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" has changed for several species this year 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: *

MARCH 2013

1st - The new month began with grey skies and rain which had by 08.30hrs had stopped to leave a brightening sky with a hint of the sun!!  On/off drizzle re-appeared during the day but nothing drastic.  NE winds were variable up to 15mph with gusting of up to and in excess of 25mph for the morning and into the afternoon.  A slight turn of the wind direction to NNE and a drop in speed occurred for the evening.  At least four observers visited the site during the day.  A morning visit from the Frinton end, surveyed the route across the fields and up to and including the Farm, obtaining counts of 1 male Reed Bunting, 2 singing Skylarks, 5 Red-Legged Partridges and a male Kestrel, whilst a Barn Owl seen flying over the back field was 'followed all the time by an irksome Magpie'.  The Farm area held of note 8 Green, 12 Gold and 2 Chaffinches, along with a single Mistle Thrush, 3 Blackbirds and 24 Fieldfares. BS.  A Purple Sandpiper was seen on the sluice rocks prior to high tide. LD.  Early afternoon, observing from the Road-bridge area, a S E Owl was quartering the grazing meadow that covers from the bridge to the rear of the carpark.  5 Curlew were also noted. PRD.  Viewing from the hide supplied 1 Dunlin, 4 Snipe, 5 Turnstones, 70+ Lapwings, 1 Little Egret, 4 Shoveler, 6+ Shelduck, 8 Gadwall and as per the end of February, numerous Wigeon and Teal.  10+ Pied Wagtails were flitting about constantly at the rear edges of the scrape, a Green Woodpecker was seen and c15.45hrs to the far left from the hide, a Barn Owl was hunting not too far from the Road-bridge (quite possibly a different bird to the morning report). PRD/KA.  A walk from the carpark (13.30-16.30hrs) through the memorial area, past the sluice and along to the huts at the Frinton end, returning via the main hide, provided a L-T Tit flock by the carpark barrier, 1 Goldcrest and 4 Fieldfares near to Tariq, 2 Blk T Godwits were located on the pools beyond the Memorials, a good sized mixed Tit flock (inc. L-T) were very vocal from the enclosures along the track/towards the mounds and 2 Cormorants flew N past the end of the sluice.  The walk from the sluice to the Frinton huts and back to the second hide, proved to be enjoyable but for 'exercise and fresh-air only' with no notable birds!  A single Curlew was near the second hide and the Greylag Geese on the adjacent fields included 2 Canada Geese. KA.   

2nd - Some Northerly winds today that remained a light c6mph throughout most of the day, dropping to a breeze prior to dusk, whilst slightly inland at this time, the trees/leaves were totally still.  Cool temperatures and grey skies to begin with, then it brightened to become a pleasant but chilly day.  At least five observers were on and around the site from morning through afternoon, covering the Farm areas, carpark through the main hide and the Golf Course and also some seawatching.  The numbers for the following species are using the higher of totals reported, not combined.  Birds of Prey included singles of Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel and Owls observed during today were 2 S E Owls - together in flight over the fields adjacent to the Golf Course.  On the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were singles of Little Egret, Dunlin and Turnstone, 15+ Snipe (the Kestrel flushing all of these at one point), 70 Lapwings, 100+ Curlew, 2 Canada Geese, a 1W Med Gull, 1 LBBG, 1 GBBG, 2 Common, 115 Herring and 275 Black Headed Gulls.  The Duck counts were of 8 Shelduck, 8 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler, c200 Teal and still holding their good numbers, Wigeon at c500.  Also in the vicinity of the scrape were 15 Pied WagtailsSeawatching provided some 18+ Red-T Divers, while for the sluice and surrounding area were notes of 1 Purple Sandpiper and 5 TurnstonesThe Farm, during the morning, held 10+ Goldfinches in the trees by the Pond and some 4 Mistle Thrushes and 23 Fieldfares in the paddocks, while by Tariq back on the main site, a single Fieldfare was viewed.  Several Blackbirds were again noted between the Sewage Farm and the mounds, as was a Green Woodpecker.  Generally the site held many singing species, i.e. Tits, Finches, Dunnocks, Robins etc and four birds are now also sporting new rings - as Ringing Activities are now under way for this current year. SC/AM/IM/MR/LH.   

