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*


1st - Well that was a good frosty morning to start the New Year!!  Everywhere covered in white - cars, pathways, birdbaths and puddles all very icy but at least it wasn't snow.  Many observers were out and about per the norm on 1st January and with at least 7+ birders covering the Haven site, the number of species noted today "64" has been collated from the various reports.  The Rough-Legged Buzzard made it straight onto this 2016 Year List as well as making it 10 weeks, 4 days on the site.  Common Scoter and Gadwall were among the listed Ducks, while Waders included Purple Sandpiper, Snipe, Golden Plover and Turnstone, the Geese were Canada, Brent and Greylag and the Gull species included Common and Yellow-Legged.  Along with the RLB, the Birds of Prey consisted Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard, while the regular Jays, Magpies, Rooks and Crows can have a mention on today's too.  Stock Dove got a look in on the reports, as did House Sparrow, Song Thrush and Corn Bunting.  The only Owl species noted was that of Barn Owl.  Off-shore sightings gave Gannet, Red-Throated Diver, Great Skua (Bonxie) and Great Crested Grebe amongst others. SC/PC/PL/IM/CP/RH/MR et.al.  To view the full list of the 64 species, please see above link "64".  Good birding to all during 2016 and grateful thanks for your continued reports.   

2nd - Not such a cold awakening this morning - just as well with it being the first weekend of the New Year and many observers keen to get their lists up and running or added too from yesterday.  Viewing offshore 08.30 to 09.00hrs (from Greensward shelter) 2 Bonxies flew S (08.40+08.50hrs) as did 3 Kittiwakes* (adults/1+2) while a single Common Scoter flew N.  A pair of Stonechats were on the brambles by the metal gate along the path above the beach (fem had a ring on right leg) and at 09.45hrs, the Rough-Legged Buzzard was near the Golf Course, 2 Common Buzzards were together a bit further S and a fem/imm Marsh Harrier* - initially by the treeline - was last seen hunting 'along the reedy dyke near the main hide'. GB.  Other surveys gave the additions of Little Gull*and Sanderling* (MJ/DD), also Mute Swan* (MR), while along the seawall there were 2 Rock Pipits (PBr).  Seawatching namely from 10.30 to 15.30hrs (DS) with between one and four observers (+PRD/IM/MR) together or watching from various points during this same period, yielded 3 Kittiwakes (2 being after 15.00hrs), 52 Little Gulls, 3 Gannets, 10 Bonxies, 18 Red-Throated Divers and 24 Brent Geese with the Ducks being 1 Goldeneye*, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers*, 7 Shelducks, 11 Common Scoter, 50 Wigeon and 52 Pintails*.  The majority of the offshore movement during these five hours was of a Southerly direction. DS/IM/PRD/MR + GB/PBr/MJ/DD.

3rd - A mixed bag of weather today with surveys beginning before and during the rain.  There were some strong SE winds thrown in for good measure again and the rain became extremely heavy later in the day.  A wander to the second turret prior to the wet stuff, yielded 2 Sanderling that landed briefly on the beach before flying S, 3 Turnstones on the rocks (DP/MR) and a Rock Pipit on the seawall (2nd turret).  At this time the RLB was not visible but a Little Grebe* was added to the Year List.  Viewing from the main hide supplied 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Marsh Harrier and 2 Kestrels of note and while actual counts were not made at this time, the culprits across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, included Grey Heron, Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon and Greylag Geese.  Waders consisted of Lapwings, Blk T Godwits, Curlew and 1 Dunlin*. MR.  Observing from the Sluice area upon the return walk to the Mounds, there were singles of Cormorant and Kittiwake, 4 Eider* and 5 Little Gulls (latter at 12.10hrs) all heading S. SC/ML/MR.  A Goldcrest* was another addition today, seen along the Approach Road. IM.

