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 2016 

1st - No reports returned.

2nd - Visits to the site this morning were in very cold winds for a couple of observers - even the RLB decided to stay out of sight during this survey.  With the exception of a Yellow-legged Gull, the species on the scrape and grazing marsh were reported to be much as per recent days - so no real change from the last week of February.  The Sluice rocks were at least able to provide 2 Purple Sandpipers for addition to the notebooks. PRD/MR.

3rd - During a sunny but cool survey (10.00-11.30hrs) this morning found that the Rough-legged Buzzard was viewable beyond the Golf Club/Course area, a S E O (10.45hrs) was seen to fly to the grazing marsh to the left of the main hide, while the seawall held a single Rock Pipit and a female Stonechat was also noted.  Off-shore viewing gave a single Red-throated Diver. BL.

4th - Surveying for two hours today (10.30-12.30hrs) yielded counts of some 4 Oystercatchers, 33 Blk T Godwits, c40 Curlew and 100+ Lapwings, 2 Gadwall (pr), 6 Shoveler and c400 Wigeon, as well as the juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard, 2 Common Buzzards and 2 Kestrels.  Also noted were a Goldcrest, a Stonechat (fem), 2 Greenfinches, a Grey Wagtail* and 2 Stock Doves. LH.

5th - No reports returned.

6th - Reported for on-site during the morning was that the Rough-legged Buzzard was once again beyond the Golf Course. RBA.  A count of 3 Purple Sandpipers were seen on the Sluice late morning, while at 12.05hrs, a Spoonbill* was located and visible from the main hide. PRD.  Reported again as at 16.30hrs, this bird was on the scrape until at least 18.00hrs this evening. PRD/JH/DS

7th - The Spoonbill was preening at the rear of the scrape before 08.05hrs and still visible as at 08.52hrs. BS/MR.  Surveying from the main hide also yielded the first Avocet* of the year, while other Waders across the area included 2 Oystercatchers, 3 Dunlin, 5 Blk T Godwits, 22 Curlew and c400 Lapwings.  Ducks and Geese consisted of 8 Shelducks, 16 Shoveler, c80 Teal and c400 Wigeon, 11 Canada and c80 Greylags.  The Gull count during this time was of 3 Common, 7 G B B, 20 Herring and c90 Black-headed, while continued viewing added a Reed Bunting, the Rough-legged Buzzard and 3 Common Buzzards to the notes.  The return wander from the hide, gave 3 Purple Sandpipers on the seawall near to the Sluice. MR.  An additional site visit (13.10-14.50hrs), further added to the day's totals with 2 Gadwall, 4 TurnstonesBlk-T Godwits were up to a count of 9, 1 Kestrel and 1 Kingfisher and while the Spoonbill had been seen (ML: 11.45-12.45hrs) to have flown S after being disturbed, the bird had returned to the site. LH.

8th - Reported for mid-day, were both the Rough-legged Buzzard and the SpoonbillRBA.

9th - Today's report was from a very quick visit to the site this afternoon, where the Ducks and Waders were much as in recent days for species and counts across the scrape and grazing marsh.  Amongst the Herring (inc. a colour-ringed) and Black-headed Gulls were also some 14 G B B and c40 L B B Gulls.  The Kingfisher was visible when it chose to feed in front of the hide a couple of times.  Located along the seawall were 3 Purple Sandpipers and 3 Turnstones, while very close in-shore, a Kittiwake was viewable near the Sluice. MR.

10th - A sunny morning made for a longer survey today and also gave sight of the first Adder to be reported in this 2016 year.  The wander through to the main hide supplied a Grey Wagtail in the Sewage Farm area and it was obvious before reaching the hide that many Avocets had now appeared.  The Wader counts across the scrape and surrounding area were of 4 Oystercatchers, 26 Blk-T Godwits, 38 Avocets, 49 Curlew and c150 Lapwings.  Totals of 4 Gadwall, 16 Shoveler, 18 Shelducks, c70 Teal, c300 Wigeon, 5 Greylag and 11 Canada Geese were also noted.  The Kingfisher was once again on view from the main hide, as were 2 Skylarks, 3 Reed Buntings, the Rough-legged Buzzard, 2 Common Buzzards and 2 Kestrels. MR.  Located this afternoon (14.30hrs), a S E Owl was atop a post between the second hide and the Golf Course. PRD.

