Holland Haven Birding

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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 2012  

1st - A glorious morning to start July with blue skies, bright sun and temperatures that prior to 09.00hrs, had already reached +15 degrees.  Continuing, as per yesterday, with winds of a WSW direction, these began the day as strong (18mph through 23mph), complete with gusting of up to 31mph which later reached 35mph.  A small amount of rain occurred.  With at least one observer on site this morning, the initial report (further to viewing from the hide at 09.35hrs), gave counts of the pair of Shelduck (+5), 1 Dunlin, 10 Blk T Godwits, 48 Avocets and again the Spotted Redshank.  Also in the vicinity of the scrape and it's surrounding grazing marsh were 2 Little Egrets, while also showing was a Marsh Harrier. IM.  An afternoon survey from 15.30hrs to 16.30hrs - again viewing from the hide - saw additions to the morning report of 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Ringed Plover and over and above the existing Shelduck brood, was a single adult Shelduck with a further but smaller 5 ducklings.  Noted as they flew South along the coast, were 4 Curlews and 2 Oystercatchers. MR.

2nd - A bit grey at times today (and again a little bit of rain) although generally it was fairly bright.  The SSE through SSW winds reached top speeds of 28mph and gusting increased by the afternoon to c33mph.  The temperature again on the coast was in excess of +17 degrees.  Today's surveys saw a steady movement of Swifts and a few Swallows were also noted.  Whimbrel and Curlews were again seen to head S offshore, with 3 and 2 respectively recorded.  Viewable from the hide were singles of Cuckoo and Marsh Harrier, whilst Kestrels and Little Egrets numbered 2 of each.  On and around the scrape were six Wader species of note, being 1 "very elusive" Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Lapwing (+2 considerably sized young) 2 Redshanks, 39 Blk T Godwits and completing the report, there was a total of 52 Avocets. MR/PRD.

3rd - After alot of rain during last night, it finally eased this morning but left the overcast skies still hanging in there. The SSW winds being of variable speeds 15mph through 22+mph, alongside gusting (prior to 10.00hrs) of up to 27mph. Viewing off-shore early this morning gave yet another Whimbrel heading S and also gave sightings of 60+ Common Scoters.  The scrape and it's surrounding area as at 10.20hrs, held some 125 viewable Waders, the division of which being 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 juvenile L R P, 50 Avocets, 70 Blk T Godwits and dropping in - literally just as the initial report was winging it's way to the web - was a single Ruff.  A single Gadwall was sitting on the sea, whilst within the site the Little Owl was showing well.  A further survey took place during the afternoon giving additions of a juvenile Little Egret along with 2 Lapwing and 3 Redshank chicks, Green Sandpipers were up to a total of 3, while the Shelducks numbered 3 adults and 10 ducklings (5+5). 2 of each Canada and Greylag Geese were also noted. MR.  

4th - An overcast start to the day eventually diminished and the blue skies emerged, along with temperatures of +18 degrees and bright sun.  S through SE winds varied from light to c19mph and gusting reached 23mph.  Reported for this morning at 08.25hrs, the viewing across the scrape gave 50 Avocets, 24 Blk T Godwits, a single Greenshank and at this time there were 2 Spotted Redshanks.  Further viewing supplied 1 of each Green Sandpiper and Ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatchers, 3 Redshank (+1), 6 Lapwings (+2), singles of Shoveler (fem) and Teal (fem), 3 Shelducks (+5+5), the 2 Canada Geese and 10 Greylag Geese.  Also in the vicinity were 3 Kestrels, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Cuckoo and 5 Goldfinches. MR.  A very pleasant mid-evening wander along the seawall, gave a Ringed Plover on the beach and a single Oystercatcher over S, whilst Meadow Pipits were plentiful along the route, several Skylarks and 2 Linnets were noted and a few Swallows were doing their usual flights-paths/resting along the wall and fences. KA/AD.  

