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: *

JANUARY 2014

                      HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL & GOOD BIRDING FOR 2014

1st - What a day!!  Most likely one of the lowest '1st January' counts for the Haven since recording began here many, many years ago.  For those of you that are new to bird watching, the recording of bird species at Holland Haven started here long before the days of mobile phones and websites (Dates/info from earlier years: Site Info & Birds of the Haven).  During this first day of 2014 in the mostly heavy on/off rain, SE winds of up to and in excess of 43mph, gusting of 50+mph and variable temperatures from barely +2 to +4 degrees (thanks to the wind-chill factor), some of us - over various stages of the day - covered the site from morning through until almost dark.  Using the reports per four of our HHB site observers, the overall total came to 52 species.  The various areas of the main site proved to have different species showing and taking advantage of any small breaks in the weather, both in the morning and the afternoon.  The Farm area gave the only viewing of a Wren, mid-day saw a Little Egret over the road (opp. Approach Road), while the Approach Road itself slightly later yielded a number of House Sparrows, a Sparrowhawk was seen earlier along this Road, a Green Woodpecker was an early afternoon species by the Memorials and also at this time, a couple of Curlew were beyond on the far pools, a Little Grebe showed from the hide during the morning and a Grey Heron from this viewpoint was not until later in the day.  The obvious Ducks were across the scrape and surrounding areas of grazing marsh, as were Cormorants, Mute Swans, a Blk T Godwit, quite a few Snipe and late in the day, the Red-legged Partridges were literally 'legging it' across the very rear of the marsh beyond the scrape.  Some morning seawatching per two observers added Common Scoter, Red-T Diver, Kittiwake, Brent Geese and a Purple Sandpiper.  Having to pretty much keep to using the lower path, a sometimes 'jet-propelled' afternoon walk to the Frinton end of site by two other observers, provided a few hilarious and a few "oh...bother!" moments as well as some additional birds.  Several Common Gulls were on the Golf Course, a Pied Wagtail and a Rock Pipit were at different stages along the seawall, while at the Frinton end in a slightly calmer period and a joy to watch - were a pair of Stonechats - of which the male was an absolutely cracking bird.  So no locating of any 'crests today, no Jays, no Redwings or Fieldfares, no Owls nor birds of prey (with exception of Sparrowhawk) and given the weather..... 'Wise Owl' comes to mind! MR/IM/AD/KA

2nd - After mostly heavy rain through the night, the daylight hours brought blue skies, sun and generally a glorious, if slightly chilly, day.  What a difference to yesterday!  The early hours saw SW and SSW very strong winds and some fairly constant gusting (33+mph and 38mph respectively) but these slowed right down to c13mph and c21mph ready for those morning observations.  Many observers were seen to be on the site today, coming in from both the Holland main entrance and the Frinton pathways and on such a bright, dry day, additional species to yesterday's count were sure to be had.  Located early morning across the road were singles of Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk and also Kingfisher* (the latter near to the road bridge), while looking back over to the marsh that runs alongside the Approach Road was a Barn Owl*.  Heading through the site to the sluice and on to the main hide were 1 Goldfinch*, 2 Wrens, 3 Dunnock*, 3 Greenfinches*, 20+ Chaffinches, a Green Woodpecker and a Kestrel* of note.  Viewing from and around the sluice were 1 Oystercatcher* and 3 Turnstones, 5 Red-T Divers (3N+2S), 3 Cormorants also heading S and at this time, some 250+/- Wigeon sitting on the sea.  The viewable areas from the hide supplied singles of Skylark* and Pied Wagtail, 11 Stock Doves, 4 Little Grebes (front of hide), 1 Blk T Godwit, 3 Snipe, c100 Lapwings, 1 Gadwall*, 11 Shelducks, 12 Shoveler, c100 Wigeon, c250 Teal, 20+ Greylag Geese and dropping onto the arable during this survey, were c150 Brent Geese. MR.  A morning cycle ride - complete with binoculars and kids - in from Frinton to the sluice area for family beach-time, provided 2 Stonechats again at the Frinton end and also 2 Meadow Pipits*, while 2 Little Egrets were noted for the Golf Course and adjacent grazing marsh.  Off-shore movement included 8 Kittiwakes (probably more amongst distant Gulls) and 3 Brent Geese all flying S, 16 Red-T Divers heading N, 2 Guillemots* drifting N on the sea and totals of 1 Shoveler, 40 Teal and (at this time) at least 160 Wigeon still sat upon the open waters. PBr.  A drifting Guillemot seen off-shore from the second turret by another observer may well have been one of the earlier two.  A visit to the Farm briefly during the afternoon, added a Mistle Thrush* to the Year List. IM.  A further report gave a Grey Wagtail* for today. HE.

