Holland Haven Birding

Official Site Of The Holland Haven Birding Group ©

Recent Sightings

Key:Plain Text- Resident/Regular Visitor.Green -Likely to be Annual. Amber -Less than Annual. Red -Rarity. CAPITALS -New bird for site.

(The above "Colour Coding" changed for several species in 2013 due to some being now a more regular species at the Haven - which has got to be good, whilst others are unfortunately not seen/recorded here as much as they used to be. This coding is purely defined by ourselves for the Haven site). 

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Site Year Tick*

MARCH 2014

1st - A chilly but dry early morning with some views of the sun, proceeded to change for the rest of the morning with on/off showers.  Initial NNW winds were of variable moderate speeds 10mph through 14mph with some gusting of up to 19mph.  The afternoon was brighter and dry but there was a severe temperature drop for the evening.  At least three observers made visits to the site and a survey of the Farm was included.  The Coot was still in-situ on the Farm Pond and at the far end of the Paddocks were a pair of Stonechats.  Initial species counts across the scrape and grazing marsh gave 1 Blk T Godwit, 2 Oystercatchers, c20 Curlew, 5 Gadwall, 26 Shelducks, 30+ Shoveler, 1 Brent and 11 Canada Geese.  Also noted whilst viewing from the main hide were singles of Sparrowhawk and Little Grebe. IM.  Slightly later, a Ringed Plover and 6 Turnstones were on the sluice, a Gt. Crested Grebe was seen to drift on the tide and flying S were 2 Red-T Divers.  In his tree was the Little Owl. IM/MR.  An additional report (15.00-17.00hrs) added singles of Firecrest, Barn Owl and Kestrel to the day's species and noted that Lapwings at this time were at a total of 129, while Shoveler were up to a count of 46. LH

2nd - After a very frosty night, another chilly start was followed by variable cloud (sometimes very grey) and also intermittent sun throughout.  Earlier wind directions of WSW through SSW were at S as at dusk and the earlier speeds of up to 27mph with gusting of up to 32mph had increased, again by dusk, to 31mph and 40mph respectively.  Today's views from the hide yielded singles of Little Egret and Oystercatcher, 2 Turnstones, 18 Curlew and 80 Lapwings all alongside 6 Gadwall, 13 Shelducks, 25 Shoveler, c150 Teal and c300 Wigeon, 9 Greylag and again the 11 Canada Geese.  The walk along the route to the third turret added a Med Gull that was in amongst 'lots of' Common and Blk H Gulls on the Golf Course and also of note, 4 Meadow Pipits were along the way.  Colour-ringed Gulls were located during this and yesterday's survey. MR

3rd - Despite some early rain and gusting of c38mph, by 08.30hrs, the skies were bright and sunny and the Westerly winds had dropped to just 7mph.  Surveying the site found that there were many more birds around generally - the likes of Blue, Gt and L-T Tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Robins and Dunnocks definitely in higher numbers - alot of birdsong from the various areas too.  Over the road, the Kingfisher was in the bushes near to the road bridge, while a Common Buzzard was seen to circle high over the arable.  Back on the main site, a Marsh Harrier flushed everything from the two pools beyond the Memorials during two 'slow passes over this marsh', a Kestrel was in the blackthorn in this area, the Little Owl was in his tree and a Firecrest was located within the wooded area behind Tariq.  Heading to the hide, the Sluice rocks yielded 1 Oystercatcher and 2 Purple Sandpipers and just a bit further along, an adult Med Gull was on the sea.  Viewing from the hide saw that counts were much as per yesterday with additions being 1 Blk T Godwit, 1 Grey Heron and a Little Grebe - the latter in front of the hide.  A Peregrine up on the arable was the final noted Bird of Prey for this visit. MR.