5th - After a humid night, the morning - by 08.00hrs - was already at +17 degrees.  The SSE winds being at times barely a breeze and at most c10mph.  Variable skies from early on, also included some very dark clouds!  A survey across the scrape and it's immediate vicinity at 08.50hrs, provided counts of 1+ Spotted Redshank, singles of both Wood and Green Sandpipers, a Greenshank, 8 Blk T Godwits and a good total of some 62 Avocets.  An adult Med Gull was also viewable.  Just after 09.00hrs, the view across/from the site was somewhat obscured as a sea mist suddenly rolled in. MR

6th - Rain that began during the night, continued on/off until mid-morning when the skies cleared and the day quickly progressed to being very bright, dry and very warm (+20+ degrees).  Mostly SW morning winds were of speeds up to 21mph along with gusting of up to 24mph.  The early evening winds were at times very light.  An afternoon survey of the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and the viewable skyline areas from the hide, gave eight Wader and two Heron species, also one of each Wildfowl and Bird of Prey.  The counts were 1 Wood, 1 Common and 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 L R P, 1 Dunlin, 3 Curlews, 18 Blk T Godwits and 68 Avocets, 2 Little Egrets, 4+ Grey Herons, 4 Teal and rounding up the report was a Marsh Harrier. IM

7th - A fairly warm day (+16+ degrees) but another slightly breezy one - SSE winds of general speeds up to 24mph and gusting of 27+mph.  Intermittent cloud-cover throughout the whole day, though very bright and sunny when there was a bit more "Blue" showing up there!  At least four observers visited the site today, covering the morning to early afternoon and also into the latter part of the afternoon.  Initial reports for prior to 13.00hrs, gave that the scrape and it's surrounding area was hosting an impressive number of some 72 Avocets (A record count for the Haven site!), also 31 Blk T Godwits, 1+ Wood and 5 Common Sandpipers, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 L R P and 3 of each Dunlin and Whimbrel.  Singles of Little Egret, Med Gull (adult) and Marsh Harrier were noted, as were 2 Common Terns and 6 Teal. PRD/IM/PL.  An additional report was of a Little Gull* that gave excellent viewing when it landed onto the sea just right of the sluice at c15.20hrs.  This bird becomes number 159 for this Haven Year 2012 and was also the first new "Year Bird" for this month of July. MR/IM

8th - After a night of virtually non-stop rain, the morning faired little better - although at times the rain was not quite so heavy!  Eventually there were some sunnier breaks and brighter skies.  The temperature readings reached +17+ degrees along the coast, while inland it appeared warmer and definitely very humid.  The wind direction turned from light NNE through N to become moderate WNW and gusting increased for the afternoon to c20mph.  Two observers visited the site during the earlier rainy sessions and from the report comments, you definitely would not have missed one of them with his "big red brolly".  The scrape area held similar species to yesterday but the totals varied and as for the Avocets - these had once again increased in their numbers to a new total of 75.  Singles of Wood and Green SandpipersL R P, Dunlin, Spotted Redshank, Curlew and Oystercatcher made it onto the day's listings, along with 2 Common Sandpipers and 15 Blk T Godwits, 10 Teal and 2 Little Egrets.  2 Marsh Harriers and a Kestrel were also in the vicinity. MR/IM.  Surveyed as they flew over the site in a NE direction, were 3 Greenshanks and 5 Whimbrel. IM.  With the rain holding off from mid-afternoon into the evening, the "Red Brolly" was relegated to the car-boot and further observations took place.  A slight change of totals for the scrape area as Wood Sandpipers had increased to 2, Dunlin increased to 5 and the Blk T Godwits at this time were up at a count of 18. IM

9th - A somewhat overcast but warm (+16+ degrees) morning, once again complete with on/off rain.  W through WNW winds being at times very light but mostly varying 13mph - 16mph, along with gusting up to c19mph.  As at 10.00hrs, the observations from the hide, included counts of 2 Wood, 1 Green and 2 Common Sandpipers, 1 Spotted Redshank, 3 of each Dunlin and Oystercatcher, 30 Blk T Godwits and yet another record count for Avocets, that this morning were at 76.  The Duck counts were of 2 Tufted Ducks, 13 Shelducks (inc. the youngsters) and 6 Teal, while the species rounding up this initial report were 2 Little Egrets, 20 Greylag Geese and 2 Marsh Harriers. MR.  A further visit during the afternoon gave some updates and additions, being that the Avocets reached a total of 80 by this time, Blk T Godwits had increased to 35, Little Egrets were at 3 and Marsh Harriers numbered 4, while additional species were singles of both Sandwich and Common Terns. MR.

