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.

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Site Year Tick: *

July 2011  

1st - A very sunny, bright morning to start the new month, along with blue skies and a light NW breeze.  Wind strength increased slightly during the afternoon and a few more moderate strength gusts were around, while direction by early evening had become ESE.  The first report for July and the numbers and species on and around the scrape this morning, were 7 Blk T Godwits, 5 Redshank (+2), 4 Lapwings (+1), 1 Oystercatcher and 37 Avocets (ad+juvs), also 9 Teal and 6 Shelduck (+2).  A single Med Gull was viewed, as were 3 Grey Herons and 35 Blk Headed Gulls. JK

2nd - Another very bright, sunny day.  Bird-wise, it was much the same as yesterday but with the additions of 3 Marsh Harriers that were up on the thermals and a Cuckoo being vocal around the Sewage Farm. GG.

3rd - Hot, sunny and initially just a light SE breeze - later in the day the then light winds, moved to a SW direction.   Viewable birds today, noted over and above those from the last two days, included an adult Gannet and 3 Dunlin going S.  Today also saw good numbers of Linnets, along with Green, Gold and Chaffinches. GG/MR/PL.

4th - Blue skies, bright sun, a light SE breeze and as per the last few days, very very warm.  Visiting the site this morning, gave details of species around the trees and bushes as 10+ Common and 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 5 of each Blackcap and Reed Warbler and 2 Reed Buntings, with many young birds still on site including a newly seen Little Owl (see gallery) out on show with one of the adults.  The scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, supplied counts of 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Ruff (male), 29 Avocets (ad+juvs), 6 Redshank (+3), 7 Curlew and 2 Blk T Godwits, all alongside 6 Shelduck and 7 Teal. MR

5th - With temperatures around the +18 to +20 degree mark, it was another warm, dry one with once again, very light winds.  Wind direction varied slightly, beginning the day as SE, by mid-afternoon at ESE, then by the evening and bringing some rain into play, the direction was at WSW.  A brief visit to the hide this morning reported that much was the same as yesterday, although the Ruff had been replaced by a single Ringed Plover that was alongside the still remaining Common Sandpiper.  5 Blk T Godwits were noted, an increase on yesterday's count of two. MR.

6th - After a night of very much on/off rain, the morning skies although bright with the sun, still carried many grey clouds.  Mid-morning saw a spell of heavy rain before it brightened considerably to be a very warm, though blustery afternoon and evening.  Wind direction remained SSW, moderate strength for the morning, much stronger for the rest of the day.  Occasional gusts of up to c25mph.  Site visits today included a short time spent sea-watching, where all of the four species noted, were heading SW and were namely singles of Golden Plover and Whimbrel, 5 Curlew and 12 Swifts.  Noted for on the scrape were 2 Ringed Plovers amongst the Avocets, Lapwings and Redshanks. PRD/MR

7th - A cool and very cloudy start to the morning with the occasional sunny break-through.  Heavy rain for a short while just prior to mid-day and some moderate Southerly winds.  Rain fell again - actually it chucked it down - early into the afternoon before brightening up to give blue skies and bright sun.  Surveys across the scrape and the surrounding grazing marsh this morning, supplied totals of 24 Avocets (ad+juvs), 1 Oystercatcher, 5 Redshank (+3) and 3 Lapwing (+2), also 4 Med Gulls (2ad+1x2S+1juv) and 2 Yellow Wagtails (juvs).  The duck counts were reported as 5 Shoveler, 2 Shelduck (+2) and 17 Teal.  Viewable from the hide at this time were 3 juvenile Kestrels and a single male Marsh Harrier.  Later in the afternoon, a sea-watch failed to produce anything of any note. PRD/MR

8th - Again alot of rain during the night and into the early morning but this had stopped by 07.00hrs, leaving the skies grey but brightening.  Only a few hours later the rain was back with vengance and although on/off, it set in until the afternoon.  Winds were at SSW for the duration, moderate to strong with gusting of up to c37mph, alongside some very warm and humid temperatures.  A site survey from 15.00 to 17.30hrs, provided views of a juv LRP, 2 Common Sandpipers, 5 Blk T Godwits and 19+ Avocet (ad+juvs), also singles of Common Tern, Med Gull (ad), Yellow Wagtail (juv) and a male Marsh Harrier (ad/near ad).  19 Teal were noted, as was 1 Shelduck (+2), while off-shore, a single Oystercatcher was seen flying S. PRD.