3rd - Initially bright, the skies clouded over for a while then continued with intermittent sun throughout into late afternoon.  NNE light winds of c4mph turned to E and increased to 7+mph by mid-afternoon.  By dusk the temperature had cooled somewhat and there was a hint of drizzle.  Observers initially covered the area opposite the Approach Road through to the Memorials and onwards to the main hide.  Notes for over the road included as to how 'busy' the bushes were with both Tits and Finches, whilst singles of Sparrowhawk, Grey Heron and Kingfisher were also viewed.  A Goldcrest was again located near the Memorials, as were a Reed Bunting, a Song Thrush and 2 Fieldfares, on the brook fishing were 3 Little Grebes and 2 Blk T Godwits were back on the pools beyond. MR.  The scrape and it's surrounding area held 1 Dunlin, 30+ Snipe and c60 Curlew, 4 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, c200 Teal and c500 Wigeon.  Also in the vicinity were singles of S E Owl, Common Buzzard and Kestrel.  A brief 'drop in' to the scrape before they re-located to the arable beyond the Golf Course were Geese in numbers of 1 Egyptian*, 3 Brent, 3 Canada and 100 Greylags. MR/IM.  A survey of the Farm area this afternoon located a mixed Thrush flock on the paddocks opposite the Farm House, this flock consisted of 1 Song and 2 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Redwings and 40+ Fieldfares.  In and around these paddocks were 15+ Goldfinches. IM.

4th - Overall another fairly pleasant day if somewhat a chilly one!  Mostly bright and sunny with the cool winds - these prior to dusk had become SE and of speeds c9mph.  The bushes were noted as 'quiet' during today's survey, 2 Fieldfares and a Song Thrush were still in the Memorials' area and a S E Owl (see Gallery) was seen atop a fence post near here too.  The pools beyond were holding 3 Blk T Godwits.  Wandering to the sluice/beach and onto the hide, a total of 7 Sanderlings were located on the beach, whilst the Waders on and around the scrape comprised 1 Dunlin, 4 Turnstones, 52 Curlew and 100+ Lapwings.  A Little Egret, 2 Canada and c100 Greylag Geese were also viewed from the hide, along with 2 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, 11 Shelducks, c150 Teal, c400 Wigeon and a single Kestrel.  Wildlife of the four-legged variety was in the form of 2 Muntjac Deer observed along the rear hedgerows of the scrape. MR.  Of interest, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th March also produced an overall total of 8 Colour-Ringed Gulls where the codes were able to be read.  Of these eight birds, five were newly recorded at the Haven site.  

5th - Very bright and sunny from early this morning, along with SSE light winds of 8mph and a temperature of +6 degrees.  By mid-day it was still very sunny with blue skies too and definitely a shade warmer even with some higher speed gusting over this time.  Visits to the site this morning were from the carpark end and also from the Frinton end of site.  2 of both House Sparrow and Song Thrush were noted in the Dell and the likes of Dunnock and Greenfinch were displaying.  Viewing from the hide saw that the tractor was as per yesterday, ploughing the top fields with Lapwings and Gulls subsequently spread across the area, while 2 Little Egrets, 1 Dunlin, 2 Blk T Godwits, 3 Snipe, 6 Turnstones and 80+ Curlew were in close vicinity of the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh.  Ducks and Geese making the notepads for this survey were 4 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, 10 Shelducks, c200 Teal and c500 Wigeon for the former, 3 Canada, 3 Brent and 103 Greylags for the latter. MR/IM.  An Oystercatcher was along the coastline. IM. Starting from the Frinton end and taking the route up through the fields to and including the Farm area, provided a selection that comprised 2 Corn Buntings* and 2 Skylarks (both these species singing), 1 Redwing, 35 Fieldfares and a Goldfinch, also 28 Lapwings with 2 Golden Plovers on one of the fields, 1 Red-legged Partridge and 2 Pheasants.  Of further note there were 2 Common Gulls along the way and the Farm Pond held a female Tufted Duck. BS.   

6th - Early morning cloud-cover cleared considerably after a few hours, leaving mostly blue skies in place.  The day generally was fairly bright.  Initial ESE winds of c6mph turned to E for the afternoon, speeds of which remained light.  Mid-evening brought with it some rain.  A Little Owl was located in and around the carpark bushes/trees during a survey today - this species has not been noted for several weeks.  Also in this vicinity were 2 Fieldfares and a Greenfinch flock of 20+.  Whilst walking towards the hide, 4 Avocets* were viewed as they flew 'away from the scrape heading towards the Frinton end of the site'.  The scrape, it's surrounding grazing marsh and the viewable skyline from the hide, supplied 1 Med Gull, 1 Dunlin, 1 Oystercatcher, 3 Blk T Godwits, 4 Turnstones, 4  Curlew and 20+ Snipe, also 4 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, 13 Shelducks, 150+ Teal and 400+ Wigeon.  3 Canada and 90 Greylag Geese were counted and rounding up the report, singles of both Common Buzzard and S E Owl were seen. IM.  