10th - Mostly a dry day but more often than not, there were some very grey clouds around.  Warm again and reaching a temperature in excess of +17 degrees, the day included SW winds that were moderate through the morning but erring to strong for the afternoon.  Gusting varied up to c33mph.  Similar species to yesterday were on and around the scrape again today, with counts for today's observations being 2 Wood, 1 Green and 3 Common Sandpipers, 6 Dunlin, 1 Spotted Redshank,  30 Blk T Godwits and 71 Avocets.  Also 2 of each Canada and Greylag Geese alongside 4 Teal, 13 Shelducks (inc. ducklings) and 3 Little Egrets.  2 Marsh Harriers were out and about during this site survey, as was an adult Kestrel and 3 juveniles, the latter species being seen near to the memorials, where there were also 2 juvenile Green Woodpeckers. MR.    

11th - A bright start to the day (and alot of sun throughout) but some extremely dark clouds loomed.  Winds were initially and continued to be, W through WNW of moderate to erring on strong, then strong for the afternoon into evening.  Gusting of up to 22mph also increased to speeds of up to 33mph later in the day.  The temperature reached +17+ degrees, while those dark clouds brought on/off rain and also some serious hailstones when a few sessions brought thunder and lightning too!  Viewing from the hide at 08.20hrs, gave once again 2 Wood, 1 Green and 3 Common Sandpipers, also a total of 72 Avocets, just 2 Blk T Godwits this morning but there were 7 Oystercatchers and 2 Dunlin all showing very well.  Continued observations located the Spotted Redshank at 09.15hrs and at this time, 2 Little Egrets were also making it onto the report. MR.

12th - Blue skies, sun and alot of "them fluffy white clouds" by 07.00hrs but within the hour a few grey-tinged ones were creeping in again......... and yes rain appeared later.  Initial wind direction this morning was Westerly with variable speeds from 9mph through 16mph, along with gusting of up to 21mph.  Early temperature readings of +13+ degrees increased to give another warm day.  Surveying across the scrape and it's surrounding areas from the hide, concluded with a count and species list of the 2 Wood, 1 Green and 3 Common Sandpipers, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Ringed Plovers, 9 Dunlin, 47 Blk T Godwits and 71 Avocets, while an early visitor was a single Greenshank.  Singles of both Common and Sandwich Terns were viewed, as were 13 Shelducks (inc. young), 2 Canada and 2 Greylag Geese and 1 Little EgretBirds of Prey consisted of a Marsh Harrier (from hide) and 3 Kestrels that were around the trees and bush areas.  Also around the bushes and hedgerows were 2 Green Woodpeckers, the Little Owl and .....it would appear that the recent adult Cuckoos have  - as per their nature - declined to act as responsible parents, as a young Cuckoo chick (see Gallery) was being fed continually by a speed driven passerine trying to please it's little one!!!  Completing the mornings report, were 6 Linnets and 3 Goldfinches that were around the mounds. MR.  

13th - After another night of almost continual rain, the early morning finally saw this ease but for some time, left the skies very overcast.  By 10.00hrs, the sun was making a good impression, the temperature was in excess of +16 degrees, winds were W through WSW and varying considerably from very light through to at times 31+mph and the occasional gusting was also variable - this up to 35mph.  Rain again came into play at a later stage.  Very little is altering in the species that can be located on the Haven site so far this month.  Surveying today provided 10 species of Waders with the counts being of 2 Wood, 1 Green and 4+ Common Sandpipers, the adult Spotted Redshank, 2 Ringed Plovers (2xad), 1 Redshank (+1), 2 Oystercatchers (one of which was viewed as it flew SW off-shore), 12 Dunlin, 16 Blk T Godwits and 72 Avocets.  Other notable counts were of the 3 adult Shelducks with their (5+5) youngsters and 2 Little Egrets of which one of these was a juvenile. PRD

14th - Guess what??? It rained through most of the night and on into the morning......... and it continued on and on for the rest of the day.  Quite warm though at +15+ degrees and some variable winds that at times were very light.  Wind direction was of N through NNE until at least mid-day, speeds of which reached up to 17mph with occasional gusting barely above this, at 19mph.  Reported of note for the scrape today were 3+ Wood Sandpipers. PBr

15th - A mixed sky to begin with but the sun was winning before 10.00hrs.  Winds had changed direction from yesterday, giving some NW through W light to moderate winds for the morning.  Occasional moderate gusting and early temperature readings in excess of +13 degrees.  An initial report was that of an adult Little Gull, seen on the new pools (field beyond the memorials/top end of carpark) at 13.00hrs. The Little Gull was seen during a survey that took place from 12.00hrs - 14.30hrs.  2 adult Little Egrets were also noted, as were 2 drake Tufted Ducks, the latter staying for less than five minutes.  Waders today included 2 Green and 5+ Common Sandpipers, 1 Greenshank, 2 Ringed Plovers, 7 Dunlin, 14 Blk T Godwits and 45+ Avocets.  A single Sandwich Tern was viewed.  Not to be found at this time were either the Wood Sand or the Spot Red. PRD.