3rd - A grey, rainy start gave way by 09.00hrs to blue skies and a very bright sun before reverting over the lunchtime high tide, to very dark grey for over an hour.  After this, somewhat mixed!  The variable SE/S winds and gusting were initially of speeds up to 36+mph and 41+mph, calming after the early rain stopped, to those of c21mph and 26mph before increasing at c13.00hrs to 38+mph and 46+mph respectively.  The first of two reports received for today, was that of an adult male Peregrine* seen over the scrape during the latter part of the morning. PRD.  Observing along the coastline from the sluice gave 2 Turnstones and 4 Purple Sandpipers of note, while across the scrape areas during this particular survey (viewed from the hide) were counts of 1 Snipe, 1 Blk T Godwit, 6 Shelducks and 12 Shoveler with numbers of Teal and Wigeon being at c300 and c400 respectively. IM

4th - A very cold day, along with on/off drizzle and rain and some very strong, bitter winds.  ESE through SSE, the morning saw speeds of 30+mph with those additional blasts reaching and exceeding 36mph.  At least three observers visited the site at various times today.  A Kingfisher was noted for over the road again this morning, while some 20+ Blackbirds were along the Approach Road and a Jay* was seen to fly through the adjacent woods. IM.  Of note for across the scrape and the surrounding grazing marsh areas (from the hide) included 1 Little Grebe, 4 Turnstones, 6 Snipe, 6 Shelducks and 15 Shoveler.  A Barn Owl was also viewed from this point. IM/PL.  A brief afternoon wander, that while heading to the sluice, gave the addition of 5 Pintails* (2 drakes+3ducks) as they flew over the Sewage Farm and then continued SW along the coast. MR

5th - A heavy frost remained until c10.00hrs this morning with the temperature slightly later, just about reaching +4 degrees.  Grey and a bit dismal, the morning winds were S through SE and varied from 6mph up to 17mph with gusting of up to c20mph.  Several observers were on and around the site at various times during the day - surveying much of the site and also seawatching.  Of interest, some 6 colour-ringed Herring Gulls were viewed on the Sewage Farm and subsequently noted.  Three of these were newcomers to the Haven site, the other three being returning birds. AD.  Viewing began with surveying over the road this morning and gave a Wren, 2 Skylarks, 8 Reed Buntings* (all together at one point atop a bush), Linnet*, Chaffinch and Greenfinch.  Seawatching gave many views of Red-T Divers as they flew up and back down the coast, some out to sea and back in again and others just sat upon the water.  A total of 4 Gt. Crested Grebes* and 5 Kittiwakes were recorded, as were 2 Common Scoters (S), 2 Shelducks (S), 5 Brent Geese (S) and flying directly in towards the observers at one point, before continuing South, was a Shag*.  A Kestrel was also seen during this session.  Moving to the hide for a survey across the scrape, viewable pastures and skyline, the counts consisted of 1 Little Grebe, 1 Blk T Godwit, 3 Turnstones, 9 Snipe, 1 drake Gadwall and 12 Shoveler.  Just outside the hide was a single Stonechat, 5 Stock Doves were in the vicinity and a female Marsh Harrier* was viewable from the hide and from the road lay-by. MR/AD.    

