Holland Haven Birding

Official Site Of The Holland Haven Birding Group ©

Recent Sightings

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

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

Archive:  Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   June   July   Aug   Sept   Oct   Nov   Dec 

Site Year Tick*

MARCH 2015

1st - A morning visit to the site yielded the regular culprits along with notables of 2 Goldcrests in and around the bushes, while 2 Dunlin, 8 Blk T Godwits and 12 Curlew were among the Gulls, Ducks and Geese (Canada + Greylags) on and around the scrape.  Both Kestrel and Common Buzzard were viewed and the walk towards the Golf Course added good numbers of Skylarks (singing) and Meadow Pipits.  A G B B Gull and 2 Cormorants were seen off-shore at this time. SW

2nd - No reports returned.

3rd - No reports returned.

4th - Strong winds during this morning's visit certainly didn't help the surveying of the trees and bushes but small flocks were noted of Chaffinch, Greenfinch and House Sparrows, whilst a Song Thrush was seen as were c15 Blackbirds, also 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrels.  Viewing from the main hide added Ruff* to the Haven Year List with a count of 2 of these birds on site at this point.  The scrape and surrounding area also held 1 Little Egret, 2 Oystercatchers, 34 Blk T Godwits, 47 Curlew and 70 Lapwings, alongside 2 Gadwall, 4 Shelducks, 12 Shoveler, c100 Teal, c350 Wigeon, 4 Canada and 30 Greylag Geese.  The skyline added 2 Common Buzzards to the report.  A short sea-watch from the sluice area upon the return wander provided 1 Gt. Crested Grebe (flying S), 2 Red-T Divers (on the sea) and 5 Brent Geese (also S). MR.

5th - A chilly and frosty start today but quite bright.  WSW winds of up to 11mph through the morning.  Reported for 12.55hrs was that a Red Kite was viewable over the farm. MR.

6th - Two additions for the Haven Year List today and a 'plastic' species too.  Surveying over the road this morning (opp. Approach Road) 2 Grey Partridges* were located near to the hump backed road bridge.  This report confirms Grey Partridge on the Haven Listings for five consecutive years. PRD.  Viewing across the scrape and grazing marsh during the morning found that much was the same as recent days with counts and species although a Cape Shelduck (the deemed plastic bird of the day) was surely a surprise for the observers.  Around mid-day, 12 Avocets* dropped into the vicinity, taking the Haven 2015 Year List up to 103 species. PRD/MR.

7th - No reports returned.

8th - A glorious morning with bright sun and blue skies, along with very variable SW through NW winds of up to c25mph and gusting of up to c28mph.  No reports returned.

9th - A frosty start but again bright sun and blue skies.  Variable wind speeds of between c2mph and 13mph.  The first report in for this morning was of 3 Spoonbills* on the scrape at c09.30hrs. PRD.  Several observers saw these birds during the morning - by 11.30hrs the Spoonbills had moved to the pools (west of the scrape) and best viewed from the platform (Memorials area) and were still in-situ as at 12.45hrs. At 15.40hrs, two of the Spoonbills were seen to leave the scrape area, flying towards Frinton. DS/MR/PBr/IM/et al.  A walk from the Frinton end of site through to the second turret was quiet apart from the views of both a S E O and a Barn Owl quartering the area between the second hide and the Golf Course.  The return wander gave a single Rock Pipit and 5 Turnstones on the rocks below the third turret. IM.  Some 20 Avocets were also noted as being on the scrape during today and these included a Colour-ringed bird. MR.

10th - As at 08.35hrs this morning, the 3 Spoonbills were again on the scrape, whilst on the grazing marsh was an immature Peregrine. PBr.  The Spoonbills proved very mobile today - moving back and forth from scrape to pools, as well as in/out of ditches across the marsh area and not always viewable.  Viewing from the main hide yielded 1 Little Egret, 3 Oystercatchers, 4 Snipe, 9 Curlew, 20 Blk T Godwits and 40 Lapwings, alongside 4 Shoveler, 8 Shelducks, 100 Teal and 170 WigeonGeese in the area consisted of 4 Canada, 4 Greylag and 140 Brents at this time.  Singles of Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were noted and a Water Rail was in the vicinity of the front of the hide but was heard only. IM/MR.  During an afternoon visit, a Woodcock* was flushed from the area opposite to the Approach Road (14.10hrs). PRD.