16th - Dawn itself had fewer clouds than at 05.15hrs and the winds were also slightly lighter.  Wind direction this morning has been varying W through WNW and of moderate speeds but increasing towards the c20's.  A light drizzle "in the air" from after dawn became quite a downpour later.  Winds turned through to WSW and increased to 32+mph, gusts up to 37+mph.  A Pectoral Sandpiper* (adult) was the bird of today and was located at 09.40hrs.  Although the bird stayed until at least 15.00hrs, it was very elusive at times and frequented the far edges/rear of the scrape.  The Spotted Redshank had re-appeared today and was alongside 2 Green and 3 Common Sandpipers, 45 Avocets, 1 Blk T Godwit, 5 Oystercatchers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Redshanks and a Dunlin.  Also singles of Med GullSandwich and Common Terns.  2 Little Egrets were once again present, while a Marsh Harrier, 40 Swifts and 5 Sand Martins completed the combined reports. PRD/MR/LGRE.

17th - Mostly a bright day (some grey clouds creeping in at times) with Westerly winds of 18mph through 22+mph and gusting of up to 27mph.  Another warm one with coastline temperatures in excess of +19+ degrees.  The first of the morning reports gave that there was no sign of the Pec by 10.00hrs but on and around the scrape and it's immediate vicinity, were the Spotted Redshank, 4 Blk T Godwits, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Little Egrets, 33 Avocets and still the 2 Green and 3 Common Sandpipers.  A Marsh Harrier was also viewed across from the hide.  2 Spoonbills seen from Frinton at 07.45hrs were subsequently seen distantly from the Haven as they flew S off-shore. MR.  Visitors to the site during the latter part of the morning were treated to views of a very good bird in the form of a Glossy Ibis*.  The Ibis was on the scrape for just c10minutes before it took flight and left the viewable area.  This bird became number 161 on the Haven 2012 Year List.     

18th - Overcast skies started the day and although there were some intermittent blue skies later on, there was also some on/off drizzle.  Westerly winds prevailed of varying speeds, 17mph through 30+mph and gusting was up to 33mph.  At least three observers were on and around the site today and combined reports included viewing from the hide and a 30minute seawatch.  Early morning views saw an Eider* on the sea (drifting S past the sluice) and after some large Swift movements noted from Frinton last week, this morning's count past the Haven was of 250+ and there were also 3 Sand Martins. MR.  A Kestrel, 2 Marsh Harriers and 2 Little Egrets were included in the counts from the hide today, as were the Spotted Redshank, 2 Green and 3 Common Sandpipers, singles of Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher, 14 Blk T Godwits, 32 Avocets, along with 2 Canada and 12 Greylag Geese.  The seawatch from 11.00-11.30hrs observed a Whimbrel flying S, a single Oystercatcher, 2 Sandwich Terns and seen as they fed just off from the sluice were 2 Common Terns. PRD/MR/IM.

19th - Blue skies from quite early with some grey tinged clouds and a very apparent sun.  Wind direction of WNW of variable speeds up to 25mph and gusting reaching 32+mph before 07.30hrs.  The temperature was at this time reading +16+ degrees along the coast.  The day remained mostly bright although the cloud-cover increased at times.  Morning surveys gave similar species on the scrape to those of yesterday with a slight difference to numbers.  Alongside the Spotted Redshank, 2 Green and 3 Common Sandpipers, were singles of Dunlin, Greenshank and Oystercatcher, 2 of each Ringed Plovers and Canada Geese, 3 Redshanks, 9 Greylag Geese, 10 Lapwings, 26 Blk T Godwits and 33 Avocets.  Viewable from the hide were again 2 Marsh Harriers.  Fly-overs were a few Swallows and Swifts, while just off the sluice area, 2 Common Terns were feeding. MR/IM.         