9th - Initially alot of grey clouds against a blue sky with some sun.  By mid-morning it had become very sunny and bright with temperatures by early afternoon, reaching +23 degrees.  Moderate to strong winds turned from WSW to SW and remained so going into the evening.  On site today as at 11.30hrs, were singles of Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Little Owl (juv) and Sandwich Tern, while Blk T Godwits had increased to 21, Common Sandpipers were at 3, an LRP was still on view and Oystercatchers were at 2.  Also noted were 18 Avocets still in residence, alongside 5 Redshanks, 14 Teal, 2 Shelduck (+2) and 90+ Blk Headed Gulls. JK.  A quick 15minutes viewing this afternoon saw the additions of 2 Med Gulls (ad) and that the Blk T Godwits had increased again, up to 35. MR.  

10th - Light to moderate winds this morning, of SSW direction.  Generally quite a bit of cloud-cover although very bright at times and the temperatures still warm.  The day improved and became very hot with a slight rainfall during late evening.  Reported for today across the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and viewable airspace from the hide, were 1 LRP (juv), 3 Common Sandpipers, 4 Blk T Godwits, 28 Avocets (ad+juvs), 2 Sandwich and 2 Common Terns, 2 Med Gulls (ad) and a young male Marsh Harrier, while the duck count was at 10 Teal, 1 Shelduck (+2) and a single Shoveler (fem).  Generally around the site, there were some good numbers in the finch flocks "with lots of juvs", 20+ Greenfinch, 18 Goldfinch and 16 Linnet, while it would appear that both Common and Lesser Whitethroats have also done well with this year's breeding and subsequent fledglings. MR.

11th - Very bright from very early this morning, along with a quickly rising temperature - this locally, reached at least +24 degrees during the day.  Some cloud-cover entered the equation as the day went on and the winds, that were initially at NNE, turned to SSE by 18.00hrs.  Wind strength varied from light to moderate throughout.  The site was surveyed during the morning and the scrape proved to be holding a few extra waders, over and above those of the last few days.  Species and counts being 1 Ruff (male), 3 LRP's (ad+2juvs), 1 Ringed Plover (juv), 3 Greenshanks, 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 Blk T Godwits, 12 Lapwing (+1), 24 Avocets (ad+juvs) and 1 Little Egret.  Also noted, was a total of 150+ Blk Headed Gulls. MR.       

12th - After a humid night, the morning brought some moderate to strong NE winds and quite a cloud-covered sky.  The day remained mainly cloudy but warm, while going into the evening there was some light rain.  Located on the scrape this morning at 09.25hrs was a Pectoral Sandpiper*.  This particular bird is the eighth of this species to have been seen and recorded at the Haven. PRD.  Visits through to 17.00hrs, confirmed that the Pectoral Sandpiper was still on the scrape, alongside 2 LRP's (juvs), 3 Common Sandpipers, 4 Blk T Godwits and 26 Avocets (ad+juvs).  A Little Owl was noted near to the Sluice Cottages. SC/MRsl.

13th - An overcast and chilly start to the day, alongside some moderate NNW winds and gusts of c22mph.  The cloud-cover remained throughout, wind direction altered to NNE, while the wind gained in strength as did locally recorded gusting.  As at 11.05hrs, the Pectoral Sandpiper was still on the scrape at the Haven, along with a single Wood and 3 Common Sandpipers, 2 Ringed Plovers (juvs) and 21 Avocets.  1 Shelduck (+2) and 30+ Teal were in the vicinity and a male Marsh Harrier was also on view. MR.

