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). 

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Site Year Tick*

JANUARY 2015

               HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL & GOOD BIRDING IN 2015

And the Haven 2015 Year List stands at: 0 this morning, ready to start another 'bird-filled' Haven Year.

1st - With at least four of our regular Haven observers on and around the site throughout the day and covering all areas, the emphasis - per every Jan 1st - was not on the number seen of each species but just how many 'species' one could locate on this particular day.  The combined reports from these birders gave an overall total of 51* species for this New Year's Day.  Down by 1 against last year's one-day total but always interesting to some, to compare the likes of the 2014 and 2015 day listing when some thirteen species on Jan 1st 2014 could not be located today and subsequently, twelve species from today were not located on site last Jan 1st.  To compare some of the Haven's previous 'Jan 1st' day counts, please follow our 'Recent Sightings' links for the respective years on the header bar above.  Included within the fifty species today were Little GrebeLittle Egret, Gadwall, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Blk T Godwit, Curlew and Turnstone, Common and G B B Gulls, Stock Dove, Skylark, Wren, Stonechat, Goldcrest, Blue and Great Tits, Starling and Goldfinch.  Birds of Prey featured better today than Jan 1st 2014 with Kestrel, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard all being seen but again per this day last year, there were no Owls visible anywhere across the site. MR/IM/PL/AEC.  The Haven 2015 Year List is now up and running - thanks again to all who help to provide the information for our Haven records and website. 

2nd - Again there were several birders out and about - definitely keen to add to their 2015 listing, always seeking to locate that 'special' bird and to generally observe our feathered friends.  Along the Approach Road first thing this morning there were additions of L-T Tit*, Chaffinch* and Greenfinch* along with Jay*.  A Chiffchaff* was located in the Feeding Station (beside the Sewage Farm), while Greylag Geese* were viewable from the main hide.  Counts were made for the areas of the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and visible skyline and consisted of 12 Blk T Godwits, 24 Curlew, 220 Lapwings, 8 Cormorants, 2 Gadwall, 4 Shelducks, 33 Shoveler, c350 Teal and c400 Wigeon.  The Geese comprised 7 Greylag and c700 Brents.  Singles of Kestrel, Marsh Harrier (male) and Common Buzzard were also seen from this viewpoint. MR.  Further additions to the Year List, were in the form of Grey Wagtail*, Yellowhammer*, Song Thrush* and Sanderling*. PRD.  A visit to the Farm supplied c15 House Sparrows* and 10+ Red-legged Partridges*. IM.  A run along the front 12.30 to 13.15hrs produced little of note at this time - coming in from the Frinton end of site and the return....where by all accounts PBr needs to 'up his pace' to keep up with his now 'faster' son!  Singles of Pied and Grey Wagtails, Meadow Pipit and Turnstone were viewed, while both Kestrel and Common Buzzard may have been the same birds or over/above the earlier reports.  The Brent Geese beyond the scrape during this 'run' were deemed later upon their evening flight to be at a count of at least 650, so little if any change in this flock number during the day. PBr/MBr.

3rd - Overnight heavy rain continued into the morning and on/off throughout the day.  Maximum temperature readings for the coastline were of +6 degrees, although with wind-chill factors this was effectively lower..... and by early evening, it was just +2 degrees and due to fall further!  Wind speeds and gusting today varied 5mph through 23mph and up to 27mph respectively.  Evening direction of NW/NNW prevailing.  Observations today added a further two species to the Year List, being Snipe* and Canada Geese* with counts of 3 and 17 respectively, as viewed from the hide. IM/PL.  

4th - A very white heavily frosted morning along with wide spread mist.  By late morning, alot of the frost was disappearing but with temperatures scraping just above freezing, the mist became more dense.  The morning wind direction of NW moved prior to mid-afternoon to WNW - speeds varying c5mph through 14+mph and extra blasts were of up to 16mph at this time.  A murky day for surveying the site but views were gained of a Water Rail* seen from the hide (IM/PL), 20+ Golden Plovers* that flew over the scrape (IM/PL/MR), while a walk to the third turret, gave further Year List additions of a Rock Pipit* which was on the seawall and a Green Woodpecker* that was atop a fence post by the second hide.  Also located during this survey, were 3 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks below the seawall and 4 Stonechats. IM/PL.  Seen to be feeding on the sluice was a single Sanderling. MR.  Other observations gave a Mistle Thrush* (farm) and a Reed Bunting* over the road.  Of note, a colour-ringed Blk T Godwit with a dodgy leg (limp) was on the site today. AD.