6th - A bit 'hit and miss' through the morning with a few heavy downpours between brighter periods of blue skies (and a variation of cloud) and the sun.  Mostly SSE winds of varying speeds 23mph up to 33mph complete with gusting at times reaching up to 40mph.  Conditions remained much the same for the afternoon.  Morning observations again took in the area over the road and once more, Reed Buntings (c10 today) were in/on the hedge near the set-aside.  Also noted were 2 Linnets, 3 Goldfinches and 8 ChaffinchesMR.  Walking the Approach Road and searching the Dell, provided 1 Song Thrush, 2 House Sparrows, 2 Green, 4 Gold and 6 Chaffinches and c10 Blackbirds, while another c10 Blackbirds were in the Memorial surroundings.  The beach held 5 Turnstones and the off-shore movement - gained from a short seawatching session (Greensward Shelter) - was that of 1 Common Scoter, 6 Shelducks and 7 Red-T Divers that were all flying S.  Totals across the scrape and surrounding vicinity were 1 Gadwall, 10 Shelducks, 17 Shoveler, c250 Teal, c400 Wigeon and 51 Greylag Geese with this morning's Wader count of 9 Curlew, 10 Snipe and c150 Lapwings.  Also viewed from the hide were a single Sparrowhawk and 2 Marsh Harriers. PRD/IM/MR.  At 13.10hrs, an adult Little Gull* was seen to be flying with Blk-headed and Common Gulls around the green Outfall Buoy. PRD

7th - The early morning was grey with some drizzle and Southerly winds of up to c31mph with gusting of up to 38mph.  Heavier rain appeared during the morning but the appearance later of extremely dark clouds and stronger winds, brought a sudden downpour of some mean hailstones that you really did not want to be caught in!  Drizzle and more heavy rain returned later in the day/evening.  Surveying over the road this morning located 2 Water Rails* in the ditch by the metal gate before returning across to the main site and  viewing a Barn Owl hunting across the grazing marsh adjacent to the Approach Road.  This Road held of note, 8 House Sparrows, 10 Chaffinch, 2 Song Thrush and c12 Blackbirds.  The intention of walking to the Frinton end of site was slightly scuppered with having to take a quick detour to the second hide to avoid the first heavy shower, then it was back to the seawall to note 10 Brent Geese heading SW (close off-shore) and to see a Rock Pipit in the vicinity of the breakwater rocks.  Following the Pipit back towards the sluice was a good move - in that the main hide was in a closer and reachable distance to avoid the severe hailstones.  Observations across the scrape and surrounding areas during this visit, provided singles of Peregrine and Sparrowhawk, 10 Snipe (see Gallery), c150 Lapwings, 7 Gadwall, 7 Shelducks, 14 Shoveler, c150 Teal, c300 Wigeon and c30 Greylag Geese. MR.  Some very nice views (from the road bridge at 13.15hrs) were had of a male Marsh Harrier as it flew over the fields of the site. BS.

8th - After a night of mostly heavy rain, the morning took a bit of time to let the sun stay out - eventually amongst a blue mottled sky.  The S through SSE winds varied somewhat in speed from 15mph to c24mph and the extra blasts up until mid-morning, reached up to 28mph.  No reports returned.

9th - Rain again during the night and into the early part of the morning leaving the dawn very grey with blustery winds of S through SW direction.  Wind speeds of c34mph dropped to c20mph by 08.30hrs but the gusting still held between the range of 37mph and 40mph.  Not overly cold though - with temperature readings of +10 degrees and the wind-chill along the coast at +6 degrees.  Surveying this morning, found that there was nothing of any particular note either across the road (opp. Approach Rd) or around the bushes on the main site.  Viewing from the hide gave 5 Gadwall, 6 Shelducks, 20 Shoveler, c350 Teal, c400 Wigeon along with 15 Brent and 66 Greylag Geese. Waders in this vicinity were 2 Curlew, 8 Snipe, 26 Blk T Godwits (until 10.45hrs) and c150 Lapwings.  Birds of Prey consisted of 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine and 2 Marsh Harriers.  Two returning Colour-ringed Gulls were located in/on the Sewage Farm. MR.

10th - A very cold start this morning that after a while warmed up slightly and it was then mostly a glorious sunny day, however the temperature dropped rapidly just after mid-afternoon.  S through SSE winds of up to 24mph and gusting of up to 27+mph.  No reports returned.