14th - A cool, overcast morning with light on/off rain which continued through to mid-afternoon.  Wind direction being at NW and of moderate to strong in it's strength, complete with gusting locally of up to 30mph.  The Pectoral Sandpiper (see gallery) was still viewable on the scrape as at 09.00hrs this morning.  Other species seen from the hide during this surveillance included 1 Wood and 3 Common Sandpipers - these as per yesterday, also 1 LRP (juv), 1 Dunlin, 3 Blk T Godwits, 20 Avocets (ad+juvs), 3 Sandwich Terns and 2 Med Gulls (ad+juv), 29 Teal and a fem Shoveler.  Noted as it moved it's way along the back hedgerows, was a Cuckoo.  A short sea-watch was undertaken in the rain, producing 2 Gannets and 4 Grey Plovers all heading N. PRD/MR.

15th - In contrast to yesterday morning and from before 06.00hrs today, blue skies and bright sun came complete with the slightest of a NW breeze.  By mid-afternoon, the slight breeze was more of a moderate wind but it remained a glorious day throughout.  An adult Little Gull* was viewable on the scrape this morning but tended to be quite elusive by staying beyond the grass tufts for most of the time.  As for the Pectoral Sandpiper - this bird could not be located at all during the morning, then it finally appeared c14.00hrs for approximately 20minutes before once again going into hiding.  Morning surveys gave totals for all other noted species as 1 Marsh Harrier (male), 1 Med Gull (ad), 4 Blk T Godwits, 4+ Common Sandpipers, 1 Ringed Plover (ad), 2 Oystercatchers, 20+ Avocets (ad+juvs), 2 Shoveler, 15+ Teal and 2 juv Shelduck.  Off-shore, a Sandwich Tern was seen to head S, while 20+ Sand Martins moved through and a small movement of 30+ Goldfinch was also reported. JK/PRD

16th - Rain was promised for today and it certainly arrived!  Wet and cool this morning and initial light to moderate winds very swiftly changed to moderate to strong and a direction of SW.  Gusting locally, was up to c28mph during the day.  The rain continued into the afternoon with just a couple of hours - late afternoon into early evening - being quite pleasant before more rain.  Reported in at 09.30hrs, the Pectoral Sandpiper was once again viewable on the scrape, from the hide. IM.

17th - After a gloomy early start, bright sun and blue skies were beyond the clouds by 07.00hrs - however, from c09.00hrs onwards throughout the day, the sunny weather became very much "hit and miss".  Strong SW winds were complete with gusts of up to 32mph locally, along with on/off drizzle, heavy rain, hailstones and just for good measure, some thunder was thrown in too!  Reported on RBA pager service at 07.45hrs, was that the Pectoral Sandpiper was still on the scrape, viewable from the hide. (RBA).  Visits to the site and the hide slightly later, gave reports of 1 Hobby, 2 Marsh Harriers (ad male+juv), 2 Med Gulls (ad+juv), 4 Common Sandpipers, 7 Blk T Godwits, 19 Avocets (ad+juvs) and 5 Dunlin.  It would appear that the pair of Mute Swans have at least 4 of their Cygnets still surviving, whilst other noted species included c35 Goldfinches and 350/400 Starlings.  A Green Sandpiper had also been seen prior to 09.30hrs. JK/SCNo further reports were received/seen regarding the Pec Sand for today

18th - Overcast, cool and on/off rain this morning, alongside some moderate to strong SW winds and occasional gusts of c33mph.  By early afternoon, the weather was brighter with some blue sky amongst the cloud but temperature-wise, it was still cool.  After many Swifts had been noted heading South over local surrounding areas this last couple of days, the Haven had some 70+ moving through S during this morning's site survey.  5 Common Sandpipers and 12 Blk T Godwits were viewed from the hide at this time and were alongside singles of Dunlin, Curlew and Common Tern, also 17 Teal and 2 juv Shelducks (NB: Numbers of Shelduck ducklings and subsequent surviving juvs have been very low this Haven 2011 year).  The Avocets are slowly deciding to leave the scrape after the breeding season - with 16 being the combined total of viewable adults and juveniles this morning. MR.