4th - The initial report in for today was of a survey up at the Farm from 08.40 to 10.30hrs.  Surveys in this area and subsequently leading down to the Haven itself are only to be undertaken along and viewing from the 'Public Pathways'.  Two species were added to the Year List during this wander - being of Mistle Thrush* and Peregrine*.  The former was a single bird, while 2 Peregrines were seen to be giving a bit of grief to a Common Buzzard.  Also noted were 4 Skylarks. IM.  Observations from 10.45 to 14.30hrs on and from the main site yielded of particular note, a male Stonechat, a single Peregrine at this time, 2 Common Buzzards and also the Rough-Legged Buzzard which itself, "showed well for about 20 minutes in flight over fields" beyond the main marsh road (B1032).  Along the front and off-shore were 2 Purple Sandpipers along with the Turnstones (on the seawall), numerous Little Gulls and Kittiwakes and reading the report.... plenty of Red-throated Divers! AT.  Other additions included an adult Med Gull* on the Golf Course and a Cetti's Warbler*. SG.

5th - Rain, sun and some chilly winds at times!  At least four observers were around the site at various stages today and there were three more species for the Year List.  Seawatching was a busy time throughout most of the morning - with the majority of movement S, the counts included 10 Knot*, 20+ Little Gulls, 1 Great Crested Grebe (on the sea), 7 Bonxies (one of which flew N), 1 Goldeneye, 1 Shelduck, 17 Brent Geese and 63 Red-throated Divers (6N) with notes of "alot of other movement" at greater distance.  The Greensward this morning held 6 Turnstones, while the Sluice held 2 Purple Sandpipers.  Surveying the scrape from the first turret found it to be much the same as recent days with good numbers of the regulars (the birds that is!) across these areas. IM/MR.  A wander through to the third turret by two, saw an Oystercatcher* flying S, 6 Meadow Pipits* that were feeding near to the second hide and the Rough-Legged Buzzard (13.45hrs) that flew towards the Frinton end of site and then to the ploughed field beyond the Golf Course.  Singles of Rock Pipit and Corn Bunting were noted, while the return to the carpark area, gave a Barn Owl that flew behind the Sewage Farm. IM/PRD.  Additions from a visit 10.30 to 14.00hrs, were of 2 Stonechats (pr), 1 Water Rail (heard), 3 Dunlin, 3 Purple Sandpipers (+/- previous 2), 23 Blk T Godwits and 2 Common Buzzards.  Counts of 2 Little Gulls, 25 Red-throated Divers, 27 Brent Geese and a Bonxie (overhead along the coastal path) may or may not be over/above the aforementioned birds. MP.

6th - Sunshine, fog, then clear and bright again.... then the return of the fog for late afternoon into early evening.  Thanks to the sudden appearance of thick fog by the time the observer had reached the Farm Pond - which is not too many yards from parking a vehicle - the Farm was abandoned and the Haven carpark trees and bushes were surveyed instead.  Counts here were of 1 Goldcrest, 3 Goldfinches, 1 Song Thrush, 8 Blackbirds, 1 Jay and a Green Woodpecker.  Continuing through to the seafront, the wander yielded 2 Stonechats, 2 Pied Wagtails, 3 Meadow Pipits, the juv Rough-legged Buzzard, 2 Common Buzzards and 3 Kestrels, while flyovers were of c70 Brent Geese.  Across the grazing marsh were Curlew, Lapwings and Blk T Godwits, Shoveler, Shelduck, Teal, Wigeon, Greylag Geese and also Stock Dove.  After lunch, a return visit to the Farm provided 2 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 10+ Blackbirds and a flock of 17 Linnets*. MR.

7th - Lingering off the Haven Outfall Buoy at c13.00hrs were 2 adult Little Gulls, while a bit earlier at 12.15hrs, 4 Little Gulls flew S. PRD.

8th - Of particular note, 4 Eider (1+3) flew S during the early afternoon, while additions to the Year List were Long-Tailed Tit* and Reed Bunting*PRD/MR.  The Rough-legged Buzzard was seen beyond the Golf Course. RBA.