11th - The very heavy rain from through the night had virtually stopped by 07.30hrs and within the hour, the skies had cleared to give a bright, if somewhat cool, morning.  Variable wind speeds of up to 24mph and gusting that reached 33mph before 08.50hrs were of SW through W in direction.  (By 21.00hrs, all in sight was ice-covered).  At least two observers were on and around the different areas of the site today.  Early viewing over the road this morning supplied the male Marsh Harrier, 2 Little Egrets, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Dunnock and 40+ Linnets of note, while a Great Spotted Woodpecker* was an addition to the Haven Year List while surveying at the Farm slightly later.  Also noted here, were 7 Goldfinches, 30+ Chaffinches and in the Paddock was a Song Thrush. AD.  Two hours of observations during the morning by another, yielded an adult Med Gull* on the scrape, while Common, L B B, Herring and Blk-headed Gulls numbered 1, 3, 90 and 140 respectively.  Singles of Rock Pipit, Barn OwlKestrel and Marsh Harrier, 2 Herons, 4 Cormorants, 8 Moorhens and 25 Stock Doves were also noted.  Waders, Ducks and Geese at this time were 1 Blk T Godwit, 2 Curlew, 235 Lapwings, 13 Mallards, 14 Shelducks, 17 Shoveler, 240 Teal, 440 Wigeon, 2 Brent and 69 Greylag GeeseSCA Firecrest* (Service Road by top end of memorials) was an afternoon find and today's third new addition to the Year List.  Viewing from near to the Raised Golf Tee, the same or another Med Gull was on the sea and in the localised area were 3 Turnstones and a Stonechat (fem).  Additional for the scrape during the afternoon, were 5 Snipe, a male Sparrowhawk was seen in the Carpark and just prior to dusk - viewed from the Sailing Club - there were 3 Little Gulls (2xad) milling around close off-shore. Another two Colour-ringed Gulls - both returning but different to those on 9th were also noted. AD.  

12th - Initial winds were of SE through Easterlies with speeds of up to 17mph and gusts of c20mph.  Bright and sunny form c08.00hrs but bitterly cold and the overnight heavy frost was still in place at this time.  A seawatching session early this morning, yielded 2 Guillemots (1 on the sea + 1 S), a Common Scoter, 17 Shelducks (9+5+2+1), a single Brent Goose and 13 Red-T Divers all moving S, while many other Red-T Divers were milling back and forth.  A Barnacle Goose* was a fairly brief staying visitor on the scrape, having dropped out of a flock of 200+ Brent Geese that flew over the scrape and hide on the route towards the sea.  Also viewed from the hide were 2 Little Grebes, 1 Snipe, 3 Turnstones, a drake Pintail and on the fields beyond the scrape, 2 Peregrines.  The pools beyond the memorials held a Curlew of note.  Three Herring Gull colour rings were read - one a returning bird, one was new to site and one was still around from yesterday. AD

13th - After rain throughout the night, the skies cleared somewhat by 08.00hrs and the sun was visible on the horizon.  Winds of c12mph being of a SW direction as at this time.  At least three observers made visits today covering the walks from both ends of the site - Holland and Frinton.  The trees and bushes through to the sluice gave little of note in respect of finches, thrushes or tits but a Green Woodpecker was seen, a Little Grebe was on the brook near the Memorials, a Sparrowhawk was viewed over the marshland and a Peregrine was sitting on the arable. MR.  Setting up the 'scopes by the sluice to view a Purple Sandpiper and 2 Turnstones that were further along on the seawall (above the rock breakwater), a line of 25 Red-T Divers came straight into sight.  These and another 80+ Red-T Divers flew S and another 3 flew N (Total 108+).  Additions to the Haven Year List came in the forms of 3+ Black-throated Divers* and a Great Northern Diver*, a drake Goldeneye*, 3 Dunlin* and 20 Knot* - all of these flying in a Southerly direction during this seawatch.  Other counts for this session included 2 Curlew, 7 Shelducks, 19 Pintails, 10 Brent Geese, 5 very distant Grey Geese sp. and 3 Guillemots again all heading S, while 3 Common Scoters flew N and another Guillemot drifted N close in on the tide. PRD/MR.  Walking in from the Frinton end during the morning, a pair of Stonechats were by the cut reeds next to the fleet 'enjoying the sunshine', 4 Skylarks were seen together and a Grey Heron flew over.  Surveying across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh provided the observer with noted counts of 2 Mute Swans, 6 Cormorants, 2 G B B Gulls, 42 Greylag Geese, 140+ Lapwings, 5 Shoveler, 7 Shelducks, at least 140+ Wigeon and numerous Teal.  A Little Egret was seen to fly over the scrape area, while back along the seawall were 2 Meadow PipitsBS.  