4th - Initial SSW winds turned during the day to WNW and speeds were variable from 6mph up to 16mph (occasional gusting of up to 19mph), dropping for the evening to just 5mph.  The earlier grey and rainy skies, per yesterday, brightened to give some sun.  A morning visit again found that the areas over the road and lining the Approach Road, held many common species, while to the delight of the observer, a Kingfisher was on the fence of the Dipping Pond (just inside the lower carpark).  A Sparrowhawk was today near the Memorials, the Little Owl was still in his tree and viewing across the pools beyond, gave a pair of Pintails amongst the TealWigeon and Gulls.  Across the scrape and grazing marsh as seen from the main hide, were counts of 1 Blk T Godwit, 2 Redshank*, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Turnstones, 29 Avocets and c130 Lapwings, alongside 1 Brent, 6 Greylag and 11 Canada Geese.  Also recorded were 4 Gadwall, c25 Shoveler, c100 Teal, c200 Wigeon with totals amongst the Herring and Black Headed Gulls of 1 Med Gull, 6 L B B and 10 G B B Gulls.  A singles Little Grebe and 2 Marsh Harriers completed the notes from the hide while the wander back from this point, gave a Red-T Diver that was sat upon the sea, close offshore. MR.      

5th - A bright, sunny day with light winds of c4mph through 9mph and of a Southerly direction.  No reports returned.

6th - A cool and cloudy start to the day with initial SSW winds of up to 19mph that increased later to 21mph and gusting of up to 24mph.  There were brighter periods during the day and dusk today, was at c18.15hrs.  A morning visit viewed the Kingfisher and a Little Egret over the road - both frequenting the far end of the ditch line that runs parallel with the rear of the houses.  A Sparrowhawk was seen across the marsh at this time.  From the Memorials area - the pools beyond held 18 Curlew, while 2 Kestrels were in the immediate vicinity.  Singles of Redshank, Blk T Godwit, Curlew and Oystercatcher were on and around the scrape with 6 Avocets and 30 Lapwings, also 1 Brent and 11 Canada Geese.  Also viewable from this point (main hide) were 4 Gadwall, 5 Shelduck, 31 Shoveler, c200 Teal and c300 Wigeon.  There were 2 Peregrines today up on the arable.  The return walk to the sluice gave 5 Turnstones along the beach.  On a Wildlife note, the first noted Adder of this year was seen and the mounds held 1 Comma and 2 Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies. MR

7th - Grey and cloudy with a few spits and at least one very brief light shower.  WSW winds were variable 14mph through 30mph with gusting reaching and at times exceeding 34+mph.  A visit (13.15hrs to 14.30hrs) gave of particular note, 1 Firecrest, 1 Common Buzzard and 2 Purple Sandpipers. SM.  

8th - Sunny with some cloud today, as well as misty patches, all along with variable speed Southerly winds, 8mph up to 19mph and some gusting of up to 22mph.  Temperature readings reached +9 degrees.  At least four observers were on and around the site today at various times from early morning through into the afternoon.  Seen this morning in some of the field's set-aside area were 2 Grey Partridges*. PL.  On the main site, surveying along the bushes/thicket opposite the Sluice Cottages located a single Firecrest.  Recorded counts and species per viewing across the scrape and grazing marsh (from the main hide) gave singles of TurnstoneGolden Plover and Blk T Godwit, 22 Curlew, 42 Avocets, 1 Pintail (drake), 12 Shelducks, 14 Shoveler and 1 Brent Goose.  'Good numbers' of Lapwings, Teal and Wigeon were visible. IM/PL.  Slightly later and observations for along the beach and off-shore, included 11 Red-T Divers drifting with the tide, 4 Brent Geese heading N, 2 Turnstones and 2 Purple Sandpipers, the latter two species on the Sluice. PL/IM/GG.  The Little Owl was again in his tree. BL.  Surveying the Farm areas this afternoon yielded a single Chiffchaff* of note. GG.

9th - Generally a pleasant day for this early in the Spring with observers carrying out surveys at both the Farm and on the main site, while this Haven Year's Ringing sessions also got underway.  Whilst there was nothing of major note at the Farm today, there was the pleasant surprise of seeing 2 Coot on the pond!  Maybe they will stay for the season now? IM.  Back on the main site - namely the scrape area as viewed from the hide - this held much as per yesterday regarding species with variations in some totals.  Notes included those of 1 Little Egret, 1 Snipe, 1 Blk T Godwit, 3 Redshanks, 36 Curlew, 44 Avocets and c100 Lapwings, also 1 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 6 Shelducks, 20 Shoveler, c100 Teal and c250 Wigeon, 1 Brent and 11 Canada Geese.  The Sluice rocks held just a single Purple Sandpiper at this time, while a count of 5 Turnstones were seen to be feeding further along the lower part of the seawall by the groyne. IM.  Additional species for today were of 2 Firecrests in/near the ringing compounds, while the Greensward bushes held that of a single Chiffchaff. GG.     (NB: Information received via PL/GG has retrospectively added Bittern to the Haven 2014 Year List per an entry now inserted for 18th Jan'14).  