19th - After the last few days of "wintery" weather, the summer was mostly back for today - bright, sunny, blue skies and light winds that varied SSW through S.  The very occasional gusting was up to c26mph and the evening saw a 5 minute fall of rain.  Site visits and a seawatching session were included in the reports that for both morning and afternoon, noted movements of Sand Martins heading S with at least 40+ during a morning survey and c20 more during a sea-watch from 15.00-16.15hrs.  Birds of prey were out and about today with 2 Common Buzzards, 3+ Marsh Harriers and 1 Kestrel all being viewed from the hide, whilst on and around the scrape itself, were 3 of each Common Sandpiper and Redshank, 13 Blk T Godwits, 17 Avocets, the 2 juv Shelducks, 12 Teal, 15 Greylag Geese and also a single Yellow Wagtail (juv).  In general, the trees, bushes and reedbeds held 5 of each Sedge and Reed Warblers, 12+ Linnets, 9 Whitethroats, the Goldfinch flock was at 25+ and a Lesser Whitethroat was seen as it was feeding it's young.  All species noted during the seawatching were heading SW and consisted of 23 Common Scoter (all in one flock), 2 Oystercatchers and 2 Sandwich Terns. MR/PRD.

20th - Once again and from very early in the morning, it was sunny with blue skies.  Winds were very light Westerlies and although these increased in strength slightly during the day, the day generally was very good and quite warm.  Light rain came into play for the evening.  The trees, bushes and reedbeds held much as per yesterday for species with just a slight variation in numbers, providing 5 Sedge and 8 Reed Warblers, 6 Linnets, 8 Common and 2 Lesser Whitethroats and 1 Little Owl.  2 Kestrels were noted this morning, as was a juv Marsh Harrier.  The scrape and it's surrounding areas gave 5+ Common Sandpipers, 10 Blk T Godwits, 1 Dunlin, 14 Lapwing, 30+ Greylag Geese and the still remaining 2 juv Shelducks and 16 Avocets. MR

21st - After an overcast and slightly grey start to the day - which was alongside on/off rain and light NNE winds, it dried out for a while to give a few pleasant hours.  By early afternoon however, some really dark clouds were moving in and they emptied heavy rain, several times, over the area.  Going into the evening, it was much like the start of the day, even to the point of after on/off rain, the setting sun gave some fantastic colours amongst the cloud.  A morning visit found that around the trees and bushes, the numbers were very much as per yesterday but saw the addition of 3 Blackcaps.  Southbound movement was noted again, this time being of 30+ Sand Martins and 20+ Swallows, after they had fed over the scrape first.  2 Marsh Harriers (male+fem) were seen to be quartering the grazing marsh, whilst a Barn Owl (ringed) perched atop the posts in front of the hide and good views were had of a Fox, as it sat on the straw mound over by the rear hedgerows.  The scrape was a hive of activity during this survey with some sixteen species making it to the notepad.  The subsequent counts were of 7 Green and 6 Common Sandpipers, 2 of each LRP, Ringed Plover and Curlew, singles of Ruff, Dunlin and a summer plumaged Turnstone, 3 Snipe, 23 Blk T Godwits, 28 Lapwings and 18 Avocets.  An adult Med Gull was included, as were c40+ Greylag Geese, 8 Teal and the 2 juv Shelducks. MR.  Although none of these species are unexpected at this time of the year, it is certainly good to see them on the Haven scrape, especially after a few fairly quiet weeks (barring the Pec Sand 12th-17th).  The Avocets have also mellowed somewhat and are indeed, along with their juveniles, slowly leaving the site after this breeding season and thankfully, allowing other passage waders to drop in on and utilise the scrape.

22nd - Alot of cloud was around during the morning but it was still quite bright and the sun eventually made it into another pleasant warm day.  Winds were predominantly NNW and of moderate strength.  Rain fell during the evening.  At 09.55hrs, an adult Little Stint* was located on the scrape amongst 6+ Common and 2+ Green Sandpipers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 3 Snipe and 16 Avocets, with the male Ruff and both the adult and juv LRP's also still present from yesterday.  A total of 37 Blk T Godwits were noted, 31 of which were already on the scrape and a further 6 dropped in to join them.  Teal numbers were at 6+, Shoveler and Cormorants were at 5 a piece, Greylag Geese at 45+ and 2 adult Common Gulls were also viewed.  3 Marsh Harriers were in the vicinity, being an adult fem, sub-adult male and an immature, while the last of today's noted species were a flock of some 30+ Goldfinch on the mounds. PRD/JK.