11th - Another day of good weather for a site survey which took in a wander through to the third turret and while there was nothing of exception to see or note, there were some 15+ Reed Buntings to prove an increase of this species on the site in recent days - both Meadow Pipit and Skylark numbers having also increased.  By the second turret, a 'really smart' (littoralis) Rock Pipit was viewed and during most of the morning, the Rough-legged Buzzard was showing well.  The species and numbers across the scrape and marsh areas were seen to be much as per yesterday. MR.  A visit to the Farm prior to walking down to the main site, provided a single Fieldfare, 2 Redwings* and 2 Song Thrushes in the Paddocks (TS) and during a slightly later Farm visit, 2 Mistle Thrushes were added to the day's reports. TS/MR

12th - Singles of Greenfinch and Goldfinch along with 7 House Sparrows were some of the species included within a ringing session during today. 

13th - Of particular note today, the Avocets on the scrape included a colour-ringed bird. MR.

14th - Amongst the Avocets was a colour-ringed bird - a different one from yesterday. MR.

15th - No reports returned.

16th - A fairly short visit to the site - mid-morning into early afternoon - yielded 92 Curlew across the marshland behind/beside the Approach Road, while the walk through to the third turret gave 7 Turnstones along the beach, the Rock Pipit once again below the second turret and the Rough-legged Buzzard that was 'on the wing' for a while.  Viewing from the main hide included counts of 5 Pintails (3 drakes+2 ducks) that were located to the right of the hide in amongst the regular culprits, 10 Blk T Godwits and 26 Avocets.  The Kingfisher flew in front of the hide a couple of times again too. MR.  A one hour visit (14.30 - 15.30hrs) added 2 Purple Sandpipers on the Sluice and a S E Owl that appeared during the walk from the main to the second hide. DD

17th - Surveying today saw a single Adder 'taking in the sun' on the mounds this morning, also 2 Goldcrests (1 x Approach Road + 1 Dell) and the Rough-legged Buzzard that first thing this morning was creating havoc over the Sewage Farm with the Gulls, while the wander to the main hide, supplied 5 Turnstones along the front/near the Sluice.  Visible from the hide, birds of prey were the RLB, a Common Buzzard, a Marsh Harrier and 3 Kestrels and the Gulls included 2 Common and 125 Black-headed.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were 1 Little Egret and 2 Grey Herons, 1 Snipe, 1 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers, 26 Blk-T Godwits, 38 Avocets, 40+ Curlew and c150 Lapwings, alongside 2 Gadwall, 9 Shelducks, 21 Shoveler, c60 Teal, c300 Wigeon, 10 Greylag and 13 Canada Geese.  In amongst the Avocets was a returning Haven colour-ringed bird GB/GY. MR

