Holland Haven Birding

Official Site Of The Holland Haven Birding Group ©

Recent Sightings

Key: Plain Text- Resident/Regular VisitorGreen -Likely to be AnnualAmber -Less than AnnualRed -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 2018 

1st - No reports returned for the site.  The Tendring area remained snow-covered and many smaller and country roads remained impassable with the main Holland Marshes road (B1032) also closed - complete with various abandoned vehicles along it. 

2nd - The B1032 remained closed and weather-wise the afternoon into the evening, brought a mix of hailstones, sleet and more snow.  Per a report returned on 3rd March, a site visit today gave a Haven 2018 Year List addition of a   Woodcock* (Ringing area). via PL.

3rd - Overnight rain started to wash away both snow and ice but while the more general roads across Tendring were usable as normal, some country lanes and main roads (mostly those by open fields), were either passable with extreme care or were still closed/blocked.  Observations on the Haven site during this morning, again noted the Woodcock, while the viewing across the main Scrape, yielded a 1W Little Gull* that was alongside counts of 35+ Common Gulls, 1 Shelduck, 3 Shoveler, 5 Teal and 350+ Wigeon, as well as 2 Blk-T Godwits.  During this time 2 Grey Plovers* flew over/through and a count of 30 Dunlin* had a brief fly-around and then left.  An adult Kittiwake took flight from the Scrape and proceeded to fly over the turret and then along the beach. PL.  An additional sighting was that of an adult Little Gull - this bird being just off from the Sluice. ML.

4th - A lovely bright start today and as per noted on this morning's report "very Spring-like".  The weather was all change by early afternoon though with grey skies and fairly constant rain - albeit washing away more of the remaining snow and ice..... flooded areas coming next!  The survey by two observers, showed an increase of bird species and movement and also confirmed that "a rapid thaw had set in" on site.  The carpark areas gave 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Redwing and 2 Fieldfares with that of the Memorials, providing a Woodcock.  A total of 2 of the latter on site, as the Woodcock from the last two days, flushed late morning, from its same prior location.  Viewed from the Platform (by Memorials) were both a Sparrowhawk and a Marsh Harrier.  The main Scrape and surrounding grazing marsh supplied 2 Blk-T Godwits, 3 Curlew and 35 Dunlin (the latter only briefly in-situ), also 2 Gadwall, 4 Shelducks and 10 Shoveler, alongside 100+ Brent Geese.  Inclusive of those seen on the Scrape and others seen offshore, a count of Common Gulls this morning reached 200+ and amongst these were Med Gulls.  A 1W Kittiwake flew over the Golf Course, while the beach yielded further counts and species with 2 Dunlin, 3 Turnstones and 15 SanderlingPL/TS.

5th - Enjoying some time spent on the site this morning with a wander to the Main Hide, the viewing provided the observer with a total of nineteen noted species for across the Scrape and surrounding grazing marsh.  The counts yielded 1 Dunlin, 2 Curlew, 3 Redshanks* (the latter in and out), 4 Blk-T Godwits and 11 Lapwings, 2 Gadwall, 9   Shoveler, 11 Shelducks, c100 Teal and c100 Wigeon, 1 Brent, 16 Canada and 50 Greylag Geese, also 2 Mute Swans.  The Gulls consisted of Black-headedCommonL.B.BG.B.B and Herring - with two colour-ringed birds amongst the latter, one a Suffolk ringed Gull and the other an NTGG bird.  The walk back towards the mounds supplied a Med Gull on the sea, while a Gt. Crested Grebe flew S.  A return visit to site during the afternoon, took in the areas along the Approach Road and down to the Sluice, with the former giving sight of a Woodcock that flushed from the road-side woods, the Sluice yielding a "super" adult Med Gull (total of 2 Med's for the day's report). MR

6th - A Ringing Session - reported as 'uninspiring' - involved just eleven birds of which nine were re-traps, the two new rings being placed on a Long-tailed Tit and a Great TitSC

7th - No reports returned.