14th - The temperature today finally went from zero up to +5 degrees but dropped rapidly again by mid-afternoon.  Early Westerly winds of c9mph increased up to 26+mph, while gusting reached up to 30mph throughout.  Surveying earlier in the morning saw a Little Egret flying along the marsh beyond the Memorials, a Grey Wagtail was again in the Sewage Farm area and upon reaching the sluice, there was a Turnstone of note.  Viewing across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh supplied 22 Stock Doves, 5 Curlew, 8 Snipe, 220 Lapwings, 15 Shelducks, 16 Shoveler, c200 Teal, c350 Wigeon and c70 Greylag Geese - all from the hide. MR.  A brief session of seawatching - on the route back to the carpark areas - saw that 30+/- Red-T Divers were fishing off-shore, of which most were at some distance and several other Diver sp. were noted as passing beyond these. IM/MR.  The last species on today's report was that of the male Marsh Harrier seen over the marsh beyond the Memorials MR

15th - A mixed weather day of intermittent rain and brighter periods with winds of mostly SW through S in direction.  Of note, the Little Owl* was back in-situ today - in his normal haunt - while 20+ Greenfinches were also in and around the Memorials' area.  The Grey Wagtail was seen at the Sewage Farm, 3 Turnstones were seen from the sluice and off-shore, some 10+ Red-T Divers were moving S.  A single Little Grebe was located from the hide and counts of species across the scrape, included 12 Snipe, 8 Shoveler and 12 Shelducks with a note to the effect that Lapwings, Teal, Wigeon and Greylag Geese were in good numbers. IM/MR.

16th - SE winds prevailed with speeds of up to and in excess of 30mph and additional gusting of up to c36mph.  Generally overcast alongside on/off drizzle and rain that included at one point - some serious hailstones from an extremely dark sky!  A Reed Bunting in the 'clearing beside the Sailing Club Compound' and 2 Green Woodpeckers near the Memorials were pretty much 'it' for around the trees and bushes this morning.  Reaching the sluice area, an Oystercatcher was seen to fly S off-shore and 12+ Red-T Divers were seen to be fishing.  Amongst the counts  or the scrape during this survey were 2 Turnstones, 6 Golden Plovers* (the Plovers only brief visitors), 9 Curlew, 16 Snipe and 276 Lapwings, 1 Gadwall, 16 Shelducks, 19 Shoveler, c200 Teal, c400 Wigeon, 7 Brent and c70 Greylag Geese.  Across the fields and skyline viewing gave singles of Barn Owl and Marsh Harrier, whilst directly in front of the hide were 2 Little Grebes.  A Colour-ringed Herring Gull was also noted in/on the Sewage Farm, as was the Grey Wagtail. MR.

17th - After some very heavy rain throughout the night, the morning and indeed the day, proceeded to include on/off heavy rain too!  Occasionally, there were some brighter spells.  SSE winds of up to 31+mph were alongside gusting of up to 38mph.  A morning survey at the Farm gave 6 Corn Buntings* and 2 Reed Buntings of note, while feeding in the pond area were 30+ Chaffinches. IM.  During the afternoon, 2 Firecrests were located in bushes (service road/top of memorials area) and 3 Ruff* along with 2 Curlew and 14 Snipe were of note on the scrape.  A seawatch gave a single Gannet flying N and 11 Red-T Divers that were milling around back and forth off the coastline. AD.

18th - Rain throughout the night again but the morning, while some drizzle ensued, did become brighter and the day generally - while remaining a bit of a mixed bag - was not too bad.  Wind direction and speeds were of ESE, variable from c19mph through 23mph and gusting reached c26+mph.  Further to information received (March 9th 2014 via PL/GG), of a report of a Bittern* that was flushed from the reed bed between the Farm and the seawall today, this species has been retrospectively added to the Haven 2014 Year List. 