10th - Initial winds at 07.00hrs were NNW of c11mph with gusting slightly higher at 13mph.  Temperature readings were of +7 degrees and at this time there were already blue skies with a very bright ball of sun.  A morning survey began over the road where 2 Sparrowhawks were seen to be displaying, while in the memorials area, the Little Owl proceeded to enjoy the weather sat atop his tree and at 09.48hrs, a Cetti's Warbler* was located in the bushes near to Tariq.  Moving through to the main hide where viewing across the scrape, grazing marsh and visible skyline produced for the observers, 1 Dunlin, 2 Blk T Godwits, 2 Oystercatchers, 6 Redshank, 32 Curlew and 70 Avocets, 1 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 16 Shelducks and c20 Shoveler, 1 Brent and 14 Canada Geese, also a Common Buzzard. IM/PRD.  An additional report today, was of a male Hen Harrier that flew low over the Golf Course as it headed towards the Frinton end of the site circa mid-day. LW

11th - A grey and breezy start to the day with ENE winds of variable speeds up to 24mph and gusting of up to 28mph.  Not too much of anything different to note today barring a returning Colour-ringed L B B Gull that was on the scrape and a quick 'after lunch' visit that yielded a Redwing* in the carpark bushes. MR.

12th - A mostly bright but sometimes cool day with NE through NNE light to moderate winds.  Several observers visited the main site today and a survey was also made at the Farm.  A morning visit to the main hide yielded Wader totals of 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Blk T Godwits, 3 Turnstones, 5 Snipe and 5 Redshanks, 37 Avocets and 57 Lapwings and also found that one of the Avocets was a Colour-ringed returning bird (unfortunately not as yet, one of the Haven's own ringed Avo's).  Ducks and Geese numbered the single drake Pintail, 6 Gadwall, 8 Shelducks, c20 Shoveler, c150 Teal, c350 Wigeon and 11 Canada Geese.  Around the site, other noted counts were of 2 Kestrels, 1 Sparrowhawk and the Little Owl (again in his favoured tree), also 1 Firecrest (wearing a ring) between the Sewage Farm and Mounds. MR.  In the main carpark a further 2 Firecrests were located (one of these bearing a ring too).  A Cetti's Warbler was seen between the Sewage Farm and the Mounds, while an adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the Sewage Farm along with an aberrant Herring Gull.  Of particular interest during this survey, was the sighting of a Marsh Harrier (juv type) with a 'Red wing tag' (right wing). PRD.  The Farm areas supplied a Little Grebe and still there on the Pond were the 2 Coot.  A Gt. Spotted Woodpecker could be heard drumming but was not to be seen, while 4 Mistle Thrushes were located, as was a singing Corn Bunting. IM

13th - Initial NNW very light winds turned during the day to SSW but the maximum general wind speed recorded locally was just 10mph with most of the day bearing just a gentle breeze.  Mist and fog was intermittent in the local areas but along the coastline it was very thick at times.  Nothing of particular note for today's visit although once again there were Colour-ringed Herring Gulls located. MR

14th - A very foggy morning that was not just limited to the immediate stretch of coastline but also remained across areas more inland for sometime before brightening to give a sunny if slightly chilly rest of the day.  Initial winds were of a SW direction but barely even registering a breeze, while later winds of WNW were of speed up to 16mph along with some gusting of c18mph.  The first report in for today was of a Water Rail viewed by the observer while the bird was on the edge of the Farm Pond.  During the morning, the Farm area also held totals of 1 Little Grebe, the 2 Coot, 3 Corn Buntings and 4 of each Fieldfares and Mistle Thrushes.  Observations back on the main but foggy site, included counts of what could at the time, be seen across the scrape and its surrounding grazing marsh - being 2 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers, 4 Redshanks, 7 Snipe and 46 Avocets, the drake Pintail, 4 Gadwall, 9 Shelducks and some 12 Shoveler.  Feeding along the front by the Sluice, were a total of 9 TurnstonesIM.