23rd - After a night and the early hours of constant rain, the morning changed to bring blue skies, bright sun, some cloud and NW winds of mainly moderate strength.  The clouds were back for the afternoon and it remained overcast through and into the evening until just prior to sunset - then the sky was just "alive with colour"!  Wind direction had turned to NNE and locally, wind gusts had reached up to c28mph.  A good year for Red Kites over, through and past the Haven site, with a sighting of a single Red Kite during today's morning visit.  2 Common Buzzards were also viewable.  The Little Stint was again on the scrape alongside 1 Green and 6 Common Sandpipers, 32 Blk T Godwits, 8 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, 2 LRP's, 3 Ringed Plovers and 1 juv Shelduck.  A Little Egret was noted, as were 7 Cormorants. JK.  An afternoon visit gave the additions of 1 Redshank, while Blk T Godwits had increased to 37+ and LRP's were up to 4 (ad+3juvs). MR.  Two members of the ringing team had 2 Willow Warblers during the afternoon. PNt/PRD.  

24th - Predominantly a pleasant weather day throughout, being warm, bright and sunny with some light to moderate winds.  The occasional dark grey clouds amounted to nothing and disappeared.  Surveying from the hide today, confirmed that the adult Little Stint was still on the scrape, as were a Green and 6 Common Sandpipers and also the 4 LRP's.  23 Blk T Godwits, 13 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plovers, 11 Avocets and the 2 juv Shelducks were noted, along with a Little Egret and a juv Yellow Wagtail.  Viewing across the scrape, grazing marsh and surrounding fields, provided the sightings of 3 Marsh Harriers (m+f+juv). MR.  Early morning visitors reported that a Kingfisher had flown in front of the hide.   

25th - Initially blue skies with the odd white cloud and some early sun - by 07.45hrs it was more cloud-cover than blue but the sun was really trying hard!  The day continued with alternating sun and full cloud, while the light NNW winds that began the day, increased to moderate strength, changed to NNE and by the evening had dropped to light once more.  Early visits this morning noted some 70-80 Swallows, while Starlings around the marsh numbered c400 and six Gull species were viewable from the hide.  The Little Stint was located again, as were the 4 LRP's, 2 Ringed Plovers, 23 Blk T Godwits and 2 juv Shelducks, whilst the Common Sandpipers were at 5 today, Dunlin at 11, Avocets had increased to 23 and 4 Teal were noted.  The Gull numbers and species were 1 adult Med, 5 Common, 4 G.B.B, 43 L.B.B, 7 Herring and +/-350 Black Headed. PRD/MR.

26th - Mainly a grey and dismal, although dry day today.  The early NW light winds did increase to moderate strength at times but the direction was pretty much constant.  Late movements yesterday/early this morning were noted by a slight change in numbers on the scrape during today's surveys - the Little Stint, was however, still on site.  The 5 Common Sandpipers had been joined by 3 Green Sandpipers, Blk T Godwits were at 34 and Teal were at 5.  Only 1 Ringed Plover was viewable, the LRP's were back down to 2, Dunlin at 6 and the Avocets numbered just 9 for the duration of these visits.  Seen from the hide was a single Marsh Harrier (male).  Trees, bushes, hedgerows, reedbeds and grassed/grazing areas were all scrutinised and subsequently provided (be they mostly regular species) a nice selection!  A Garden Warbler and 7 Yellow Wagtails were noted, also 1 Sedge, 2 Willow and 7 Reed Warblers, 6 Blackcap, 18+ Common and 5 Lesser Whitethroats.  An escaped "Harris Hawk" was not one of the Haven regulars but did decide to perch itself along the hedge-line! MR/PRD.