20th - A mostly overcast day that culminated in light rain by late afternoon and heavier rain going into the evening.  The wind direction had swung round for today, being at Easterlies and of light to moderate strength and some additional gusting of up to 16+mph.  Surveying through the morning found it to be relatively quiet around the site and very little change again to the species on the scrape.  Singles of Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, Redshank and Ringed Plover were noted, along with 3+ Common Sandpipers, 25 Blk T Godwits and 39 Avocets.  Also viewed were 3 Little Egrets, the pair of Canada Geese and 29 Greylag Geese, some 15+ Sand Martins and an immature female  Marsh Harrier.  Once again close to the sluice were a pair of Common Terns. PRD

21st - Blue skies and bright sun for the morning - this continued through into the evening with the exception of a brief spell of some very dark clouds.  NE early winds were light with gusting of up to c14mph.  The temperature reached +20+ degrees during the day.  Three observers at least were on and around the site from morning to late afternoon and although the species were again similar to recent days, there were a few exceptions with the very last bird of the day, being a Haven 2012 Year Tick too.  The scrape and it's surrounding grazing marsh and the viewable sky area from the hide during the morning, provided 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Common Tern, a Little Egret and a Wigeon, 3 Common Sandpipers, 4 Teal, 25 Blk T Godwits, 28 Avocets and 67 Greylag Geese.  A Marsh Harrier was also noted. IM.  Additions for the scrape (mid-afternoon), were of 1 Little Stint, a Greenshank and 3 Green Sandpipers. IM/MR/GG.  The new addition to the Haven Year List, was that of a Guillemot* which was viewed during the walk along the seawall heading back to the carpark.  The "exhausted Guillemot" was floating along on the tide. IM.  

22nd - Another very bright, sunny morning with the temperature reading +16+ degrees before 08.30hrs.  The early light SW winds (plus gusting of up to 15mph) increased in strength as the day progressed to speeds of 22+mph and gusting reached 25mph.  The wind direction turned through S to SE.  The temperature also increased considerably and no doubt very many "lobsters" walked home from the beach.  Observations during the morning up until lunchtime found that the Little Stint was still present on the scrape, alongside 2 L R P's, the Spotted Redshank, 5 Redshanks, 4+ Common Sandpipers, 31 Blk T Godwits and 41 Avocets.  Also noted for this vicinity and the viewable surroundings (from the hide) were 2 Common Gulls (2xad), a Common Tern, 20 Sand Martins and 2 Marsh Harriers. PRD/IM.  A change of scenery for an afternoon walk and survey of the Farm and associated fields, supplied counts of 20+ House Martins and at least 3 singing Corn Buntings. IM.    

23rd - A glorious day with some light to moderate SW winds and occasional gusting, speeds being 11mph through 18mph and up to 21mph respectively.  The coastal temperature was reading +17+ degrees before 07.30hrs and was subsequently increasing through the morning.  Surveys through the morning were undertaken by at least three observers, again finding that the Little Stint and the Spotted Redshank were still on the scrape area, showing well at the time.  The rest of the Wader counts were of 2 Ringed Plovers, 3 L R P's, 4+ Common Sandpipers, 6 Dunlin, 34 Blk T Godwits and 37 Avocets.  2 Teal and 140 Greylag Geese were also on the scrape and surrounding area, whilst 20 Goldfinches, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Marsh Harriers were in the vicinity and viewable from the hide. IM/MR/PRD

24th - Following a humid night, the morning was (as they predicted), very bright and hot with the temperature along the coast at +19+ degrees before 09.00hrs.  S through SSE winds were barely a breeze increasing to c10mph at most.  It's gonna continue to be a hot one!!  A joint report from two observers this morning, provided counts taken whilst viewing across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh from the hide (bet the heat hit them when they opened that door this morning!!).  The Little Stint was still in-situ, along with the Spotted Redshank and 2 of the L R P's.  There were also counts of 1 Wood, 1 Green and 6 Common Sandpipers, 36 Blk T Godwits and 50 Avocets, while 2 Whimbrel chose to fly straight through in a Southerly direction.  A Tufted Duck was noted, as was 1 Shelduck (+5), 2 Canada and 100+ Greylag GeeseLittle Egrets numbered 2 and Grey Herons were at 7+ (needs to be alot of eels and the like in the brook and channels to feed that lot).  A single Marsh Harrier was about today, a juvenile Yellow Wagtail was on show and Goldfinches were in good numbers as were young Swallows. MR/IM.