7th - Drizzle and rain were on/off throughout the majority of today along with some Easterly winds.  The evening brought in quite a thick fog.  At least two observers were on and around the site during the day and counts included those for the March WeBS and some Ringing Activity.  Over the road this morning gave just a Sparrowhawk of any particular note, whilst the Little Owl was again seen in it's tree.  Across the main site, 1 of both Barn and S E Owls were seen, as were singles of Common Buzzard, Peregrine and Kestrel, also 2 Green Woodpeckers.  The WeBS totals were of 1 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Redshank, 3 Ruff, 3 Blk T Godwits, 5 Turnstones, 6 Moorhens, 25+ Snipe, 35 Curlew, 165 Lapwings, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Little Egrets, 1 Cormorant and 2 Mute Swans.  The Ducks and Geese comprised 3 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall, 14 Mallards, 18 Shelducks, 45 Teal and 285 Wigeon, 3 Canada and 73 Greylags.  Gulls were represented by 2 Common, 3 G B B, 10 L B B, 55 Herring and 150 Black Headed.  Slightly after the actual WeBS took place, three species increased in viewable numbers, being Shoveler up to 4, Redshank up to 2 and a flock of c50 Curlews - these were seen to fly above/over the main hide, over the first turret and then down onto the flooded field and whilst c15 of these were definitely additional birds, the flock itself may have been wholly additional to the WeBS total. SC/IM.

8th - ENE through NE winds of c6mph for the morning, which further to last night, also had a few visibility issues!!  The fog varied in density all day and still had not cleared by late evening.  The initial 'misty rain' increased to proper rain and then to torrential as the day progressed and the winds turned to NW of c9mph.  One observer visited the site (10.00 - 12.00hrs) but in the conditions, a full survey was obviously not possible.  However, the Little Owl was seen for the third day running - again in it's tree, while 2 Oystercatchers were located on the sluice and on the 'limited viewable areas' of the scrape, there were 2 Curlews, 3 Turnstones, 20+ Snipe and 2 Shelducks. IM.

9th - Another grey overcast morning - together with drizzle/rain and NW winds of varying speeds 8mph through 10mph.  The afternoon remained grey and cold with the temperature dropping to barely +3 degrees.  Observations throughout today gave much as on 7th with only slight differences to species and numbers.  Singles of Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Barn and S E Owls were noted, as was a Little Egret.  The wander from the carpark to the main hide supplied 1 Oystercatcher and 6 Turnstones on the sluice and once in the hide the survey included counts of 3 Canada and 62 Greylag Geese, 5 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler, 20 Shelducks, 150+ Teal and 450+ Wigeon.  Waders on and around this vicinity were 5 Blk T Godwits, 7 Golden Plovers, 10+ Snipe, 17 Dunlin (2 in-situ + 15 that flew around the rear of the scrape but did not land), 44 Curlew and 250+ LapwingsIM.  

10th - The snow that was falling late last night was still in evidence this morning - coverage being over cars, hedges, gardens, fields etc but the roads were just wet with most of the remaining snow starting to melt by 07.00hrs - the temperature just above zero.  NNE winds were of up to 15mph at this time with some gusting, this later changed to NE winds of up to 22+mph and gusting in excess of 38mph.  The expected rain/sleet/snow all appeared from c08.00hrs onwards through the day!  In the 'not so pleasant' conditions, a short survey was made this morning to the main site and a half-hour was also spent at the Farm.  The sluice held 2 Ringed Plovers and 5 Turnstones whilst the noted viewable species across the scrape and surrounding area, were 2 of each Dunlin, Blk T Godwit and Oystercatcher, 10+ Curlew, 11 Snipe and 12 Shelducks.  A Common Buzzard was also in the vicinity.  The Farm Pond once again held a female Tufted Duck and across the paddocks were 50+ Fieldfares. IM.  An additional sighting was of a Grey Wagtail seen near the second turret, by visitors to the site. (via IM).   