19th - And after yet another night of fairly constant and heavy rain, the downpours eventually eased at c07.30hrs. A mostly bright but chilly day followed - with the sun still being on view at 15.00hrs, by which time the winds were at SW, of speeds variable 10mph through 18+mph and gusting had reached up to 20mph.  Reported at 09.53hrs was that a 'stunning' male Hen Harrier* was seen to fly over the pools (beyond the Memorials) and was heading in the direction of Holland Pits.  During this survey by two observers, the Little Owl was again in his area, a Barn Owl was quartering the fields over the road and the viewing across to the fields beyond the scrape areas, gave 2 Peregrines (m+f), while a juvenile male Marsh Harrier was also in the vicinity.  The scrape and surrounding area (from the first turret) gave noted counts of 6 Curlew, 10 Snipe, 10+ Shelducks and 23 Shoveler. IM/PL.

20th - A very icy morning with vehicles still covered as at 08.40hrs and the temperature at this time, being at barely +2 degrees.  Some very light SW winds to start the morning, of speeds up to a maximum of 5mph and no relative gusting.  A few minutes spent surveying the Approach Road today, supplied views of 3 Goldcrests* in this area. DJ

21st - Another icy start to the day with a very slowly rising temperature - still below zero at -1 degree by 09.00hrs - and whilst a golden hazy glow came through at sunrise, the mist appeared more dense as at this time too!  The early WSW winds were of barely a breeze up c8mph with a few occasional extra blasts of up to 12mph.  There was a change of wind direction by 10.00hrs to S but little change in the speeds.  Of note for the trees and bushes today were the Little Owl, a Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrels, while a single Stonechat was in the area of the Moth Sanctuary.  The sluice held 5 Turnstones and species off-shore and on the sea were counts of 1 Great Northern Diver, 8+ Red-T Divers and a Gt. Crested Grebe. MR.

22nd - Grey, dismal and wet through to mid-morning with S through SSW winds of up to 21mph.  Brighter periods for late morning and the afternoon but a sharp drop in temperature by 16.00hrs.  A short seawatch took place (from by the Sailing Club) earlier in the morning, providing the observer with views of 1 Blk-T Diver (close SW), 10 Red-T Divers (3 on sea + 7SW) and 5 Little Gulls also flying SW. MR.

23rd - A mixed day of bright and grey periods and at one stage, very dark with some very heavy rain.  Wind speeds varied throughout from c12mph up to 25mph with gusting of up to 29mph.  Wind direction by 17.00hrs was at WNW.  No reports returned.

24th - Temperatures were below zero for first thing this morning and everything was covered in a very heavy frost.  WSW winds varied from 3mph up to 16mph and occasional gusting reached up to 19mph.  It remained bitterly cold but fairly bright through the morning.  No reports returned. 

25th - Wind direction varied WSW through WNW today with speeds lighter in the morning of c8mph but reaching 35mph later in the day, while gusting was generally between 18mph to 29mph and the late afternoon into evening speeds reaching up to and in excess of 57mph.  Cool and mostly grey until the early evening saw some very dark and weird skies as torrential rain and electric storms came across the area.  A morning visit by one observer provided views of a Linnet flock numbering 50+ that was over the 'set-a-side' over the road (opp. Approach Road), singles of Little Grebe and Sparrowhawk - both of these seen from the hide, while Wigeon and Teal were 'numerous' across the scrape's surrounding and very flooded fields/marshland.  Noted counts for the scrape vicinity were of 4 Snipe, 5 Turnstones, 1pr Gadwall, 10 Shelducks and 20+ Shoveler with a fly round/over and through of 25 Golden Plovers. IM.

26th - A colourful daybreak was short-lived with grey, dismal skies moving in, along with on/off drizzle that turned to rain.  SSW winds of 21mph through 24mph and gusting of up to 28mph.  (Severe weather warnings were being given out on radio c11.00hrs for predicted gale force winds and further stormy conditions for across the area).  An initial report for the site at 10.30hrs was of a Shag (Second Shag recorded here this month) that was on the rocks by the sluice. MR.  Earlier viewing over the road, gave 8+ Reed Buntings, 10+ Chaffinches and some 60+ Linnets - all of which were on or over the set-aside.  Apart from a Song Thrush and a Green Woodpecker, there was very little else to note around the trees and bushes through the site.  A Curlew was seen to fly S, 2 Red-T Divers were 'fishing' off-shore, while the slightly later return walk from the hide, gave 1 Purple Sandpiper (N) and 2 Turnstones (sluice).  A Sparrowhawk was in the vicinity as viewable from the hide, 1 Curlew, 5 Turnstones, 8 Snipe and c250 Lapwings were the Wader counts, while the duck numbers consisted of 11 Shelducks, 29 Shoveler, c200 Teal and c300 Wigeon. PL/IM/MR.