5th - With wind-chill factors, the day barely managed to reach +5 degrees, while the winds themselves (SSW) varied from 5 through 17mph prior to mid-afternoon and gusting reached c20mph.  Initial reports (mid-day) gave a Bearded Tit* in the reeds c100 yards SW of Golf Course, while a Water Rail (heard only) was in the ditch between the Golf Course and the seawall. PRD.  Both a Goldcrest and a Green Woodpecker were within the carpark areas and viewing from the main hide included counts of 2 Little Grebes (front of hide), a Kestrel and a Common Buzzard.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, observations gave 12 Blk T Godwits, c200 Lapwings, 2 Grey Herons and c700 Brent Geese (the latter on the arable).  No actual counts today for the ducks but Shoveler, ShelduckWigeon and Teal were all noted in the vicinity. MR.  A wander along the seawall area - opposite the Golf Course (13.00-14.00hrs) - yielded a single Purple Sandpiper on the rocks and 3 Snow Buntings* that were 'moving through in a Southerly direction'. SB.

6th - A dismal, grey day with very cool readings of +4 degrees with the wind-chill factor.  Wind direction again prevailing at SSW with general speeds and gusting of up to 25mph and 30mph respectively.  A slightly later start today although this did allow the observer to see a Kingfisher* by the 'hump-back bridge' prior to choosing to survey along the Haven seafront and head towards the Frinton end. MR.  Two observers found that there was not very much to note during the walk, however, 2 Turnstones, 3 Stonechats and 3 Meadow Pipits were viewed, along with a Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrels and over on the arable, a large flock of Brent Geese.  The scrape revealed much as in recent days. MR/TS.

7th - A frosty morning (again) and obviously quite cool, there was a slight increase in the temperature during the morning and by late afternoon, weather conditions were very wet.  SW winds prevailed by the evening, speed and gusting of which had reached 32mph and 37+mph respectively.  No reports returned as yet.  

8th - No frost for this morning...... just constant rain!  Initial winds were SW and mostly c6mph to 10mph but these as predicted, changed during the morning to NNW then back to W with a definite increase of speeds up to 32mph and gusting in excess of 37mph.  The sun did eventually show itself for a short while today, while dusk was at 16.30hrs - slowly but surely the days are drawing back out!  A mid-afternoon walk to the second turret yielded views of a S E O* as well as 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Stonechats, singles of Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard and c500 Brent Geese (latter on the arable) of particular note. MR.

9th - A warmer start to the day with temperature readings for the coastline of +10 degrees by 07.45hrs.  Variable wind direction of WSW through NW of c11mph through 33+mph and gusting also varying up to 38mph (the higher speeds of both mostly pre 09.00hrs).  No reports returned.

10th - On/off rain (including a couple of sudden downpours), strong winds, very cool and just a little bit of sun for today. No reports returned.

11th - While it was mostly a bright day, high winds were again mostly in play - culminating in speeds of 31mph and gusts of at least 36mph - that in turn kept it very cool indeed along the coast.  With the wind-chill factor of these WSW through NNW directional winds, temperature readings varied up to a high of +4 degrees and down to a low of -2 degrees.  With everywhere still very wet and some locally flooded areas still apparent, two observers took a walk to the main hide (taking a little bit of shelter from the harsh winds) and surveyed the scrape, surrounding marsh and viewable arable land.  A Little Grebe was in front of the hide, while singles of Little Egret, Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard were noted, as were 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Stonechats and 11 Red-legged Partridges.  Counts were also made of 1 Pintail* (duck), 3 Shelducks, 12 Shoveler, c300 Wigeon, c400 Teal, 9 Greylag and 9 Canada Geese, while the c600 Brent Geese made a few short visits down to the scrape from the arable beyond.  Waders consisted of 12 Curlew and c70 Lapwings.  Slightly later, a short seawatch yielded just a Red-throated Diver* of particular note - this being the second bird to be added to the Year List today. IM/MR.