11th - More overnight snow, heavier than yesterday's, was definitely in evidence this morning, along with some bitterly cold conditions.  Snow and sleet continued on/off through from the morning into the afternoon with ENE/NE winds of 26+mph and gusting up to 49mph.  Temperature readings of zero went down to -2 degrees by 14.00hrs - the wind-chill factor along the coast even worse!  At least three frozen observers were on site this morning.  A brief seawatch supplied 2 Shelducks, 3 Pintails and 4 Red-T Divers, whilst the scrape area held 2 Dunlin, 3 Blk T Godwits, 4 Turnstones, 20+ Snipe and 50+ Curlew. IM/MR.  Additional sightings of note from this morning were 1 Peregrine, 1 adult Med Gull and 4 Gadwall. GG.

12th - NE winds prevailed during the day of speeds up to 25mph and additional gusting that reached 42mph.  These strong winds kept the temperature at zero with a wind-chill factor of below freezing.  Going into the evening the wind direction moved to WNW.  Morning and afternoon visits were made today with both reports showing details of Colour-ringed Gulls (LBB+Herring).  Surveyed from the hide during the morning were counts of a drake Pintail (noted early on.IM.), 1 Turnstone, 2 Dunlin, 2+ Snipe, 3 Blk T Godwits, 100+ Lapwings, 1 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, c150 Teal, c400 Wigeon and 100+ Greylag Geese.  Also 1 Med Gull, 5 G B B, 15+ Common, 20+ L B B amongst many Blk Headed and Herring Gulls.  Singles of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Peregrine were in the vicinity. IM/MR.  The afternoon wander on the site, added 1 Redwing, 2 Fieldfares, 5 Song Thrushes on and around the lower carpark area, whilst the Little Owl and a Goldcrest were near to Tariq and a short seawatch provided a drake Eider flying N and 3 Shelducks heading S. MR.

13th - With snow still laying on the ground, the winds maintained a NNW direction - speeds lower than yesterday at c12mph with the gusting reaching speeds of 24mph.  The inland temperature reached a questionable +4 degrees and there were some sunny periods, however this did not stop the on/off appearance of snow, sleet and hailstones.  A Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk were in viewing sights from the hide during today's visits, as were singles of Little EgretLittle Grebe and a Little Gull*Waders in the area included 1 Ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatchers, 9 Snipe, 50+ Curlew and 70+ LapwingsDucks and Geese consisted of 3 Shelducks, 4 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, c100 Teal, c300 Wigeon and 102 Greylags.  Upon leaving the hide and heading back to the mounds, 2 Purple Sandpipers were on the sluice and off-shore, 3 Cormorants and 4 Red-T Divers were seen to fly N. IM/MR.

14th - A bright, sunny morning that started at +1 degree and finally reached a 'high' of +5 during the afternoon.  Winds were of a light (8mph) NW direction.  Initial reports this morning (09.00hrs) gave that an adult Spoonbill* had re-located to the rear of the main scrape - after unfortunately being disturbed by dog walkers while it had been on the close pool to the right of the hide.  Whilst viewing the Spoonbill, Owls and Birds of Prey were apparent with the report detailing 1 Barn Owl, 2 S E O's, 1 Peregrine, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, a female Marsh Harrier and 2 Common Buzzards.  Also noted were 2 Little Egrets, 2 Dunlin, c30 Snipe and 78 Curlew. PBr.  Further visits and reports added to the scrape species, as well as including for the carpark areas and an afternoon wander of the Farm.  The Spoonbill was still feeding at the scrape as at 13.00hrs, while additional counts gave 1 Oystercatcher, 2 Blk T Godwits, 6 Turnstones, 3 Gadwall, 4 Shelducks and 10 Shoveler, alongside Teal and Wigeon in numbers similar to yesterday and 32 Greylag Geese.  A Common Buzzard seen to be mobbed by 2 Crows before perching atop the Owl box c13.00hrs, may/may not have been one of this morning's birds.  An adult Med Gull, 1 G B B, 5 L B B, 19 Herring and 20 Blk Headed Gulls were recorded.  The carpark and the area near to Tariq held 2 Little Owls (together in the pine trees beyond/edge of the Sluice Cottage gardens), 2 Fieldfares and 4 Song Thrushes.  Of note, the Kingfisher was seen over the road early morning. MR/IM/PR/LR/BS.  The 'Farm wander' located a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker in the trees beside the Farm Pond and a female Tufted Duck on the Pond itself.  Moving between/to/from the trees and the ploughed field beyond the paddocks was a flock of some 50+ Fieldfares and a single Redwing.  4 Mistle Thrushes were also noted in close proximity.  A S E O seen flying towards the rear of the Farm during this afternoon survey, may/may not have been one of the earlier noted birds. IM.    