9th - At least four observers were around the site today and observations included two seawatching sessions and a WeBS count.  The seawatching (07.30-10.15hrs and 13.00-15.45hrs) proved to see most of the movement heading in a Southerly direction.  Moderate SE winds gained strength as time wore on.  Again these counts included both Bonxies (8) and Little Gulls (8 total of which 3 adults flew S at c14.08hrs and a 1W that hung around the Sluice area at this time).  Other species were of 1 Kittiwake, 2 Guillemots*, 4 Gannets, 1 Red-Breasted Merganser, 4 Eider, 8 Common Scoters, 14 Shoveler and c50 Wigeon (latter two species on the sea).  Some 166 Red-throated Divers were noted as including '80+ flying S in a 5 minute period'. DS.  The WeBS counts and general site observations consisted 1 Snipe, 1 Bar T Godwit*, 15 Blk T Godwits, 20 Curlew and 360 Lapwings, 3 Little Grebes, 8 Moorhens, 2 Mute Swans, 1 Gadwall, 16 of the occasionally mentioned Mallard, 18 Shoveler, 140 Teal, 610 Wigeon and just 2 Greylag GeeseGulls counts yielded 1 Little Gull S (11.05hrs), an adult Yellow-Legged, 1 Common Gull, 3 L B B, 65+ Herring (including a colour-ringed NTGG gull) and 330 Black-headed.  Also noted were a Cetti's Warbler (singing over the road), 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Kestrels, 370+ Starlings and the juvenile Rough-Legged Buzzard that flew right in front of the main hide. SC/PC.

10th - The Rough-Legged Buzzard was reported as on the site during early afternoon. RBA.

11th - Of particular note around the site today were singles of Stonechat (male), Rock Pipit, Barn Owl, Common Buzzard and the Rough-legged Buzzard, along with notes of 10+ Red-legged Partridges. RB.

12th - No reports returned.

13th - Surveying around the site today for one observer, included a wander through to the second turret as well as viewing from the main hide.  Along the route, two colour-ringed Herring Gulls (NTGG & Suffolk) were seen in/on the Sewage Farm area while the Sluice held 4 Turnstones.  The counts from the hide yielded a Little Grebe and 3 Grey Herons, 18 Curlew, c20 Blk T Godwits, 51 Golden Plovers and c300 Lapwings across the scrape and the surrounding grazing marsh, with Ducks and Geese numbering 2 Gadwall, 2 Shelducks, 8 Shoveler, c150 Teal and c500 Wigeon, 5 Brent and 58 Greylag Geese.  Birds of Prey at this time (viewable from the hide) consisted 1 Peregrine, the juvenile Rough-Legged Buzzard (that gave some good views slightly later during the walk to the second turret), 2 Common Buzzards and also 2 Kestrels.  Only 3 Stonechats were added on the walk to the second turret - with notes of 'little else' being around on this pleasant morning. MR.  Seawatching from 09.23 - 13.21hrs in moderate W winds and also sunny, provided of particular note a single Curlew, 3 Bonxies and 18 Brent Geese all heading S, also 2 Guillemots and 141 Red-Throated Divers, while 20 Wigeon flew N. DS.

14th - The Rough-Legged Buzzard was reported as being on the site this morning. RBA.  Of further note, an NTGG (North Thames Gull Group) colour-ringed Herring Gull was seen in/on the Sewage Farm. MR.

15th - After yesterday's late afternoon into evening snow flurries and a definite further drop in temperature, many local areas were a bit on the icy side this morning.  Seawatching from 07.45 to 12.00hrs today was in temperatures of barely +1 degree with strong NW winds to 'help' with the chill factor!  Proving to be a quiet session, noted movement was mainly S and included 4 Pintails, 10 Red-Throated Divers, 21 Brent Geese and 34 Lapwings.  A single Common Scoter was seen to fly N and plenty of Cormorants were viewed. DS.  Viewing from the main hide today, the counts were much as per those of 13th January including a flock of c50 Golden Plovers being amongst the Lapwings.  Additional species for across the scrape and marsh today were of a Snipe and a Barn Owl.  The Rough-Legged Buzzard took itself on a flight along the Greensward (towards the Sailing Club) before flying over the Dipping Pond and back to the marsh area. MR.