8th - A visit today - albeit not an overly long one - yielded the surprise of a Pochard* on the scrape.  Alongside this duck, there were counts of 11 Shoveler, 14 Shelducks, c150 Teal and c250 Wigeon, c14 Canada and c50 Greylag Geese, as well as 2 Mute Swans.  During the observations from the Main Hide, a single Grey Wagtail flew over and continued towards the Sewage Farm.  Prior to reaching the hide, offshore viewing gave a Red-throated Diver that was seen to fly N, while 2 Oystercatchers were feeding on the shore.  Of particular note, along the tide-line, there were still numerous Gulls feeding too - further to last week's storms and the unfortunate occurrence of crabs, fish and the like, being thrown dead (mostly) to the shores from the sea.  The return wander from the hide, provided views of 5 Brent Geese heading S. DW/ML/MR

9th - Viewing on site today, found that species and numbers were much as per those of yesterday.  Of note, the   Pochard was still in-situ on the main scrape and a nice drake Pintail was pleasing to see. MR

10th - Two birds that were photographed by a dog-walker today (early afternoon) and the photo subsequently shown to PRD (11-03-18), turned out to be 2 Shags* one of which being an adult bird, the other a 1W.  The birds had been on the groyne posts at the Haven end of the Frinton Beach Huts - viewable from the site boundary. PRD.    

11th - At least two observers visited the site and while rain ensued later in the day, the morning into mid-afternoon was quite pleasant for being out and about.  The morning survey located a Woodcock along the Approach Road bushes, while the walk from the Main Hide to the Golf Course and back along the seawall, provided 1 Chiffchaff* (in dyke), 5   Reed Buntings, 4 Oystercatchers and 6 Red-throated Divers.  The viewing across the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and skyline from the Main Hide, yielded 1 Water Rail, 1 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers, 4 Blk-T Godwits, 7 Curlew   and 9 Avocets* along with the Pochard, 4 Gadwall, 14 Shoveler, 30 Shelducks, 60 Teal, 200 Wigeon and 26 Canada Geese.  Notably, a Sparrowhawk and 2 Marsh Harriers were also in the vicinity. PL.  Afternoon observations - from a walk to the Frinton end of the site - gave the additions of a Ringed Plover on the beach, both a Rock Pipit and a Purple Sandpiper on the rocks, while 2 Dunlin flew past and a Redshank was viewed over on the marsh.  Unfortunately, there was no sign of the 2 Shags seen yesterday. PRD.

12th - A survey today yielded counts of nineteen species including a single Fieldfare and four Gull species, the latter being of 5 L B B, 8 G B B, 115 Black-headed and 175 Herring.  Waders consisted of 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 4 Blk-T Godwits, 5 Turnstones and 48 Lapwings.  The Ducks and Geese proved again to include the   Pochard which was alongside 2 Gadwall, 3 Mallards, 24 Shelducks, 33 Shoveler, 50 Teal and 180 Wigeon, 2 Greylag   and 4 Canada GeeseSC.

13th - This morning's visit was a 'short walk along the front' which nicely gave the observer, the first Swallow* of this Haven 2018 year.  During this wander there were also views of 1 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers and 2 Purple Sandpipers, as well as a Rock Pipit that was on the rock breakwaters near the second turret. MR.  A mid-afternoon visit and survey (14.30-16.00hrs) supplied counts of 1 Pochard (still on the scrape), 5 Gadwall, 23 Shelducks, 28   Shoveler, 100+ Teal and 100+ Wigeon, also 3 Blk-T Godwits.  Towards the Frinton end of the site, singles of   Stonechat and Reed Bunting were reported, as were 12+ Common Gulls on the Golf Course and a Swallow that was feeding along the seawall by the Golf Course. LH.

14th - A morning visit gave sight of a Swallow (08.05hrs) near the Golf Course - flying right around the observer between the seawall and the edge of the reedbeds - before it flew W (more into/over the main site). PBt.  New for the Haven 2018 Year List today, was that of a Firecrest*, which was located, albeit briefly, in the hedge between the Boating Club compound (top of service road) and Sluice Cottages during the morning. MR.  

15th - No reports returned.

16th - Two hours spent late afternoon (15.00-17.00hrs), surveying across the main site, gave of particular note, 2   Firecrests and 3 Goldcrests which were located along the Approach Road bushes and also in those of the carpark.  The former gave counts of 1 + 1 respectively and the latter gave 1 + 2 respectively.  Further into the site towards Frinton, there were by the Golf Course, 3 Stonechats all of which being males.  Viewing from the Main Hide, across the main scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, supplied noted counts of 4 Blk-T Godwits, 30 Curlew, 29 Shelducks, 32 Shoveler, 100+ Teal and 250+ WigeonPL/ML.

17th - No bird reports returned but the promised snow and freezing weather conditions, most definitely returned.

