picturesque" scenes! At least the sun came out quite early too and it remained bright with blue skies throughout the morning, although warming up to even reach zero seemed to be a bit of a problem. Winds were initially of a NNW direction and c6mph, this increased at times during the afternoon to c10mph alongside occasional gusting of 17mph. A morning visit located the Little Egret over the road while the greensward held a single Redwing and 4 Fieldfare. The walk to the third turret gave five species along the beach being singles of Dunlin and Redshank, 3 Purple Sandpipers, 5 Turnstones and 10 Sanderlings. On the sea at this point were c250 Wigeon. Also seen along this route, were 2 Stonechats and another 2 Fieldfare and across on the marsh, a Common Buzzard "was tucking into a hearty meal". MR. Surveying early afternoon gave views of 50+ Fieldfare, as the flock came in/off and headed towards the recently ploughed field at the rear of the scrape, whilst slightly later c15.00hrs, a total of 8 Purple Sandpipers were located on their rocks below the third turret (so either an increase of numbers for these or possibly additional to the earlier 3). In the rapidly dropping temperature and just prior to leaving site, a further flock of 25 Fieldfare flew in/off and continued over The Dell. IM.
17th - Last night's temperature dropped to -4 degrees and this was still the temperature as at 06.30hrs, along with, as to be expected, another heavy frost across the area. Northerly light winds of up to 6mph and skies that began to brighten by 08.45hrs but the temperature gauge still hadn't moved! Eventually it warmed up to barely zero. The scrape was completely frozen over this morning and the grazing marsh was in a similar state. An early visit located the Water Rail over the road. IM. The car park held 3 Fieldfares and the L-T Tit flock, while the arable was seen to hold 200+ Lapwings, 230+ Golden Plovers and high numbers of Gulls. Walking to and from the third turret provided views of 6 Sanderlings and 6 Turnstones on the beach along with another large number of Gulls, 3 Stonechats, 20+ Fieldfares and singles of Common Buzzard, Barn owl and Kestrel. Inside the seawall en-route, it was a Sparrowhawk (see Gallery) that was today seen to be feeding on a kill. Two colour-ringed Herring Gulls were also noted. (See our new layout of all the colour-ringed species located at the Haven). IM/MR.
18th - A light snow fall late last night was no worse this morning and the early temperature was at -1 degree. The ESE strong winds of up to 23mph together with gusting of up to 34mph increased through the day, going into the evening with gusting in excess of 40mph. A couple of extremely light attempts of snow failed to do anything during the day but it was trying again from c19.00hrs. The carpark and Approach Road were however, both 'very slippery' during a visit for a short walk from the carpark to the sluice in the freezing conditions. 2 Purple Sandpipers were located on the sluice rocks, whilst 4 Turnstones and 5 Sanderlings were along the beach. These three species were the only birds of any particular note. IM.
19th - A mostly cloud-covered day with the temperature varying from just below zero to +1 degree throughout. A small fall of snow locally during the earlier part of the morning......... nothing really settled, more promised for tonight and into Sunday! The ENE winds remained fairly strong (c20mph) all day and gusting was of speeds up to 35mph. Surveying during the latter part of the morning included a walk to the second turret and brief observations from the hide. 2 Sanderlings were located on the beach, whilst 12+ Curlew and 100+ Golden Plovers were spread across the grazing marsh. The frozen scrape held 5 Turnstones of note. IM.
20th - Very slightly inland from the coastline and no snow had appeared over night - however, c10.00hrs saw the start of a snow-fall (only little flakes but loads of 'em) and this was still coming down at 11.30hrs, showing no immediate signs of stopping and also beginning to settle - and settle it did indeed! ENE winds of up to 19mph, gusting of up to 34mph and a temperature of -1 degree. No reports returned.