27th - Through until mid-afternoon, it was pretty much a grey day again with just a few morning appearances by the sun.  The odd attempt of rain throughout the day, failed to do any more than just spit.  A cooler temperature today, along with winds that began as light NNW and became NE and of a more moderate strength for late afternoon and into the evening.  Although a shorter than normal visit by one regular birder, the report covered species on and around the scrape, across the grazing marsh and also in and amongst the trees and bushes.  1 Garden, 2 Willow and 2 Reed Warblers were located, as were 3 Blackcaps, 8 Common and 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 8 Linnets, 4 Meadow Pipits and 2 Little Owls.  The wader count for the scrape and surrounding areas, gave 1 Green and 12+ Common Sandpipers, 34 Blk T Godwits, 3 LRP's, 2 Snipe and 1 Whimbrel, also 6 Dunlin and 12 Avocets.  Ducks noted were just 3 Teal - the two juv Shelduck have not been visible/reported for two days.  28 Greylag Geese and a juv Yellow Wagtail completed the numbers for the scrape, while birds of prey today were a male Marsh Harrier and a single Kestrel. MR.   

28th - A dubious sky and cool morning gave way to a very sunny and hot afternoon.  Winds were light to moderate for most of the day, dropping to a NNW breeze during the evening.  Site coverage - morning and afternoon - found that the trees and bushes were holding much as per yesterday and the young birds were plentiful.  2 juv Green Woodpeckers were noted in the normal Little Owl's tree and subsequently the Little Owl was atop a fence post.  Walking along to the Frinton end of site supplied views of 7 Yellow Wagtails along the seawall, while a female Eider was seen as she sat on the sea, prior to her flying NE.  Taking in the scrape and surrounding areas from the hide, provided 1 Greenshank, 2 Green and 8 Common Sandpipers, 1 Snipe, 6 Dunlin, 2 LRP's and 10 Avocets, along with 11 Teal and 30+ Greylag Geese.  Mid-afternoon saw the additions of a single Little Egret and also 23 Curlew that were initially beyond the scrape - the Curlews later flew in a NE direction. MR.

29th - This morning had a very warm and bright early start to it but by 09.00hrs, it was back to being dull and overcast......... and it continued to be as such throughout the day!  Wind direction was Northerly and mostly very light and occasionally there was not even a breeze.  A site survey from 08.30 to 12.45hrs provided another good mix of species but again nothing irregular - hopes are high however, for something pretty good arriving imminently on the now drier scrape area.  This morning, the scrape held 1 Wood, 1+ Green and 6+ Common Sandpipers, alongside 5 LRP's (ad+4juvs), 1 Ringed Plover, 32+ Blk T Godwits, 8 Dunlin, 5 Avocets, 13 Teal and briefly 2 Greenshanks.  A Little Egret was also noted, as was a juv Marsh HarrierWagtails were 4 Yellow and 10+ Pied (the latter being mostly juvs), Goldfinch numbers were at 25+, Meadow Pipits along the seawall were 12+, 10+ Sand Martins were seen, while the Frinton end of site gave 8+ House Martins.  Generally around the site were some 30+ Reed Warblers, being a mix of adults and juveniles, while the carpark areas held a few Common and a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and also a juv Willow Warbler. PRD

30th - By early afternoon, the promised sunny weather had failed to materialise and it had been up to that point, fairly dull, with just light N winds and a temperature that was none too bad.  Around 14.30hrs the sun finally put in it's appearance and it remained bright for the rest of the duration, while the winds, still mostly light, turned to SSW by the evening.  Early morning sightings were 1 Wood, 2 Green and 11 Common Sandpipers, singles of Ruff, Snipe, and Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank, 5 LRP's, 5 Avocets, 37 Blk T Godwits, 12 Dunlin, 15 Lapwings and 7 Teal.  A Hobby flew SE. GG/JK.

31st - A warm, sunny day with some moderate SSE winds.  Today's highlights again included singles of Wood and Green SandpipersGreenshank and Ruff.  Also on the scrape were 6 Common Sandpipers, 17 Dunlin, 6 Avocets, 41 Blk T Godwits and 4 Med Gulls (inc 1 juv).  Singles of Whinchat and Wheatear were near to the new hide, the Goldfinch flock of c30/40 were favouring the thistles, a Common Buzzard was seen to drift inland, 2 Sandwich Terns were feeding off-shore and 5 Yellow Wagtails flew singularly SW.  Quick views around the carpark trees gave 1 Little Owl and 2 Green Woodpeckers. MR/IM./GG.

As at 31st July, the Haven 2011 Year List stands at 158.