12th - The temperature gauge said it was slightly warmer?  Very strong winds (SW by the evening) varied 17mph through 31+mph and gusting reached a high of 39mph.  Intermittent drizzle and rain throughout - mixed at times with brighter skies.  Observing across the scrape, grazing marsh, bushes and hedgerows from the hide, supplied counts of 2 Stonechats, 2 Snipe, 3 Curlew, 8 Blk T Godwits (including the colour-ringed bird from 4th Jan) 100 Lapwings, 4 Shelducks, 5 Gadwall, 23 Shoveler, c350 Wigeon and c400 Teal.  Also noted were 5 Canada, 9 Greylag and c700 Brent GeeseMRAn afternoon walk from the Farm down through to the seawall and the return wander (using public footpaths), found that these areas were indeed very quiet of birds - the only species of any particular note being an Oystercatcher* that was seen to be feeding on the Golf Course. IM.

13th - A very wet, rainy start was followed by sun and blue skies with another (half-hour) downpour at c14.15hrs.  Wind direction varied W through NW with early speeds of 33+mph dropping to c7mph but increased by night-time up to 40mph, the wind-chill factor at this latter time bringing the temperature down to -1 degree.  Gusting 'highs' reached 37+, 16 then 46mph respectively.  The Approach Road was the main area for one survey today, yielding 1 Cetti's Warbler* (heard), 2 Goldcrests, 5 House Sparrows, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Jay and 1 Green Woodpecker of note.  Observing the scrape and surrounding area from the first turret gave 2 Stonechats, 1 Little Egret, 10 Curlew, c500 Brent Geese (moving from/to sea, scrape and arable), a single Kestrel and 2 Common Buzzards.  The regular culprits on and around the scrape were in numbers similar to recent days. MR.  During an afternoon survey, there were 2 S E O's viewed (13.20hrs) as they quartered the grazing marsh. PRD.

14th - Chilly in the WNW/NNW winds this morning but bright sunny skies too!  Wind speeds mostly variable 18mph through 26mph with gusting of up to 33+mph.  The wind-chill factor along the coast proving temperature readings of barely above freezing (out of the wind, just about reaching +4 degrees).  Winds by the evening had turned to S. A site visit that took place 09.30hrs to 12.00hrs included counts for Waders, Ducks, Geese and Gulls.  Yielding 1 Snipe, 5 Blk T Godwits, 155 Lapwings, 3 Shelducks, 12 Mallards, 20 Shoveler, 185+ Teal and 610 Wigeon, the survey also noted 5 Greylag and 430+ Brent Geese (inc. a piebald individual), as well as 1 L B B, 2 G B B, 4 Common, 100+ Herring and 280 Blk-headed Gulls.  Singles of Cormorant, Grey WagtailGreen Woodpecker and 'IM' were viewed, while Birds of Prey consisted of 1 Kestrel, 1 Marsh Harrier (fem) and 2 Common Buzzards. SC.

15th - A mixed 'weather bag' today with sun, sudden heavy downpours, variations in sky colour and temperature, along with at times, some very strong SSW through WSW winds.  A shorter visit than normal for one observer who with a second, viewed the scrape and surrounding areas from the main hide.  There was a notable decrease in the Geese today with a single Canada and just c100 Brents to be seen.  Counts included singles of Little Egret and Grey Heron, 5 Blk T Godwits (again including the colour-ringed bird which was much closer to the viewpoint - with a swollen right knee joint), 180 Lapwings, 5 Shelducks, 29 Shoveler, c150 Teal and c350 Wigeon.  A Sparrowhawk and a Common Buzzard were also viewed. IM/MR.  The earlier route past the sluice yielded 3 Turnstones on the seawall while 4 Purple Sandpipers were on the sluice rocks. MR.