18th - Reported in for 10.11hrs was that a Blackcap* was located along the Approach Road. IM.  A WeBS count was undertaken during one survey this morning and along with notes of a Marsh Harrier, the totals and species proved to be 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Cormorants, 5 Moorhens, singles of RedshankTurnstone and Curlew, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 14 Blk-T Godwits, 34 Avocets and 135 Lapwings, also 2 Mallards, 2 Gadwall, 12 Teal, 21 Shelducks, 45 Shoveler and 530 Wigeon, 9 Canada and 25 Greylag Geese.  Gulls consisted of 2 L B B, 90 Herring and 815 Black-headed - the latter species being 115 on the scrape area and some 700+ following the tractor at the Gt. Holland end of the site. SC.  An afternoon visit and subsequent survey, provided additions of a Woodcock* that flew from the woodland area (13.50hrs) across the Approach Road, a Rock Pipit (Littoralis) which is most probably the same bird as has been seen recently and was seen today to be flying between two areas along the front, also 3 Purple Sandpipers (+/- earlier 2) on the rocks of the breakwater past the first turret, while the shore in this vicinity held 6 Turnstones.  Off-shore viewing gave 39 Brent Geese of which 14, 17 and 3 flew N close-in, while 5 flew S at distance. GB.  Further off-shore viewing located several Red-throated Divers sitting on the sea and 2+ flying N and also sat upon the water was a Gt. Crested Grebe.  At 16.24hrs, a S E Owl was seen to fly over/around the Sluice and Sewage Farm.  Also of note, 2 Dunlin that were slightly earlier seen to be feeding out on the marsh, took flight in a determined N direction. GB/MR.   

19th/20th/21st - No reports returned.

22nd - Of particular note today, a pair of Mandarin Ducks* were on the Farm Pond, seen to be on the far bank. IM/IS.

23rd - Surveying areas of the site from the Frinton end through to the scrape (06.50-08.00hrs) provided 2 Med Gulls (Pair adults) and 20 Curlew on the Golf Course, 1pr Reed Buntings in a reedbed, while 4 Shelducks were noted for scrape, as well as 5 Blk-T Godwits and 20+ Avocets across this same vicinity. BS.  At 10.14hrs a Coal Tit* was at the Feeding Station. IM.  During the earlier part of another observer's site visit, a Water Rail was viewed in the area across the road (opp. Approach Road) at 08.52hrs, while a Sparrowhawk was 'upsetting things' along the Approach Road.  The wander to the Sluice and beyond, gave 2 Purple Sandpipers on the Sluice Rocks, the long staying juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard was out and about, 10+ Redshanks were additional to recent days viewing and amongst the Avocets, was the Haven Avo GB/GN. MR.  Per a report viewed on the RBA pager, there were 2 Rough-legged Buzzards visible on/over the site as at 10.00hrs. RBA.

24th - At least two observers visited the site today and both located Chiffchaffs* to add to the Haven Year List as well as to their own.  One of the Chiffs was located in the hedge by the Sewage Farm (PRD) while the other was in the bushes between the Sluice and the main hide (MR).  The start of the day's survey noted a definite influx of Thrush species with 1 Song Thrush, 10+ Blackbirds and 18+ Redwings on the pasture over the road, followed by 2 Song Thrushes located along the Approach Road.  In the latter area, 3 Goldcrests were also seen.  Observing from the main hide yielded counts that included 1 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, 18 Blk-T Godwits and 26 Avocets (inc. GB/GN), also 4 Common Gulls, the Rough-legged Buzzard (on the marsh to the right of the main hide) and 1 Cetti's Warbler.  The wander back to the Sluice added 2 Red-throated Divers to the report (both sat on the sea), as well as a Grey Wagtail that flew over in a NE direction. PRD/MR.

25th - Of particular note, three Haven 2016 Year Ticks were gained today - brief views of a Tree Sparrow* (PRD), picked up on 'call' the bird was located atop bushes before it flew towards the carpark, a Red Kite* (PL) that flew over the site mid-morning and headed SW and also a Swallow* (PL) that flew through the site later in the day in a NE direction. PRD/PL/MR.  Thrush species were again noted on the way into the main site and along the carpark hedgerows, where 1 Redwing, 3 Song Thrushes and 15+ Blackbirds were seen. MR.  Observing from the main hide supplied counts of 1 Cetti's Warbler (heard only) and 4+ Common Buzzards, while across the scrape and grazing marsh were 3 Snipe, 5 Redshank, 14 Curlew, 23 Avocets and 26 Blk-T Godwits, 12 Shelducks and 15 Shoveler alongside the Teal and Wigeon. PRD/MR.  Three observers watched from the Sluice area for a short while, where a few of each Red-throated Divers and Cormorants could be seen, they then picked up on a Sparrowhawk heading in/off that was being heavily mobbed by the Gulls.  "After being hit on several occasions, the Sparrowhawk finally ditched into the sea, some 400m short of safety.  It bobbed around on the water for several minutes - surrounded by c20 large Gulls - before making one last effort..... amazingly, the Sparrowhawk lifted off and chased by 'the pack', it made it to the beach and this lucky raptor was then lost to view". PRD/PL/MR.