15th - A slightly overcast start to the day but by 08.45hrs the sun was shining very brightly.  Initial NW winds were strong of up to 20mph with gusting of up to 25mph.  A slight turn in direction later to NNW with speeds dropping at times to c9mph but also gusting that reached 30mph.  Weather-wise, it is supposed to be a fantastic weekend for it!  An early trip to the Farm found that the Pond area again held 1 Water Rail, 1 Little Grebe and 2 Coot, while located in the Paddocks was a mixed Thrush flock consisting of 3 Mistle, 4 Redwings and 5 Fieldfares.  A Gt. Spotted Woodpecker was viewed and 2 Corn Buntings were in the Farm vicinity. IM.  An additional report gave a Chiffchaff on the main site - this bird now sports a new ring. PNt.

16th - A glorious morning from dawn with bright sun and blue skies and a temperature reading of +9 degrees before 08.00hrs (a high of +16 degrees for the day).  NW winds of speeds up to 21mph and gusting of up to 28mph, turned later to become WNW but variable back to NNW with only slight increases in speed (23mph and 29mph respectively).  Of note, it was dark by 18.30hrs.  An afternoon wander and survey of the Farm areas provided 2 Linnets, 3+ Greenfinches and 2+ Goldfinches, the 2 Coot on the pond, on and near to the paddocks were 3 Mistle Thrushes and 2 Green Woodpeckers, while at least 8 Skylarks were seen above the fields but there were many more singing in these areas.  On the Wildlife side, in just the area from the pond to the end of the paddocks, there were a minimum of 20 Small Tortoiseshell and at least 2 Peacock Butterflies viewed. KA/AD.     

17th - Blue skies and bright sun as the early cloud-cover was breaking away, along with a temperature reading of +8 degrees by 06.45hrs.  WNW winds, variable up to 15mph with some gusting of c18mph.  More cloud had unfortunately made its way across by 08.00hrs and was there-about throughout but overall, still a mostly bright day.  Of note there were c45 Avocets seen to be on the scrape area while the area near to the Sluice held 2 of each Oystercatcher and Turnstone.  A ringing session carried out during the morning included a 'couple of re-traps' from 2012. SC

18th - A cloudy start to the day but the sun trying at times to break through - not being overly successful by 09.00hrs. Westerly winds varying 12mph through 19mph along with early gusting of up to 23mph.  A temperature reading of +9 degrees at this time.  A couple of very small, light showers occurred during the afternoon and a bit of rain for the evening.  Further to a report received, a possible Glaucous Gull was seen to fly S today. RP.  

19th - Another cloud-covered and slightly grey start to the morning - trying to brighten by 09.00hrs.  Variable winds being WNW through WSW and of speeds, also very variable up to this time, of 12mph through 18mph and gusting of up to 24mph.  An early survey over the road this morning located a singing Chiffchaff, while the Little Owl was in the Blackthorn on the main site by the memorials.  Beyond this area on the pools, were 2 Blk T Godwits with several Teal, Wigeon and various GullsOriginally seen off the Frinton coast c07.00hrs by the 'Frinton Obs' (PBr) who put the word out - at 08.37hrs, 3 Shags were all drifting S on the tide as they headed past the Haven Sluice (these were still close off-shore as at the return walk from the hide).  Counts across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh gave 1 Little Egret, 1 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers, 5 Snipe, 9+ Redshank, 28 Lapwings and 29 Avocets, alongside a drake Pintail, 8 Shoveler, 8 Shelducks, c40 Wigeon, c40 Teal, 4 Greylag and 13 Canada Geese.  The wander back to the Mounds, saw that apart from the Shags, there were c12 Red-T Divers on the water (2+ of the latter in 'near summer plumage'), a Gt. Crested Grebe was also on the sea while a second of these was seen to fly S.  A very quick Farm visit added of note, a single Corn Bunting to the report. MR.  

20th - Bright and sunny with S/SW strong winds of c24mph with gusting of up to 33mph for the first part of the day, which was followed by a lot of cloud and a slight change of wind direction to WSW.  Wind speed picked up to 31+mph and gusting of 36mph.  No reports returned.