16th - The fairly bright dawn was followed by mottled grey skies with winds of a variable SSW/SW direction and speeds varying from c5mph up to c13mph - later speeds proved up to 30mph and gusting up to 34+mph.  A 'cool' start to the morning with a temperature of +5 degrees that as predicted dropped as the day proceeded and the winds turned to NW/NNW.   At least three observers visited the site today with surveys being both individual and jointly.  The route to the main hide gave a Red-T Diver (MR) flying SW offshore while the scrape and surrounding areas, provided 1 Little Grebe, 1 Little Egret, 1 Blk T Godwit, 9 Curlew and 170 Lapwings, along with c20 Shoveler, c200 Teal, c350 Wigeon and 3 Greylag Geese.  The Brent Geese at c500 were on the arable.  Also noted from this view point were 19 Red-legged Partridges, a Kestrel and a Common Buzzard. IM/MR.  Once back at the Sluice and with a third observer, the decision to have an hour's seawatching proved to add a further four bird species to the Haven 2015 Year List.  Heading N through this survey were just 11 Brent Geese while the notable Southbound species were singles of Sanderling, Turnstone, Great Northern Diver*, Black Throated Diver* and Velvet Scoter*, also 5+ Great Crested Grebes*, 16 Wigeon and c20 Red-T DiversIM/MR/PRD.  An afternoon wander saw that a S E O (c15.40hrs) was again over the marsh area, as was a Barn Owl*.  A male Stonechat was located near to the first turret while offshore at this time, the only notable bird was a single Gt. Crested Grebe sitting on the sea. MR.  During the morning, a Black Brant was located within the then arable-based Brent flock. PRD.

17th - The noted bird for today was viewed during a ringing session and was that of a male Goshawk* which as it flew through the site at c11.00hrs, proceeded to put everything up from the scrape. PNt.

18th - Yet another very cold day with temperatures spending more time being 'closer to zero' from above and below the mark!  A visit to the site this morning yielded a White-fronted Goose* on the scrape (10.56hrs) while a search of trees, bushes and the like, gave a Firecrest* that was seen from the viewing platform (by Memorials). IM.  A mid-afternoon survey reported that the adult W-F Goose was still on site, as was the Black Brant (adult) - the latter being amongst the c800 Dark Bellied Brent Geese.  Also noted were 1pr Stonechats, c200 Golden Plovers, 2 S E O's and a single male Marsh Harrier. PRD.

19th - The initial dawn break saw a temperature of -1 degree with some very chilly Northerly winds.  These turned slightly over the next hour to NNW with speeds varying c9mph through 14mph and extra blasts of up to 17mph.  At least five observers were on and around the site today with surveys including that for across a 'frozen scrape' as well as along the bridal path towards the Raised Golf Tee (seawall/towards Frinton) and further continuing up said path.  Noted from the main hide were 230 Golden Plovers (field above the owl boxes), also c400 Lapwings, 2 Kestrels and a Common Buzzard.  On a Wildlife note, a Fox was in the vicinity.  Teal and Wigeon were not counted today but there were plenty of both and mostly visible on the area seen from the viewing platform (by Memorials)SC/PC/TS/JH/MR.  Continued observations during the walk by two observers, yielded singles of SnipePurple Sandpiper and Song Thrush (latter bird by Golf-C sheds), while a large Golden Plover flock flew over - consisting of some c400 birds but thought to probably include the earlier noted flock of 230.  Brent Geese were constantly dropping in to join the flock already on the 'dipped' field beyond the Golf Course/grazing marsh - better viewed from the top of the bridal path and the geese being the main objects of this particular walk.  Brent numbers were deemed to be 1200+ of which - during c30minutes of scoping this flock - there were at least 200-300 birds only visible by their heads and unfortunately there was no sign of the Black Brant nor any Pale-Bellied.  A recently seen 'piebald' individual couldn't be located either (prev. 14-01-15).  This field area did however add some 15 Skylarks and 21 Pied Wagtails to the day's counts and species.  The return walk back to the main Haven site provided views of a Gt. Crested Grebe that was close offshore towards the Frinton end. SC/PC.      

20th - After a bitterly cold night, the morning followed with a temperature of -2 degrees at 06.00hrs....... and alot of cars being scraped free of the heavy frost!  There were bright spells on/off through the day and whilst it 'warmed' to above freezing, by 16.00hrs and with the now Southerly winds, another sudden temperature drop took place.  Winds reached speeds (and gusting) in excess of 22mph (and 26+mph).  No reports returned.  

21st - No heavy frosts around early this morning just very grey with some light but icy rain.  The initial SSE winds of 07.00hrs, turned to SE and of speeds up to 27mph with the extra blasts being of up to 33mph.  The early a.m. temperature was at -3 degrees with the wind-chill factor and this had moved up to just below zero by mid-day.  A few on/off mixed snow and rain showers occurred locally.  No reports returned.