Although the early part of the breeding season throughout the Country - especially for the ground nesting species -was severely hampered by the heavy rains, it has been good to see the Haven reports coming in with a good variety of juvenile birds being noted.  Obviously not all of the juveniles have been bred on the actual site, "have wings will fly" is the theory for our feathered friends.  For those of you reading these "Recent Sightings" for maybe the first time, please note that the records and reports that appear on these pages are also collated for our own "Holland Haven Birding" annual reports.  In turn, the "Birds of the Haven" is then also updated.  The collating of all the data is not an easy task (and takes considerable time and effort - put in by PRD) but it is important in regard to the progression of knowledge of increases and decreases in numbers and also in the movements of the species themselves.  Please take the time to read our various reports and of course please view our Gallery

25th - The weather predictions are still on track............ +19+ degrees at 06.45hrs, blue skies and sunny, the SE winds - well barely a breeze but mostly very still - showing readings of 0mph to a maximum of 4mph at this time.  Hot, humid and finally reaching temperatures of +26 degrees slightly inland and +30 degrees further across the country, the day also saw a variation in wind direction to ENE and an increase of speeds up to c12mph.  The trees, bushes and hedgerows along the Approach Road and around the site were surveyed during the morning, as was the Dell.  Singing along the former was a Blackcap, whilst the Dell hosted 3 of each Lesser Whitethroats and House Sparrows and also a juvenile Green Woodpecker.  Also noted were 4 Whitethroats (+young), 5 Reed Warblers and 12 Goldfinches, over and on the site were 3 House Martins and 30+ Swallows, while across on the marsh was a single Little Egret. MR. Seen as it flew over the Golf course was a Hobby. IM.  Observations from the hide gave a further single Little Egret, also 3 Grey Herons, 2 Canada and 100+ Greylag Geese, 3 Teal, 3 Shelduck (+5+5) and 2 Common Gulls.  The Wader count was of 1 Wood and 3 Common Sandpipers, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 L R P's, 2 Oystercatchers, 22 Blk T Godwits and a total of 44 Avocets.  Completing the report of species viewable from the hide were 2 of each Reed and Sedge Warblers and a single Marsh Harrier. IM/MR

26th - And another hot one.......... +18 degrees at c08.30hrs and again much warmer as the day wore on.  Winds varied throughout the day NE - ENE - NE and speeds were changeable 12mph through 17mph with some additional gusts of up to 21+mph.  The first report in for the scrape this morning was at 08.38hrs and was of a Spoonbill that had literally just dropped in to join the Spotted Redshank, 1 Wood and 4 Common Sandpipers, 3 of each L R P and Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, 28 Blk T Godwits and 62 Avocets. MR.  Updates for viewable species until 11.00hrs provided additions of 4 Dunlin, 3 Curlews, 2 Snipe, 1 Ringed Plover, 2 Little Egrets, a Common Tern, 10 Teal and 114 Greylag Geese, whilst the Blk T Godwits had increased in their numbers to 58. IM.  Observing into the afternoon gave a Haven 2012 Year Tick when a dark phase Arctic Skua* flew past (circa mid-way out from the coast) at 13.50hrs, in a Northerly direction.  The Spoonbill was still on the scrape at this time and Wood Sandpipers had increased to 2. PRDNB: A Spoonbill was seen to fly over Frinton at dusk and it is presumed that it would have been the bird that had spent the day on the Haven scrape. PBr)

27th - Cloud-covered skies and a very humid start to the day with temperatures of +18+ degrees before 09.00hrs.  Another change of wind direction for this morning - NW light winds of 3mph through 12mph.  The cloud-cover stayed put throughout the day, the temperature increased to +22 degrees along the coast and the winds remained light but they did change direction again - to Easterlies.  Initial reports in for 08.45hrs were of an adult Curlew Sandpiper* on the scrape.  The full report for this survey, provided totals for the scrape at this time, of 1 Spotted Redshank (still there), 1 Wood, 3 Green and 5 Common Sandpipers, 2 of each Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher and Redshank, 4 Snipe, 57 Blk T Godwits and 60 Avocets, all alongside 7 Teal and 87 Greylag Geese.  The Curlew Sandpiper along with the 2 Redshanks, flew from the scrape to the new pools beyond the Sewage Farm at 11.30hrs and could not be seen there a short time later (possibly they had then returned to the scrape).  The two families of Shelduck are still in the vicinity - the older ducklings have now mastered the art of flight!  Also noted on this report, were 2 Common Terns (ad+juv), 2 Yellow Wagtails, 15+ Sand Martins and an immature male Marsh HarrierPRD.  A further report, from observations slightly later on, gave that Snipe had increased to a total of 7 on the scrape and that at this viewing there were 3 different Marsh Harriers. SC.  A couple of additional species were noted during a family cycle ride coming in from the Frinton end - a Wheatear (probable juv) and that of a Curlew heading S. PBr.  Early evening on the scrape and the Curlew Sandpiper numbers had increased to 4 (all adults), a Med Gull was another addition for the day, as was a Kittiwake (see Gallery). MR.  A survey also took place from the Farm down to the Golf Course/grazing marsh during the evening and gave views of a Greenshank flying N at c18.40hrs, a total of 35 Swallows over the fields and some 44 Mallards were on the Farm Pond (a bit crowded on there!!).  A wander along Church Lane saw that the local Peacocks (1+3) have bred this year - being very vocal this evening and being assisted in this matter by our youngest HHB.com member!! PBr/KBr.       