21st - After rain virtually all night, it was a drizzly start to the day but this began to clear by 09.15hrs.  Initial winds were WNW, very variable in speeds from 12mph through 24mph with associated gusting of up to 28mph.  Of particular note, an adult male Hen Harrier was viewed today. PRD.

22nd - A chilly morning but initially bright before the clouds moved in to give rain, snow, sleet and hailstones!  Some brighter weather followed but showers and sleet were intermittent from mid-day onwards with the evening bring more constant rainfall.  At 10.15hrs, a male Hen Harrier was a brief visitor across the Haven. PNs.  Later in the day, 3 Wheatears* were located by the 'Dump' by the Golf Course and either the same (returning) or a different male Hen Harrier was observed. GG

23rd - A bright morning from very early with some W/WNW winds of up to 13mph.  Occasional short-lived showers through the morning and into early afternoon before once again some very dark cloud moved in, bring heavy rain and some sleet.  Wind direction by the evening was at NW/NNW (c10mph) and although slightly brighter before dusk, the temperature dropped considerably.  Several observers were on and around the site today with initial noted species being a female Marsh Harrier, 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawks and 2 Kestrels, also a single Bar T Godwit. GG. Some 5+ Chiffchaffs were generally around the site. GG/PL.  A count of 5 Blk T Godwits was also noted. PL.  Further observations supplied totals of 1 Gt. Crested Grebe drifting off-shore and a Wheatear atop the fence by the first turret, whilst viewing from the main hide added 2 Ruff, 10+ Redshank, 50 Avocets, 2 Gadwall, 3 Shelduck and 12+ Shoveler. IM/PL.  

24th - A bright dawn alongside a very heavy frost!  By 07.15hrs, whilst the sun gave a false sense of it being warm, the temperature was barely +2 degrees.  Initial WNW winds, variable from c3mph up to 8mph turned to SSE before mid-afternoon and speeds increased upwards of 14mph.  A visit to site (main hide) and subsequent survey gave noted counts of 2 Dunlin, 5 Blk T Godwits, 10+ Redshank and 30 Avocets, all alongside 4 Shoveler and 14 Shelducks.  For the second time this month, a juvenile Marsh Harrier was seen bearing a Red wing tag. IM.

25th - Cool but bright during the morning with cloud moving in for the early afternoon and a drop in temperature at this time.  SE through E winds of c14mph initially that became stronger later in the day.  No reports returned.

26th - Another bright morning to start - along with a few white clouds in a blue sky.  A change to grey skies and a couple of downpours of hailstones later, the temperature dropped rapidly before increasing briefly with some late afternoon brighter skies.  N through NNW winds of up to 15mph and gusting of 18+mph turned to Easterlies by the evening with increased speeds of up to 22mph and 29mph respectively.  Viewing from the main hide today, supplied counts of 6 Shoveler, 13 Shelducks, c48 Teal, c52 Wigeon and 11 Canada Geese, alongside a Wader count of 1 Snipe, 9 Redshanks, 42 Avocets (including a colour-ringed individual) and also a Ringed Plover that flew around then disappeared in a NE direction.  A Little Egret was also noted, as were 12 G B B Gulls (amongst c80 Gulls). PRD/MR

27th - Early morning rain and strong winds, were in due course followed by sun and much lighter wind speeds.  Variable direction of E through ESE winds dropped from 22+mph to barely a breeze at times, while gusting dropped from 29mph down to c11mph.  Surveying the site today was from the area over the road, along the Approach Road, on through to and including from the main hide and the subsequent return wander to the carpark areas.  With one across the road and another in the Approach Road, Chiffchaffs totalled a count of 2 for the day, a Cetti's Warbler was in the Memorials area during the initial observations and was calling from here upon the return, the Little Owl was seen to be behind the Sewage Farm, whilst the pools beyond held 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Blk T Godwits and amongst a lot of Gulls (mixed) there were a few Teal and Wigeon.  A further c20 Teal and c80 Wigeon were on and around the scrape area (from the hide), along with 6 Shelducks and 6 Shoveler, 11 Canada Geese, 8 Redshanks, 16 Avocets and c30 Lapwings of note.  An adult Med Gull was in this vicinity, as were 2 Red-legged Partridges, 2 Linnets and 2 Pied Wagtails.  Slightly later, viewing from the carpark yielded a Marsh Harrier (not tagged) over the marshland. MR

28th - A very chilly start at barely +2 degrees by 07.00hrs but at least it was bright and sunny.  Wind direction varied SE through E with mainly moderate speeds, rising at times later in the day to 16+mph and gusting reached a maximum of 20mph.  Temperature readings of +9 degrees for mid-afternoon.  No reports returned.