11th - Of note today, a Siskin* flew past the main hide at 09.25hrs. PRD.

12th - A morning visit to the main hide found that much was as it had been in recent days, although there were 11 Avocets in-situ and also a colour-ringed Herring Gull of particular note.  Along the front on the Sluice rocks were 5 Purple Sandpipers, whilst along the route, a Grey Wagtail flew out from the Sewage Farm. MR.  A wander down through the Farm paths provided the observer with a count of 6 Corn Buntings*. PRD.

13th - Today's report consisted of viewing from both the main hide and the Sluice area.  Across the scrape, grazing marsh and visible skyline were counts of 2 Little Egrets, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Avocets and 54 Lapwings, 3 Shelducks, 11 Shoveler, c50 Teal and c200 Wigeon, along with 2 Canada and 3 Greylag Geese.  Singles of Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk were seen.  From the Sluice, totals of 5 Purple Sandpipers and 5 Turnstones were viewed as they flew in/off to land on the rocks. IM.

14th - On the route to the main hide, 5 Purple Sandpipers were again seen on the rocks (from the Sluice).  Counts and species varied a little bit today across the main scrape and grazing marsh with Wader totals of 2 Snipe, 4 Redshanks, 8 Blk T Godwits and 10 Curlew, whilst Ducks and Geese comprised 8 Shoveler, 10 Shelducks, c50 Teal, c200 Wigeon, 3 Greylag, 10 Canada and c400 Brent Geese.  A Cetti's Warbler was also noted from this hide. IM.

15th - No reports returned.

16th - Located this morning was an adult Gull which from the viewing at the time gave itself to be deemed an 'Iceland'.  This particular Gull was amongst a 150+ flock of Herring and G B B Gulls in the distant arable field, viewable from the lay-by on the left-hand side of road after the hump-backed bridge as you go from the Haven entrance (this is also from where the Yellowhammers were viewed Nov 2014).   The bird was last seen c09.45hrs as it flew towards the seafront and out of sight. PNt/IM/PRD. (NB. On 10th April'15 what may have possibly been the same bird, appeared on the Pools and subsequently much closer for viewing.  Observations and photos concur that the Gull on the Pools "is either a hybrid Glauc/Herring or an aberrant Herring Gull".  Therefore as HHB have a criteria of 'beyond reasonable doubt' when species are reported for inclusion within our records, the observers having taken "the perceived similarities in age, overall structure, head and bill shape, bill colour, mantle colour etc." of this/these Gulls, they have requested that the 'Iceland Gull' of 16/03/15 be removed from the current Year List. PRD/PNt.     

17th - No reports returned.

18th - A wander along the track (from car-park to Sluice) yielded 2 Chiffchaff between the Sewage Farm and Ringing Compound.  An afternoon visit to the Farm found that a pair of Mandarin Ducks* were happy on the Farm Pond at 15.45hrs but they had disappeared by 16.15hrs. MR.

19th - It was a 'cold and breezy cycle' along the seawall to the hide from the Frinton end and back again this morning - during which the observers found very little on the scrape.  Of note were 2 of each Oystercatcher and Redshank, 3 Canada Geese and 22 Teal across the area, while the seawall gave just a Rock Pipit of note at this time.  Bird-life was a bit more lively on the Golf Course with 3 Med Gulls (2x1Yr+1Ad) , 24 Common Gulls and several hundred Blk-Headed Gulls - all feeding on the Course.  Also on here were c800 Starlings that when disturbed and proceeded with their murmuration, gave rise to a fantastic description (from through a child's eyes) as "looking like a blown-up balloon that is let go". PBr/KBr.

20th - A visit to both the main site this morning and to the Farm this afternoon, provided singles of S E O and Barn Owl quartering the fields at the rear of the Golf Course (11.00hrs), while the Farm Pond was again hosting the pair of Mandarin Ducks (15.33hrs). MR.

21st - A bit too cold and windy to search the trees and bushes this morning, so it was on to the main hide for today's report.  Heard in front of the hide was a Cetti's Warbler, while on and around the scrape were counts of 1 Snipe, 2 Oystercatchers, 6 Redshanks, 9 Blk T Godwits, 28 Avocets and 40 Lapwings, all alongside 5 Shelducks, 9 Shoveler, c40 Teal and c250 Wigeon, 4 Canada and 6 Greylag Geese.  In amongst the Avocets there were two Colour-ringed birds, including one of the 'Haven-ringed' Avos. MR/TS.