15th - A grey day throughout that began with on/off rain and further showers appeared later.  Winds varied SW through S of up to 24mph and gusting was in excess of 38mph.  As at 10.45hrs the Spoonbill was noted as still being on the scrape - feeding constantly - and was viewable from the hide and slightly later also from the lay-by. IM/PNt.  The morning survey taken from the hide, supplied species and counts thereof as 2 Little Egrets, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Snipe, 3 Blk T Godwits, 5 Turnstones and 32 Curlew, 6 Shelducks, 8 Shoveler, 20 Gadwall (12 drakes), c150 Teal, c400 Wigeon and +/-90 Greylag Geese.  A Common Buzzard was also seen in the area. IM.   

16th - More on/off rain today and the skies, although slightly brighter at odd times, basically remained overcast for the duration.  Southerly winds of up to 29mph were assisted by gale force gusting of 45+mph.  No reports returned.

17th - After a night of heavy rain, the morning began grey with cloud-cover but this had brightened by 10.00hrs.  SE winds were in play initially, of 17+mph and again, very strong gusting of up to 32mph.  A visit to the site that included viewing the scrape area gave that the Spoonbill was still in-situ and still feeding!  At this time, a Pintail was noted as was 1 S E O. HE.  An early afternoon walk taking the field circuit beyond the Golf Course (from the Frinton end), supplied views of Golden Plover, Oystercatcher, 2 Common and 53 Blk Headed Gulls, a Reed Bunting, 4 Skylarks, 2 Magpies and a Red-legged Partridge. BS.

18th - A very foggy start this morning and a temperature of +2 degrees.  Some very light (2mph through 7mph) SSW winds prevailed, turning by mid-day to the direction of ESE.  A morning visit took in the walk from over the road (opp. Approach Road) through the carparks, memorial areas and onwards to the hide.  It was noted that "lots of common small birds getting quite vocal".  A Song Thrush and 2 Fieldfares were with a number of Blackbirds along the edges of the carpark, whilst 1 S E O, 2 Barn Owls and 2 Little Owls were across the site, the three former across the marshland and the latter two near to Tariq.  A Kestrel and 2 Sparrowhawks also made it into the notes.  Observations from the hide supplied counts of 1 Little Egret, 1 Blk T Godwit, 4 Redshank, 4 Dunlin, 7 Avocet, 10 Snipe, 40+ Lapwings and 50+ CurlewDucks and Geese at this time included a drake Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 3 Shelducks, 4 Shoveler, c70 Teal, c300 Wigeon and 70+ Greylags. MR.  An afternoon visit to the Farm gave the initial observer (Mick Rodwell) a nice surprise in the finding of a female Scaup* (see Gallery) on the Farm pond.  This Duck was with 1 Tufted Duck (fem) and the resident Mallards, Moorhen and Mute Swan.  In the area during the afternoon and through into the evening/dusk, there were also 65+ Fieldfares, 2+ Redwings, 4+ Mistle Thrushes. MR/HE/SC/PC/JBS/KA.

19th - Light NNW winds prevailed through the morning, turning to Southerlies by mid-day and by dusk they were Easterlies of c8mph.  A variation from cloud-cover to brighter skies continued throughout but culminated with clouds and rain during the evening and on/off into the night.  A morning visit from the carpark through to and including the hide, saw the Little Owl in his tree, 2 Fieldfares in the vicinity of Tariq and beyond this area on the pools were 4 Blk T Godwits.  Across the scrape and surrounding marsh there were counts of 1 Redshank, 2 Oystercatchers, 8 Snipe, 39 Avocets, 53 Lapwings and 1 Little Egret, while the Duck and Goose numbers included 9 Shelducks, 10 Gadwall, 11 Shoveler, c100 Teal and c300 Wigeon alongside 2 Canada and 56 Greylag Geese.  A Barn Owl was also viewed from the hide.  10 Red-T Divers (on the sea) and 5 Oystercatchers (2S+3N) were noted during a short seawatch, whilst a single Ringed Plover was on the sluice. MR.  A morning walk in from the Frinton end of site, up behind the Golf Course to the Farm, produced 2 Red-legged Partridge, 1 Common and 28 Blk-H Gulls, 2 of both Corn Bunting and L-T Tit, 3 Skylarks, 4 Chaffinches and a Dunnock along the route, followed by 1 Song Thrush, 42 Fieldfares and 170+ Starlings in the Paddocks.  Around the Farm Pond were the female Tufted Duck, 29 Mallards and 3 Moorhens, singles of Dunnock, Greenfinch and Mistle Thrush along with 4 Goldfinches.  A Common Buzzard was viewed from here and Cormorants flew over. BS.  Late afternoon a 1W Caspian Gull (no photos) was reported for the scrape. PRD/IM.