21st - After yesterday's fall, there was a few inches of snow left across the local area today - luckily, not nearly as bad as some areas of the country have been having but enough to create a bit of havoc if care not taken. On account of a very icy and snow-bound carpark, the seafront was the better place to park and walk the short distance back to the Site. Initial winds were Southerly, moving later to SE and then to WNW by the evening - these remained light (5mph & 6mph) throughout. Temperatures of up to +1 degree. A Jack Snipe* was located over the road c10.15hrs and was still in the vicinity at 11.45hrs - from the corner of the brook, viewed part way along the left hand fork. MR/IM/KA. A single Little Egret, 5 Snipe and 2 House Sparrows were also noted in this area. The field beyond the brook held c200 Lapwings and a further 40+ were on the snow-covered grass verges - even some of them actually in the road. KA. Mid-afternoon, Common Snipe had increased to 8+ over the road, the Water Rail was viewable and a total of 40 Fieldfare were seen. PRD. Two observers walked the route through to the second turret, included some seawatching and made counts of 22 species. The mounds to said turret gave 2 Kestrels, a female Stonechat, 15+ Meadow Pipits, 4 Redwings and 35+ Fieldfare, whilst passing S off-shore during this walk, were a Gt. C. Grebe*, 1 drake Tufted Duck* and 1pair Pintails*. On the rocks between the first and second turrets was a Rock Pipit, on/over the beach areas were 1 Blk T Godwit, 2 Dunlin, 3 Sanderlings and 5 Turnstones and seawatching gave a Med Gull (S), 2 Shelducks, 6+ Red-T Divers and 35 Brent Geese. Surveying across the grazing marsh gave the additions of 25+ Snipe, 46 Curlew, a Sparrowhawk and a S E Owl. A Little Egret may have been +/- the bird from over the road earlier in the day. MR/IM.
22nd - Even though the temperature had increased over night to +2 degrees first thing, then further up to +4 degrees later in the day, it felt generally colder in the initial SSE winds of up to 16mph. These winds were assisted by gusting of up to 26mph and changed in direction to Easterlies later in the day and for the evening. At least the snow and ice were melting throughout. A visit to site by one observer, took in the walk from the carpark through to the Frinton end and back. Flying around the carpark bushes were a flock of 12 Redwing, the beach by the sluice held 4 Turnstones, while the beach area below the third turret held a total of 23 Sanderlings. Viewing across the Golf Course and grazing marsh gave c200 Golden Plovers and also c200 Lapwings - both species spread across both areas. In/on the meadow were c30 Snipe and 55 Curlew, with both a Little Egret and a Sparrowhawk being seen adjacent to the Golf Course. Noted on a "still snow-covered" island on the scrape were 12 Greylag Geese. IM.
23rd - The snow is disappearing helped by the fact that the temperature remained above zero - even if it was only at +3 degrees. Easterly winds dominated the day at c14mph with gusting of c18mph. Viewed from the lay-by on the main road first thing this morning was a Barn Owl, followed only slightly later by both a Kingfisher and a Little Egret that were both over the road (opp. Approach Road). Back on the main site and flushed from the clearing just inside the Approach Road woods, was 1 Woodcock while a second Woodcock was next to the Sailing Club compound in the clearing in that area. 2 Reed Buntings were also located in this vicinity. 18+ Fieldfares were noted, two of which were in the Dell whilst the other 16+ were recorded being in and around the carpark/bushes, as were 3 Redwing and 2 Song Thrushes. On the route to the hide, a Sparrowhawk was guilty of flushing another Redwing from the mounds. At this time some 250+/- Wigeon were sat upon the sea. MR. Two observers carried out today's survey from the hide, supplying counts of 13 species as well as c30 mixed Gulls across the scrape and spread across it's surrounding areas. There were singles of Grey Plover*, Dunlin, Blk T Godwit and Water Rail (the latter in front of the hide) along with 2 Little Grebes (also front of hide), 5 Turnstones, 5 Golden Plovers (fly-overs), 6+ Snipe, 10 Teal, 60+ Curlew, 70+ Lapwings and 15 Greylag Geese. 2 Kestrels rounded up the totals from the hide. IM/MR.