22nd - Early winds on this very chilly morning, being of a NE direction with speeds up to 14mph and gusting just slightly higher at c17mph.  Surveying the trees, bushes and hedgerows of the carpark this morning, yielded singles of Jay, Green Woodpecker and Goldcrest, 2 Song Thrush, 30+ Blackbirds and 2 good sized flocks of L-T Tits.  Observations from the main hide saw the c700 Brent Geese (inc. piebald bird) move back and forth from arable and the scrape but no Brant was seen amongst them.  Greylag Geese at this time numbered 14, while noted Ducks were 12 Shoveler, 150 Teal and c300 Wigeon.  Waders included 10 Blk T Godwits, 21 Curlew, 70 Golden Plovers (arable) and c200 Lapwings.  Also noted was a Common Buzzard. MR.

23rd - A frosty start with WNW through NW winds of up to 16mph and a sun that tried its best to appear.  No reports returned.

24th - Early afternoon observations from the main hide included 2 Fieldfares* that flew over the scrape. PRD/IM.  Further counts from this viewpoint consisted of 1 Little Grebe, 1 Little Egret, 4 Blk T Godwits, c20 Curlew, 19 Shoveler, 1 Common Buzzard and 2 Kestrels. IM.

25th - No reports returned.

26th - At least three observers were on and around the site today covering various areas of the site.  Located amongst a small flock of Brent Geese on the arable were 1+ Black Brant. MR.  One of today's surveys 'around and looking from' the Memorial area found that a Little Owl* was in the field beyond the brook. TS.  Additional viewing from here (platform) gave 11 Blk T Godwits, 22 Curlew and singles of both Kestrel and Marsh Harrier. IM.  Noted species across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh (from the main hide) included 1 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 19 Shoveler, c200 Teal, c350 Wigeon and c100 Brent Geese.  A Common Buzzard was also viewable. MR/TS.  A slightly later look from/by the road bridge (just along the marshes from the Approach Road) gave the observer some very good views of both a Kingfisher and a Little Egret. IM.

27th - A chilly day again but as also noted on the reports 'a bit like Spring...& Skylarks singing...all very pleasant'.  On a Wildlife note, 2 Brown Hares were seen to be boxing on the arable.  The Approach Road gave a singing Song Thrush, while the bushes (busier today) held Blue, Great and L-T Tits, Chaffinch and Goldfinch all to be seen and noted.  Viewing from the Platform across the fields beyond the brook, yielded 2 Common Gulls, 6 Greylag Geese, 11 Blk T Godwits and some 25 Curlew.  Continuing onto the main hide, the observations from here added to the 2015 Year List, a Yellow-legged Gull* that was amongst the 182 Brent Geese for a short while before it took flight in a SW direction.  Singles of Little Egret and Grey Heron were recorded, as were 20+ Golden Plovers, 140 Lapwings, 2 Shelducks, 29 Shoveler, 150 Teal, 350 Wigeon, a Common Buzzard and 2 Kestrels.  The walk back to the Sluice saw 6 Pied Wagtails in this vicinity. IM/MR.  The fir trees by the Sluice Cottages held a Little Owl. IM.

28th - No reports returned.

29th - Another frosty start with W through WNW winds of up to 28mph and gusting of up to/in excess of 33mph.  A maximum of +3 degrees along the coast during the day but mostly bright and sunny.  No reports returned.

30th - A touch of snow today - nothing very drastic though!  Very much still on the cold side but its January!  No reports returned.

31st - A bit more snow arrived overnight and a bit of a flurry for the earlier part of the morning....... bigger flakes during another couple of attempts later in the day, as well as sleet and rain appearances.  Again nothing major at all and considering what some other parts of the UK have received with snowfall this last week, this area so far has been very lucky.  The first report for today was of a Red Kite* that was viewed from the Platform (Memorials area) at c09.53hrs. IM.  A wander to the third turret gave two observers additional noted species of 2 Gannets* (both adults) and a count of 4 Purple Sandpipers that flew in to the rocks below the second turret. PL/IM.

As at 31st January 2015 the Haven 2015 Year List stands at: 92.

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