20th - A bitterly cold, freezing day out there!  The winds generally might not have been overly strong but they were very cold and the temperature struggled to reach +3 inland let alone along the coast - from early afternoon the temperature dropped very quickly to barely +1 with winds at N (c5mph) by dusk.  The Kingfisher showed very well over the road this morning but it was generally very quiet around the trees, bushes and hedgerows.  Owls featured well during this initial walk with 2 Little, 1 Barn and 1 S E Owl around the site.  A Kestrel was noted.  Walking to the Frinton end, added just 4 Skylarks, 8 Meadow Pipits and on the rocks near the second turret were 2 Oystercatchers. MR.  Viewing from the hide, by two observers, supplied 2 Redshank, 2 Oystercatchers, 3 Blk T Godwits, 6 Dunlin and 7 Turnstones, also 10 Snipe, 14 Avocets, 18 Curlews and 60+ Lapwings.  Ducks today were at 7 Gadwall, 8 Shelducks and 8 Shoveler, with the Teal and Wigeon at c100 and c300 respectively.  70+ Greylag Geese were on the notes, as were 10 Pied Wagtails that were also seen from the hide. IM/MR.  

21st - Some below zero temperatures over night left a heavy frost over everything this morning and by 07.00hrs it was still at -1 degrees.  The winds were changeable throughout the day, beginning as E up to c9mph, turning to SE and increasing speeds, back to E at c18mph and then progressing into the evening at a direction of ESE with speeds in excess of 22mph and gusting of 35+mph.  It remained very cold but the skies did brighten to give some sun.  At least four observers were on and around the site during different times of the day and the coverage extended from over the road (opp. Approach Road), through the carpark/memorial areas, onwards to the hide and also surveillance of the Farm habitat.  Across the road gave 2 Little Egrets, while the walk up the Approach Road itself, gave the observer a fantastic wildlife sighting of "a Fox strolling across the road just in front of me". MR.  Near to and viewed from the area near to Tariq, there were 2 Fieldfares, a Little Grebe (brook) and in the pine trees was a single Little Owl.  A Barn Owl, along with singles of both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were slightly later, viewed from the hide.  On and around the scrape vicinity were located 5 Gadwall, 11 Shoveler, 12 Shelducks, c100 Teal and c400 Wigeon, while 70+ Greylag Geese were noted and some 75 Brent Geese dropped in briefly.  Waders for this survey included 2 Blk T Godwits, 3 Dunlin, 6 Turnstones, 10 Snipe and 27 Avocets.  A single Grey Heron was recorded. IM/MR.  "A very short" seawatch provided 3 Cormorants heading N and a total of 10 Red-T Divers being 3N,4S and 3 on the sea. IM/SC/MR.  The afternoon visits were to the Farm, the earlier of the two reports giving 2 Mistle Thrushes and 60+ Fieldfares in/on the paddocks and 1pr Tufted Ducks on the Pond. IM.  Just over an hour later at 15.00hrs, additions to the 'Pond' were those of a pair of Mandarin*. PRD.   

The movement of Gulls has been continuing over the last couple of weeks with even more Colour-ringed birds being noted - of both returning and new birds to the Holland Haven site.  These Gulls are listed and their information is updated on our 'Colour Ring Reading' pages.   

22nd - Some sharp Easterly winds prevailed throughout today with speeds this morning of up to 28mph and by the evening of 30mph minimum.  As it had been through the night, gusting was very much in evidence from early morning and continually on and into the evening - this being of speeds up to 45mph.  Cloud-cover remained and again, it was bitterly cold.  Observing from the hide during time spent on site today, supplied counts of 1 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers, 3 Blk T Godwits, 5 Turnstones, 5 Avocets and 43 Curlews of note.  On and around the scrape were also 1 Shelduck, 4 Shoveler, 11 Gadwall, c100 Teal, c300 Wigeon and 70 Greylag Geese.  Surveying the Farm area during a short visit, the pair of Tufted Ducks were once again on the Pond with 1 Song Thrush and 20+ Fieldfares also in the area. IM.