28th - Some darker cloud-cover this morning but the sun attempted a break-through c09.15hrs and succeeded after a while.  Slightly cooler today and there were a few spots of rain, otherwise some initial NNW light (breeze) winds that later turned through W to S.  Observations for the "morning shift" found that there was still 1 Curlew Sandpiper (ad) upon the scrape but there was an increase of Green and Common Sandpipers, numbering 5 and 5+ respectively and there was also a single Wood Sandpiper.  The Spotted Redshank was again on show and was alongside 1 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 4 Snipe, 48 Avocets, 67 Blk T Godwits and 6 Teal.  This survey also noted that 2 juvenile Marsh Harriers were about this morning, as was a Barn Owl (L.box) and off the sluice area was an adult Common Tern. PRD.

29th - A changeable day weather-wise.  Blue skies, white clouds and the sun were interrupted with on/off rain and culminated in some very heavy downpours.  Prior to dusk the skies were quite colourful with the re-appearance of the sun.  Reported for the afternoon further to viewing from the hide, were counts of 3 Snipe, 3 Ringed Plovers, 20 Dunlin and 42 Blk T Godwits, also 2 Wood Sandpipers, a single Greenshank and a juvenile Sandwich Tern.  Birds of Prey around this afternoon were a Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk. IM.

30th - After alot of rain through the night, the blue skies and sun appeared again together with some Westerly winds of variable speeds 11mph through 17+mph and gusting of up to 21mph.  The winds moved to NW for later in the day, speeds increased to 25+mph and gusting reached 30mph.  The temperature along the coastline saw +18+ degrees.  At least two observers were on and around the site today and reported 18 species of note.  A Wheatear was located upon the first turret, whilst 2 Turnstones were on the sluice and a total of 4 Marsh Harriers and 1 Barn Owl were seen from and across the site.  Surveying the scrape and it's surrounding grazing marsh from the hide, provided Wader counts of 1 Wood, 1 Curlew and 5 Common Sandpipers, the Spotted Redshank, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Greenshank, 17 Dunlin, 48 Avocets and 71 Blk T Godwits.  1 Common and 2 Sandwich Terns were also in the vicinity, as were 2 Little Egrets, 5 Shoveler and 10 Teal. IM/PRD.    

31st - More overnight rain was followed by another mixed day of on/off rain and intermittent sun.  Initial SW through S winds were light to moderate with gusting of up to 16mph - this increased to wind speeds of up to 20mph and gusting of 24+mph.  It was however still warm with temperatures in excess of +18 degrees.  Two observers were covering the site through until circa 16.00hrs today and noted a variety of species but nothing exceptional - yet!!  Over and around the site were 50+ House Martins and 30+ Swifts, 2 Wheatears, a single Common and 2 Sandwich Terns, a juvenile Little Egret and c200 Greylag Geese.  Viewing across the scrape and surrounding areas, provided 1 Wood and 5 Common Sandpipers, 1 adult Golden Plover, 1 Greenshank, 2 Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin, 13 Lapwings, 54 Avocets, 60 Blk T Godwits and still very much at home in this vicinity, was the Spotted Redshank (that will probably disappear tonight now!).  The Duck count for this combined report and also concluding the sightings for July 2012 was of 2 Shovelers, 6 Teal and 5 Shelduck (these being a single adult and 4 remaining juveniles). PRD/IM.

As at 31st July, the Haven 2012 Year List stands at 165.