24th - Mostly grey and overcast this morning with a slight hint of brighter skies?!? Winds variable ENE to E of up to 12mph and gusting of up to 24mph - alongside a temperature of just +1 degree. Three observers were on and around the site during the morning. Over the road at 09.25hrs, the Jack Snipe was again showing in the same brook/dyke line as per the 21st Jan. i.e. go carefully through the tree arch with the right-angle of the dyke/brook on your right, the bird has been seen along the rear edge of this left hand (West) fork, at c10 and also c30yards ). Viewing on this little patch this morning, also supplied singles of Water Rail, Woodcock and Kingfisher, 2 Little Egrets and from here was also noted an adult male Marsh Harrier. Viewing from the hide gave details of 1 Blk T Godwit, 4 Golden Plovers (arable), 30+ Lapwings, 58 Curlews (marsh), 2 Shelducks, 3 Gadwall, 61 Teal, 4 Brent Geese (marsh) and 10 Greylag Geese. Initial counts (c08.45hrs) of Wigeon, were of 500+ on the sea and 140 for the scrape and it's surrounding area. By c10.00hrs, the totals for those on the sea were much less and it would appear that these ducks were most likely "commuting between the Haven and Sladbury's Marsh - slightly inland - as "several hundred" were reported for there, by one of our local farmers. Viewed from the hide and later from the farm to get some closer views, c715 Brent Geese were on the arable beyond the Golf Course - unfortunately, not a single one was found to be Pale Bellied, a Black Brant or be of any other particular interest! Other species today were a single Common Scoter on the sea, 2 Song Thrushes, 3 Redwings and 10+ Fieldfares in the carpark, also 1 Sparrowhawk. MR/SC/IM.
25th - SSW through SSE winds with speeds of up to 21mph, gusting of up to 26mph and very cold! The temperature began the day at -1 degree and failed to get very much above zero for the duration and also remained quite overcast. There was no sign of the 'Jack' either this morning or this afternoon. IM/PRD. 2 Common Snipe and a Little Egret were viewable over the road first thing, whilst a Woodcock flew from here towards the main site. From the carpark to the hide, notes were of 5 Fieldfare in/on bushes, a single Sanderling was on the sluice (briefly), the wall by the sluice held 5 Turnstones and 300+ Wigeon were on the sea. Surveying from the hide gave 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk and a Barn Owl - the latter quartering the field next to the Golf Course, also c20 Curlew and 6 Greylag Geese. IM. The area over the road this afternoon (15.00hrs) supplied additions of 3 Fieldfare, 1 Water Rail and a Kingfisher, Little Egret numbers were up to 2 and also a Woodcock that was possibly over and above the earlier bird. PRD.
26th - Gale force winds and heavy rain overnight were followed by a bright and sunny day (mostly). Some rain came into play late in the day and for the evening. Winds were of a W direction of 12+mph and the temperature held around +5 degrees. Two observers visited the site this morning, one on an early morning walk in from the Frinton end and covering much of the site and the other on a mission to find the 'Jack' (see gallery) . Walking in from the Golf Course end, 200+ Brent Geese were situated on the rear fields, a Barn Owl was atop a post "over-looking the rough grassland" and a single Sanderling was on the path by the seawall. 2 female Sparrowhawks were noted, one being by the scrape, the other near to Tariq, 3 Gadwall (1 drake, 2 ducks) were in the brook below the Wind Pump, while 14 Curlew, 5 Stock Doves and 18 Greylag Geese were en-route. Also within the report, were 3 Fieldfare, 1 Song and 3 Mistle Thrushes, 2 L-T Tits, with the hedge by the Dipping Pond hosting a mix of Blue and Great Tits. BS. Mission was accomplished at the patch over the road (opp. Approach Road), when sightings were had (09.30-10.15hrs) of the Jack Snipe - along with the additions of the Kingfisher, 2 Water Rails and 2 Little Egrets. MC.