23rd - The rainy start turned quickly to sleet then snowfall and blizzard conditions............ and thus it continued all day long!!  The temperature readings varied up and down constantly from -1 through +1 degrees but the severe winds gave wind-chill factors of much lower.  Easterly winds of +/-29mph were assisted by gusting of up to at least 51mph.  No reports returned. 

24th - Crunchy and very slippery underfoot this morning with starting temperatures of -1 degree, those Easterly winds in force once again of up to 27mph and gusting of +/-47mph.  The 'snow grey' clouds giving us further snowfall and sleet during the morning and again during the afternoon.  At least three observers braved the freezing cold weather over on the site today with a joint report in from two and an addition to the 2013 Year List from the third.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, as viewed from the hide, there were counts of 2 Redshank, 2 Blk T Godwits, 4 Snipe, 5 Turnstones and 15+ Dunlin, while the Ducks included 1pr Pintails, 4 Shoveler, 6 Shelducks and 8 Gadwall with the Teal and Wigeon down to c70 and c150 respectively. MR/IM.  Located below the seawall opposite the second hide, a Wheatear* was today, the addition to the current year list. PL.

25th - Snow and ice were still around today due to the still very low temperatures not allowing very much to thaw.  High winds of c24mph and stronger gusting of up to 41mph of an ENE direction remained in play throughout, making once again a bitterly cold day and night.  Two observers were on and around the site today, as were 2 Fieldfares in the area near Tariq and the Little Owl was in his tree.  Across the scrape, surrounding snow covered grazing marsh and the visible skyline from the hide, were noted 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Redshank, 1 Oystercatcher, 5 Turnstones, c15 Golden Plovers, c30 Dunlin and 40+ Curlew, also 2 Shoveler, 4 Shelducks and both the Teal and Wigeon being in numbers much as per yesterday.  A Common Buzzard was also seen from the hide. MR/IM.  A brief seawatch supplied an Arctic Skua* heading N and a Red-T Diver on the sea. MR

26th - Yippee! The sun actually made a break for it a few times today - even if it was still freezing cold with biting ENE through NE winds out there!  General wind and gust speeds were of c21mph and up to 36mph respectively.  (Most of the snow on the roads/pathways had disappeared by the early hours of the morning).  Another Wheatear was seen on the site this morning - in the Dell.  Singles of Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier were visible from the hide, while singles of Little Egret and Oystercatcher were also noted.  The Wigeon were back up to numbers in the region of 400 today, Teal were at c100, Shelducks numbered 5, Shoveler 10 and Gadwall 12, whilst 2 Canada Geese were counted along with 5 Turnstones. The carpark/bushes provided 2 Fieldfares both feeding in the area. IM.  A visit to the hide mid-afternoon, supplied the addition of a pair of Garganey* (15.30hrs). PRD

27th - And even more sun today -intermittent but at least it was fairly bright even with quite alot of cloud around at times.  Winds and gusting of up to 16mph and 29mph respectively, with the wind direction turning from initial ENE through NE to N.  At least three observers were on and around the site today, the reports for which included a 90 minute seawatch that yielded a total of 102 Red-T Divers all heading North.  The Sewage Farm supplied views of a Yellow-legged Gull, while species across the scrape and grazing marsh - viewable from the hide - included that of a Little Egret, 1 Ringed Plover, 2 Blk T Godwits, 4 Turnstones, 10 Avocets, 80+ Curlew and a single Brent Goose.  The Duck count today was of 6 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, 10 Shelducks, 100+ Teal and 400+ Wigeon.  Completing the report, the Little Owl was atop his tree enjoying the sun's appearance. SC/PC/IM.