16th - Of particular note today, the Rough-legged Buzzard was seen to be beyond the Golf Course, while drifting S on the sea (close in) was a Year Tick in the form of a Shag*. RA.  Of further note and another site Year Tick was that of a Little Egret*. MR.

17th - Surveying the site today, numbers across the scrape and surrounding marsh were found to be similar to those of recent days, although first thing this morning, there were some c150 Golden Plovers on the marsh prior to the flock being flushed by a Peregrine, whereby the Golden Plovers took flight beyond Gt. Holland Church and were lost to view. MR.  At c15.00hrs, the Rough-legged Buzzard was reported as showing well 'over and then sitting on the Golf Course. BC.

18th - No reports returned.

19th - Just a bit chilly this morning...... the main and smaller scrape areas, along with various places along the Brook were all frozen!  Three observers subsequently went to the Farm to see what species could be located from there.  Good numbers of both Lapwing and Golden Plover were on the arable, while 2 Song and 2 Mistle Thrushes were noted, as were 2 Corn Buntings, c50 Linnets, a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker* and a Common Buzzard.  (The Rough-legged Buzzard (IM) was seen later during the early afternoon). PRD/IM/MR.  A continued wander through the main Haven site located a Bearded Tit* in the reeds between the Golf Course Dump and the footpath. PRD.  

20th - Surveying this morning began with a walk along the front to the Raised Tee - providing counts of 1 Meadow Pipit, 2 Rock Pipits, 2 Pied Wagtails and 2 Stonechats, as well as a Robin along the seawall.  The Rough-legged Buzzard was evident across/over the marsh, while c100 Wigeon, 7 Shoveler and a few of each Teal, Curlew and Blk T Godwits were spread across the marshland, mostly due to a still frozen scrape.  Seen on the arable were c250 Lapwings.  Some c400 Wigeon had taken to sitting on the sea, 2 Gt. Crested Grebes were also sat off-shore and 3 Shelducks flew S.  The Sluice held 4 Turnstones and the Sluice Rocks, a colour-ringed NTGG Herring Gull. IM/MR.  

21st - Not too long was spent on the site today before the weather turned too bad, however the site was generally found to be quiet and even as year ticks go, only an Oystercatcher could be added to a personal list. MR.

22nd - Surveying from the hide today gave counts across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh of a single Grey Heron, 3 Snipe, 11 Blk T Godwits, 15 Golden Plovers, 26 Curlew and c300 Lapwings, alongside 3 Gadwall, 9 Shoveler, c80 Teal, c450 Wigeon, 2 Canada and 57 Greylag Geese.  The skyline yielded 2 Kestrels and 2 Common Buzzards.  Of particular note, 'a large number of Gulls' were seen in/on the Sewage Farm and it must have been a 'family day out' for 4 colour-ringed NTGG Herring Gulls. MR.

23rd - A morning visit added a Kingfisher* to the Haven 2016 Year List and noted yet another colour-ringed NTGG Herring Gull in the Sewage Farm plus 2 others on site.  The Rough-legged Buzzard was seen during mid-morning. MR.  Notable additions to the days species were of a single Rock Pipit and 3 Purple Sandpipers. SS/NM/SP

25th & 26th - Little to note in general but both days gave sightings of 2 NTGG colour-ringed Herring Gulls (being 4 different birds). MR

27th - No reports returned.

28th - During a seawatch session, where Red-throated Divers were the main off-shore species, some 80+ were in one instance, flushed from the sea by a passing trawler. MR.

29th - No reports returned.

30th - Of particular note, flying through together at 10.30hrs and very close inshore, were both a Red-throated Diver and a Black-throated Diver*. DP.  A couple of hours on the site during the afternoon (13.30-15.30hrs) supplied of note, the Rough-Legged Buzzard (far side of Golf Course being mobbed), 1 Kestrel, 1 Meadow Pipit, 7 Stonechats (between the seawall and the reedbeds) and 100+ flock of Starlings. SJ.

31st - The Rough-legged Buzzard was reported as still on the Haven site. RBA.

As at 31st January 2016 the Haven 2016 Year List stands at: 94.