27th - After the rain and gale force winds (again) during the night, the morning was initially a bit "hit 'n' miss" with the weather - slightly grey, brighter, torrential downpour then brighter again! From late morning, it then remained bright but cool with WSW winds reaching 23+mph and gusting of c36mph. After the rain, viewing over the road gave just a single Water Rail. MR/MC. A fairly quick visit to the main site and through to the hide, supplied a single Redwing and 4 Fieldfare on the carpark, c700 Brent Geese and numerous Lapwing and Golden Plover mixed across the arable beyond the Golf Course, 63 Curlews across the grazing marsh and 1 Little Grebe in front of the hide itself. The species on and around the scrape consisted of 1 Snipe, 1 Blk T Godwit, 2 Shelducks, 252 Teal, 266 Wigeon, 2 Greylag Geese and 5 Cormorants of note. A colour-ringed Herring Gull was located on the Sewage Works. MR.
28th - A touch on the breezy side today!!! Initial WSW winds were 11mph through 14mph along with some gusting but they eventually reached 24+mph with gusting in the region of 50mph. Direction turned to SSW and back to SW. The rain appeared for the afternoon and into the evening - torrential at times. "Nothing much happening today" was the opening of the report - there was however, another (new to the Haven) colour-ringed Herring Gull. The carpark gave a total of 1 Redwing and 2 Fieldfares, a Sparrowhawk flew over the mounds and once again there were Brent Geese up on the arable, numbering c500. Across the scrape and it's surrounding area of grazing marsh were c200 Wigeon and c300 Teal, whilst Waders around the scrape, totalled 1 Snipe, 2 Blk T Godwits, 6 Turnstones and 92 Lapwings. Also noted were a single Little Egret, 5 Shoveler and 78 Greylag Geese. MR.
29th - A grey and dismal start today with that "drizzle in the air" even when it was not actually raining! Initial S winds of 10+mph and a temperature reading of +7 degrees. Later winds turned to SSW and by mid-afternoon had increased up to 24+mph with additional gusting of up to 37+mph. Viewing from the hide during the early part of the afternoon, gave counts across the scrape and the surrounding areas of 1 Barn Owl, 1 Little Egret, 2 Blk T Godwits, 7 Snipe, 37 Curlew and 100+ Lapwings, whilst the Ducks of note consisted of 1pr Gadwall, 6 Shelduck, 9 Shoveler, c200 Wigeon and c350 Teal. A total of 44 Greylag Geese were seen and had with them, the Emperor Goose. Of note, the latter local wanderer has also been seen with the Greylags at the Naze. On the "Wildlife" side of things, a Stoat was seen to make it's way across the rear of the scrape - causing obvious concern to the near-by birds. MR/PRD. Upon the return journey to the carpark, a S E Owl was quartering the grazing marsh beyond the Memorials. MR.
30th - WSW through W winds today, varying 16mph to 23mph with additional gusting - at times of 43+mph. The morning skies were patchy blue amongst the clouds with the sun making it's attempts to rule!?! Temperature readings were at c+9 degrees but it was definitely chilly in those gale force winds. No reports returned.
31st - A very "hit'n'miss" day with the weather - brighter skies earlier in the morning gave way to many on/off showers including a few torrential ones! The day continued as such throughout. Strong winds again of 27+mph and gusting in the region of 45mph with the direction of WSW. Again the temperature readings were c+9 degrees but the high winds made this feel much, much lower. A quick survey during the afternoon found that basically all was as per recent reports including the high numbers of Ducks on and around the scrape area. The only notable species over and above for today was that of 5 Purple Sandpipers located along the seawall at high tide. MR.
As at 31st January, the Haven 2013 Year List stands at 92.