28th - A fairly bright and sunny day but a very cold one...... again!  Initial ENE winds and gusting of 16mph and 30mph respectively turned by mid-afternoon to NE.  Visiting the site today, included surveying the trees, bushes and hedgerows through to the hide, viewing from the hide and also two seawatching sessions of one hour a piece.  The Little Owl was again enjoying the sun from it's tree, 1 Fieldfare was in the same vicinity whilst along the Greensward, a Grey Wagtail was observed as it flew along.  A single Sparrowhawk was amongst the recorded species seen from the hide, with the scrape and surrounding marsh providing 3 Blk T Godwits and 3 Dunlin, 8 Avocets and 60+ Curlew, alongside 2 Canada Geese, a drake Pintail, 4 Shelducks, 8 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 120+ Teal and 450+ Wigeon.  The seawatching sessions gave totals of 1 Gt. Crested Grebe, 8 Oystercatchers, 3 Brent Geese and following on from some high numbers yesterday, a count of 157 Red-T Divers.  All these off-shore birds were heading N. IM.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29th - The winds remained chilly ENE through N as per recent days.  Blue skies were about but so were the odd attempts of sleet and drizzle.  At least three observers were on and around the site with initial and slightly later viewing concentrating on the off-shore movement.  Seawatching from the Greensward shelter (near the Sailing Club) during the initial watch, the observer noted large numbers of Red-Throated Divers across the viewable waters.  Disturbance by a fishing boat made the numbers even more apparent when 200+ of these Divers took flight in a Northerly direction. IM.  Along with two other observers, seawatching continued for at least another hour when a further c100 Red-T Divers were seen to be either flying N or sitting on the sea.  Also heading N during these two sessions, were 5 Oystercatchers, a drake Pintail, 15 Cormorants, 1 Gannet and 2 Brent Geese, a Gt. Crested Grebe decided to just drift in a Southerly direction on the water and a further 14 Brent Geese flew S.  Across the scrape and it's surrounding grazing marsh were 1 Little Egret, 2 Blk T Godwits, 2 Redshank, 5 Snipe, 6 Turnstone, 10 Avocets and 30+ Curlew.  The Duck count included 4 Shelducks, 6 Gadwall and 6 Shoveler with Teal and Wigeon still in numbers as per recent days.  A Sparrowhawk was again noted from the hide. MR/PL/IM.  

30th - Not too much change with the winds.......... speeds of up to 17mph and gusting of up to 32mph, although the direction more of NE through NNE for today.  A general mix of blue and grey (almost black a couple of times) skies with intervals of sun and intermittent snow showers!!  Red-T Divers were again visible on the sea at 08.42hrs (from the Greensward shelter) with numbers given of c100.  At this time 6 Turnstones flew N up the coast, a Sparrowhawk was seen to fly along over the underlying beach-huts and continued towards the sluice, whilst 4 Canada Geese that headed S off-shore were presumed to be the same 4 that flew back up the coast (N) some 30 minutes later.  Further on site, a Wheatear was located near to the first turret.  Prior to 12.35hrs, the Waders on the scrape and adjoining areas consisted of 1 Grey Plover, 1 Oystercatcher and 1 Redshank, 3 Ringed Plovers, 3 Blk T Godwits, 14 Avocets and 20+ Curlew.  A single Little Egret was noted, as were 6 Shoveler, 21 Gadwall, c100 Teal and c400 Wigeon. IM.

31st - What a bitterly cold day this turned out to be!  In fact a totally mixed up day as far as the weather was concerned............ grey, cloudy skies changed with blue, cloudy skies constantly, the sun broke through every now and again and the snow/sleet was pretty much on/off all day as well.  Wind direction for the latter part of the day and into the evening was at ENE.  With the clocks moving forward during the early hours of this morning, the daylight was still with us gone 19.00hrs tonight.  At least three observers wandered the site this morning.  Through the site to the Frinton end and the return walk produced singles of Grey Wagtail, Med Gull (adult), Grey Plover and Sanderling, 4 Ringed Plovers, 7 Turnstones and c110 Curlew, also 6 Siskin and c300 Chaffinches - the latter two species all moving N.  The return walk gave the highlight of a Red Kite* that flew over the site and headed out to sea at 10.00hrs. PL.  Surveying from the hide supplied views of 2 Little Egrets, 1 Dunlin, 4 Blk T Godwits, 4 Avocets, 5 Redshank, 4 Shelducks, 8 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, c100 Teal, c300 Wigeon and 2 Canada Geese.  A Sparrowhawk was also noted, whilst some of the previously mentioned Curlew and Ringed Plovers had also been seen on the scrape area. IM/MR/PL.  Two short seawatching sessions were undertaken, during which Red-T Divers were viewed moving both N and S off the Haven coastline, while 20+ of these birds sat close inshore on the waters.  Other movement that headed North, included 3 Oystercatchers, 8 Cormorants and 4 Brent Geese with a further 7 Brents drifting on the sea.  A drake Eider was a Southerly bound species.  Rounding up today's and indeed the March reports, 2 Little Owls were in the vicinity of Tariq/memorials. MR.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As at 31st March, the Haven 2013 Year List stands at 112.

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