27th - A chilly start with the temperature at -3 degrees and it did not warm up too quickly either!  Early on/off rain and winds of WSW through SW with speeds variable up to 26mph and gusting of up to 33mph.  No reports returned.

28th - After some early rain, the day brightened to give 'some' blue skies amongst the cloud.  The strong winds were mostly of a S/SSW direction, variable 19+mph through 34mph with gusting of up to 39mph during the day.  The evening brought with it, very strong SSE winds with gusting in excess of 40mph.  A few species of note around the trees and bushes this morning with an apparent increase of Greenfinches, Chaffinches and Blackbirds.  At this time, c70 Greylag Geese were seen on the pools.  Along the route to the hide, viewing along the front and off-shore gave a Rock Pipit (top of beach/below first turret), a Grey Plover* flying S, 3 Pintails (2 drakes+1 duck) also heading S, 2 Red-T Divers flying N and c250 Wigeon that were sitting/drifting on the tide.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh (from the hide) were 1 Blk T Godwit, 4 Turnstones, 5 Snipe and c150 Lapwings, also 9 Shelducks, 24 Shoveler, c150 Wigeon and c200 Teal.  Also on the scrape was a hybrid Teal/Wigeon (see Gallery). The male Marsh Harrier gave the observer some brilliant viewing with the comment 'looked superb as it made a slow pass in front of the hide putting all to flight'. MR.

29th - On/off rain and drizzle combined with SE winds of speeds variable 24mph through and exceeding 27mph and gusting of up to 32mph. Very cold during the morning with the wind-chill factor.  The set-aside area over the road yielded c40 Chaffinches of note, as well as 25 Stock Doves within the viewing area.  A visit to the hide produced counts of 1 Snipe and c200 Lapwings, all alongside 14 Shelducks, 20+ Shoveler, c200 Teal, c400 Wigeon and 21 Brent Geese. IM.  Noted off-shore counts were of 10 Red-T Divers. IM/MR.

30th - Rain followed by on/off drizzle, cool and grey.  Winds were mostly of SE/SSE and moderate to strong speeds of 12mph through 19mph and gusting of up to 23mph.  This morning's visits began with one observer surveying the area across the set-aside from the lay-by next to the road bridge.  Noted species were 3 Skylarks, c15 Chaffinches, c25 Reed Buntings and some 60+ Linnets in this particular area. MR.  Moving onto the main site, a 45 minute seawatch took place (from the Sailing Club area) and yielded 8 Red-T Divers flying N and a further 6 Red-T Divers heading S, also 19 Curlews, 9 Shelducks and 10 Pintails flying S, while 4 Brent Geese seen to head N were most likely the same Geese seen to fly S just slightly later. IM/MR.

31st - Grey and overcast but the morning did see some brighter patches beyond the cloud.  S/SSW variable winds of up to 23mph and gusting was of up to 30mph.  The evening and night-time saw very heavy rain.  Two observers visited the site today and a further four species were added to the Haven 2014 Year List - bringing this January '14 total to the highest January count in the last four years.  An initial walk of the Approach Road gave a Woodcock*, whilst further up the site in the Memorials area, a Firecrest was near to Tariq. IM.  Viewed by two from the hide, a Bar-T Godwit* 'survived an attack' by 2 Peregrines, while 2 Canada Geese* were also a noted new Year tick.  The scrape also held 3 Gadwall, 21 Shelducks, 40+ Shoveler, c400 Wigeon and c500 Teal, with additional waders being 5 Golden Plovers and 200+ Lapwings. IM/PRD.  Further reports gave that 40 Linnets were again over the set-aside over the road and that during a short seawatching session, a Fulmar* was seen to fly S (11.26hrs) as did c15 Common Scoters. PRD.

As at 31st January, the Haven 2014 Year List stands at 96.  

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