22nd - Whilst no actual counts were made/received, of particular note, there was a Colour-ringed Herring Gull visible on the scrape during today's visit. MR.

23rd - After viewing early passage from Frinton and the temptation of the morning sun, a cycle ride from the Frinton end of site to opposite the grazing marsh and back (08.30-09.00hrs) unfortunately saw very little -  although 5 Meadow Pipits were seen to fly in/off and a count of 17 Cormorants flew N off-shore. PBr/KBr.

24th - At least two observers were on and around the site this morning and initially went straight to the main hide due to the rain.  Viewing across the scrape and its surrounding grazing marsh yielded 1 Water Rail (front of hide), 3 Oystercatchers, 5 Curlew, 6 Blk T Godwits, 10 Redshanks, 12+ Snipe, 13 Avocets and c40 Lapwings, as well as 5 Shelducks, 9 Shoveler, c40 Teal, c200 Wigeon, 6 Canada and 6 Greylag Geese.  On the arable were 2 Med Gulls, while Birds of Prey consisted of 1 Kestrel, 1 Common Buzzard and 1 Marsh Harrier (fem).  A male Wheatear* (PRD) was during this survey, located to the right of the hide.  Returning to the Sluice slightly later, a short seawatch session gave 2 Brent Geese (N), 4 Great Crested Grebes (3N+1 on sea), 13 Red-T Divers (7N+6 on sea) and some 14+ Cormorants that were feeding off-shore.  The brook area behind the Sluice provided a Kingfisher, while the bushes in this vicinity gave a Chiffchaff. PRD/MR.

25th - No reports returned.

26th - A few observers visited the site today and two more new 2015 Haven Year Ticks were gained too.  Seen to land briefly on the fence by Clacton Sailing Club (top of greensward), a Black Redstart* quickly flew off in the direction of the Dell.  During the search to relocate the Black Red, a Redwing* was seen in the bushes by the Sailing Club's compound. IM.  Either the same or another Black Redstart appeared on the rocks in front of the Sailing Club later, along with 5 Purple Sandpipers. PRD/IM.  A quick afternoon visit saw a Marsh Harrier hunting the fields beyond the lower carpark before it flew across the road in a continuing search. KA.  A mid-afternoon visit to the Farm found that the pair of Mandarin Ducks (14.55hrs) had once again returned to the Pond and in the paddocks just beyond were 2 Redwings.  A Marsh Harrier (+/same as earlier bird on site) was seen to be over the fields by the Golf Course during this survey from the Farm. IM.

27th - Once again it was a Black Redstart that was the first report in for the day - this one was on the rocks in front of the Promenade/Cafe (lower end of slope below Clacton Sailing Club) at 08.42hrs.  The second report in was of a second Black Redstart (09.55hrs) closer to the other end of the site where the bird was on the rocks located opposite the Golf Course Dump. MR

28th - No reports returned.

29th - Clocks went forward by one hour overnight, so lighter evenings from today...... depending on all the promised heavy rain clouds of course!   No reports returned.

30th - No reports returned.

31st - A somewhat breezy day today with wind speeds reaching up to c47mph with gusting of 55+mph in the local area (much higher across the country), direction of which were constantly variable WNW through N.  Sun, rain and hailstones made appearances today.  At least two observers visited the site where the high winds made walking difficult at times let alone the surveying of trees and bushes.  A Cetti's Warbler was heard in the vicinity of the Dipping Pond (lower carpark) first thing this morning of note.  The counts across the scrape and grazing marsh - viewed from the main hide - were of 1 Little Egret, 1 Snipe, 9 Blk T Godwits, 20+ Curlew, 12 Redshank, 15 Avocets (including a Colour-ringed bird) and c40 Lapwings, while the Ducks and Geese comprised just 2 Wigeon alongside 4 Shoveler, 10 Shelducks and c20 Teal, 3 Greylag and 6 Canada Geese.  Skyline views yielded a single Common Buzzard and 2 Kestrels.  The return route saw 5 Purple Sandpipers flying past the Sluice to land on the 'new rock breakwaters'.  On a Wildlife note, an Adder was seen to be basking in the sun near to the mounds. IM/MR.

As at 31st March 2015 the Haven 2015 Year List stands at: 111.