29th - Another day of variable wind direction E through SE and again mostly moderate speeds of c12mph and gusting just slightly higher at 14mph.  Early cloud-cover with the sun trying to break through was alongside a temperature of +9 degrees.  No reports returned.

30th - The clocks moved forward by 1 hour over night for B.S.T.  As at 08.00hrs the earlier 13mph winds and gusting of 16mph had dropped to barely a breeze and c3mph respectively with a direction of SSE/SE.  The temperature at this time was already at +10 degrees.  A few observers were on and around the site today with reports that included the sighting of a colour-ringed Avocet (GG/MR).  Noted counts from one survey gave 1 Little Egret, 2 Oystercatchers, 3 Blk T Godwits, 12+ Redshank, 41 Avocets and 14 Shelducks as viewed across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, also 2 Red-T Divers (1xfull summer plumage) on the sea and 17 Common Scoters that flew N, while on the main site a Cetti's Warbler was singing. GG.  Another survey, beginning over the road, found that whilst it was 'a pleasant morning that required no coat' for a change, the first area was very quiet of birds, the Approach Road faired much the same, apart from a single Chiffchaff and the Dell was also void of any notable species.  From the Greensward Shelter, viewing off-shore gave 80+ Red-T Divers that headed S after they were disturbed from the sea by a trawler.  Moving down to view from the Sluice, a further 5 Red-T Divers (1xnear full summer plum) could be seen still sitting off-shore towards the Frinton end of site.  Continuing the walk through to the Frinton end, 18 Brent Geese flew S (close off-shore) and 13 Cormorants flew overhead and onwards out to sea.  Along the front were 2 Oystercatchers on the Rock Breakwater and the rocks between the 3rd Turret and the Raised Golf Tee held a single Turnstone and 3 Purple Sandpipers.  Totals of 4 Pied Wagtails, 5 Linnet, 8 Meadow Pipits and 10 Skylarks were seen upon the return wander. MR.  At the time of this particular survey, additional counts for the scrape areas were singles of Little Grebe and Dunlin, 9 Snipe and the Avocets were now at c50.  Both a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk were also in the vicinity - however, a micro-lite then disturbed everything across the entire scrape. PL/MR.  Either the earlier bird or possibly a different Cetti's Warbler (ringed) was seen near the brook. PL.     

31st - Some dull skies for early this morning and the afternoon saw a few 'hit-n-miss' showers.  SW/SSW variable light winds and slight gusting (breeze to 9mph & barely 11mph respectively).  By 08.30hrs the temperature was at +11 degrees.  At least two observers were on site through the morning and a return visit was made during the afternoon.  A total count of 3 Chiffchaffs was of 'singles' located in the area over the road, along the Approach Road and also near to the Memorials.  A Cetti's Warbler was also located, as was a single Little Grebe - the latter on the brook below the Memorials.  Viewing off-shore and along the front supplied 2 Red-T Divers and 2 Cormorants drifting on the sea and 6 Turnstones on the Sluice.  Shelducks and Shoveler were at counts of 4 and 7 respectively across the scrape, along with c30 Teal, c60 Wigeon, 4 Greylag and 11 Canada Geese.  The Wader counts were of 5 Snipe, c10 Redshanks, c30 Lapwings and 42 Avocets - the latter again including a colour-ringed bird. PRD/MR.  A single Wheatear was also viewed from the hide, while located in the Boating Club compound (by Sluice Cottages) was a Blackcap* (fem). PRD. The afternoon visit yielded the addition of a male Blackcap along the hedgerow near to the Little Owl's tree. MR.     

As at 31st March, the Haven 2014 Year List stands at 112.