18th - While the snow wasn't nearly as heavy as predicted for the local area yesterday/overnight, there was a layer of snow/ice still around early this morning.  The day saw some biting winds, on/off light snow flurries and along the coastline, the sea was quite wild at times.  A comment from one observer today, "Went out for some fresh air this morning and boy was it fresh!".  The survey was worthwhile however, with the locating of a 'stunning male Black Redstart* which was by the beach huts, as viewed from the Frinton end of the site (i.e. northern site boundary) and   Bar-T Godwit* was also added to the Haven 2018 Year List.  The Approach Road bushes again yielded 1 Firecrest  and this time 2 Goldcrests, while the observations across the marsh (beyond the carpark) provided the first of today's 3 Bar-T Godwits (2 flew over the main scrape later on), also 2 Blk-T Godwits and 30 Curlew, additional was a Sparrowhawk. The main Scrape held of note 1 Dunlin, 1 Golden Plover, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Gadwall and 25+   Shoveler.  A single Stonechat was added to the report during the walk prior to returning to the Sluice.  A seawatch session from the Sluice area, gave 1 Turnstone, 1 Purple Sandpiper and 1 Grey Ploveran adult Little Gull and 2   Kittiwakes (ad+imm) that were all viewed close in and flying N, while a Gt. Crested Grebe headed S.  A Rock Pipit   during this session, finalised the day's report. PL/ML. 

19th - Of particular note this afternoon, the male Black Redstart was still viewable from within the boundary, at the Frinton end of the site - the bird was along the seawall as at 15.44hrs. PRD

20th - The Farm was the chosen survey area this afternoon and produced a male Black Redstart in the Paddock behind the Farm pond (c14.40hrs).  Further noted sightings during this wander, included those of a Song Thrush and a Mistle Thrush, 5 Fieldfares and also 2 Common Buzzards. IM

21st - No reports returned.

22nd - A mid-morning visit to the main site, provided the observer with views of a Firecrest along the Approach Road, while an afternoon survey of the Farm areas, yielded counts of 1 Mistle Thrush and 1 Redwing, 4 Song Thrushes and some 6 FieldfaresIM

23rd - Number 105 for the Haven 2018 Year List was added this morning - just prior to 10.00hrs - located in the wooded area 'adjacent to the Sailing Club Compound' (compound at bottom of carpark/Dell/Approach Rd) and was in the form of a Cetti's Warbler*IM.  A later report added a single Firecrest and 1 LinnetML.

24th - At least six observers visited the site during today and a further two species were added to the Haven 2018 Year List.  A single Siskin* was a flyover.  A further report received (27/3) added a Coal Tit* in the trees in front of Gt. Holland Church and 15+ Fieldfares in the Farm Paddocks, also a Common BuzzardGreen WoodpeckerMistle Thrush and 2 Reed BuntingsML.  A Blackcap* (male) was located in the Sewage Farm bushes, while two of the day's 3 Firecrests, along with a Chiffchaff were seen in the Dell earlier this morning. IM.  The third Firecrest having been located along the Approach Road. TS.  The Approach Road also gave 3 Redwings during the surveys and moving on into the site, Cetti's Warblers featured at both the Dipping Pond (lower carpark) and near to the Viewing Platform and   Memorials.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were noted counts of 1 Dunlin, 7 Blk-T Godwits and 14 Curlew, 24 Gadwall, 30+ Shoveler and 32 Shelducks, along with a 2W Med Gull.  Showing on/off in front of the Main Hide throughout this time, was a Water Rail.  A second Med Gull - an adult bird - was later viewed as it flew along the beach, while the observations of the Sluice area, yielded 2 Sanderling, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Purple Sandpipers and 7 TurnstonesPL/IM/MR/GB.  The Farm Pond (09.00hrs) gave a Mute Swan to add to the day's counts and twenty minutes (from the lay-by, 13.20hrs) spent viewing across the fields, as looking towards the Farm and the Main Scrape, added four birds of prey and a deer.  A female Marsh Harrier - seen to be flying over the marsh before heading off in a NE direction, then a fly-over Kestrel (fem) at 13.35hrs, then came views of a Peregrine, the latter putting up all the Gulls on the Scrape, followed by a Sparrowhawk that was mobbed on its route to fly off in a NE direction.  The female Marsh Harrier - still visible but higher up - then had a bit of a sparring session with the   Peregrine.  On the Wildlife front, a Muntjac deer had been out on the large cereal field - beside the thicket that runs along the rear of the scrape, reedbed and adjoining fields. GB