26th - Of particular note today, a colour-ringed Avocet was viewed. MR.   Clocks forward 1 hour tonight/BST.

27th - Initial reports at 09.46hrs gave that 3 Firecrests* and 3 Goldcrests were located in the woods alongside the Approach Road. PL/MR. 

28th - On an extremely windy Bank Holiday/Easter Monday, of particular note, a single Firecrest was located at mid-day in the Approach Road woods. MR.  

29th - Several observers were on the site today which provided 2 Firecrests, one in the carpark bushes (PRD) and the other near the raised Platform (SW) by the Memorials.  A Grey Wagtail was located in the vicinity of the Sewage Farm. SW/PRD.  The Approach Road woods held a single Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaffs. MR.  Surveying from the main hide yielded counts of 1 Little Egret and 1 Grey Heron, 1 Med Gull (2S) and 5 Common Gulls, 11 Redshanks, 11 Curlew, 18 Blk T Godwits and 69 Avocets, alongside 4 Gadwall, 18 Shoveler, 20 Shelduck, c20 Teal and 48 Wigeon, 10 Canada and 15 Greylag Geese.  Singles of Reed Bunting, Kestrel and Common Buzzard were noted, as were 2 Wheatears* (pr) - the first of these for this Haven Year. PRD/MR.  The return wander to the Sluice, saw 2 Purple Sandpipers and 3 Turnstones on the near-by seawall.  Notable amongst the Avocets were two colour-ringed birds, one being a 'Haven' bird. MR.  

30th - The main site and the Farm were visited during today by several observers and two further Haven Year Ticks were added.  A Willow Warbler* (PRD) was located in a clump of bushes immediately SW of the Dell, a Black Redstart* and 2 Wheatears (MR) were visible on the rocks in front of the Cafe (below right of the Sailing Club), a Firecrest (IM) was in the Approach Road woods, another Black Redstart (IM) was found to be in the bushes along the path to the right of the Farm Pond, while at the Frinton end of the main site, a female Black Redstart (PBr) was on the boundary of the recording area. PRD/IM/PBr/MR.

31st - Surveying and a ringing session took place today with the latter yielding 3 Firecrests and 4 Goldcrests among the various species of the morning duration. SC + MR/PR/LR.  Near to the Sewage Farm were a White Wagtail and also 2 Grey Wagtails, while at least 3 Chiffchaffs were in the area and on the general Wildlife front, a Small White Butterfly was seen. SC.  The route to the main hide found that just a single Turnstone was on the Sluice Rocks with the Waders on the scrape area being 4 Ruff, 8 Redshank, 15 Blk T Godwits and 55 Avocets (inc. two 'Haven' birds).  Also across this and the grazing marsh areas were singles of Little Egret and Grey Heron, 3 Med Gulls (2S+ 2adults), 4 Common Gulls, 2 Gadwall, c20 Teal and 52 Wigeon.  Singles of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard were the noted Birds of Prey. MR.   

As at 31st March 2016 the Haven 2016 Year List stands at: 117. 





ALL photos remain the copyright of the photographer and/or the particular websites or publications they may appear within.  From top of page downwards, the photos are by: Mick Rodwell (Spoonbill 07-03-2016), (Kestrels 10-03-2016), (Kingfisher 10-03-2016).  Ian Saxton (Drake Mandarin 22-03-2016), (Duck Mandarin 22-03-2016).  Mick Rodwell (Firecrest 31-03-2016, Firecrest 31-03-2016).