25th - Roll on those lighter evenings after the clocks moved forward, by one hour, during last night for B.S.T.  Surveying by two birders this morning, found that once again a Cetti's Warbler was by the Dipping Pond and 2   Firecrests (MR) were in the bushes by the Sewage Farm.  The main carpark yielded 3 Goldcrests, the site gave 3   Chiffchaffs (2 x reeds in front of Main Hide + 1 x Golf Course) and a single Stonechat was located by the Golf Course.  Singles of Sparrowhawk and Marsh Harrier were viewed.  The species across the Main Scrape and in that vicinity, consisted of 5 Redshanks, 8 Blk-T Godwits, 25+ Curlew and 35 Avocets, 14 Gadwall, 22 Shoveler and 40   Shelducks, with the Teal and Wigeon still holding numbers of 100+ and 250+ respectively.  The Sluice Rocks added a single Purple Sandpiper and 5 Turnstones and offshore viewing added a count of 12 Red-throated DiversPL/MR.  An additional report gave a Cetti's Warbler (heard only by Main Hide), 2 further Goldcrests (5-bar gate), 2 Siskins and a Green WoodpeckerML.  The evening supplied two more ticks for the site's Year List when a Sandwich Tern* was seen, from the third turret, to be heading N offshore at c19.00hrs and further reported within a short space of time, a S E Owl* was visible in the opposite direction over the grazing marsh. PBr.

26th - Species number 111 on the Haven 2018 Year List is that of a Ruff*.  An evening visit found that the Ruff, together with a single Blk-T Godwit and some 64 Curlew were on the marshland to the right of the Main Hide, while a Snipe and a further 6 Blk-T Godwits were notables on the actual Scrape.  The hedge between the Feeding Station and the Mounds held 2 Firecrests.  On the Wildlife front, a Comma Butterfly was seen. MR.

27th - Number 112 on the Year List is Whimbrel* after 2 flew down onto the grazing marsh to the right of the Main Hide at c10.19hrs this morning. PRD.  A further report not received until 1st April, gave additions today 27th, of 1 Ruff, 1 Snipe, 6 Blk-T Godwits and c50 Curlew, as well as a Corn Bunting* (bridle-path towards Golf Course). ML.

28th - Further to a report received on 1st April, there were of note today 28th, 1 Ruff, 3 Dunlin and 10+ Gadwall. ML.

29th - Able to enjoy some sunshine this morning, were at least three observers who were on and around the site.  The first notable for today, was that of a Blackcap (nice male) seen while he was on the feeders.  The viewing from the Main Hide gave a varied selection of species across the scrape, grazing marsh and skyline - with the counts providing 1 Water Rail, 1 Ruff, 2 Dunlin, 2 Avocets, 2 Oystercatchers, 5 Blk-T Godwits, 6+ Redshanks and 10+ Curlew, along with 14 Gadwall, c20 Teal, 24 Shoveler, 28 Shelducks and c50 Wigeon (a big drop in the Teal and Wigeon totals).  Singles of Common Gull and Yellow-legged Gull - the latter being an adult and both birds being in amongst the other   Gulls - were also noted, as were a Kestrel, 1 Common Buzzard and 1 Marsh Harrier.  A Cetti's Warbler was present but was 'heard only'. PRD/TS/MR.  On the rocks near to the third turret, a Black Redstart (fem/type) was visible. PBr.  The Wildlife front yielded 2 Adders that were basking on the Mounds. MR

30th - Surveying the site from 09.30-13.00hrs, a report from the three observers gave another addition for the   Haven 2018 Year List, that of a Wheatear* (seen briefly from the Main Hide), while 3 male Stonechats also seen in the same vicinity as the Wheatear, were "possibly of continental origin".  A Purple Sandpiper during this survey, seemed to be out of place, when it was seen 'unusually' out on the marshland.  The scrape and surrounding area also held 2 Blk-T Godwits, 4 Oystercatchers, 4 Redshanks and 30 Curlew, 8 Gadwall, 20 Shoveler, 35 Teal and 80   Wigeon.  Singles of Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard were today's Birds of Prey.  Rounding up the day's notable species, were a male Blackcap (MR) which was on the feeders and a Redwing that was in the carpark. PL/MR/PRD.

31st - A report (01/04) gave that a Great Northern Diver* was seen (from the Sluice) to head N at 08.45hrs.  Other additions were 1 Blackcap, 1 G B B and 3+ Common Gulls, also 4 Redshanks. ML.   

As at 31st March 2018 the Haven 2018 Year List stands at 115. 


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