Holland Haven Birding

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Recent Sightings

Key: Plain text- Resident/Regular visitor. Green- Likely to be annual. Amber- Less than annual. Red- Rarity. CAPITALS- New bird for site.

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May 2010

1st - Sun, rain and hailstones!!  Mostly a bright and pleasant day with light to moderate S winds but early afternoon saw c15mins "burst" of rain and some hailstones before the sun once more took over.  Winds were again today mainly S, turning to Easterlies into the evening.  A morning visit to the hide produced 1 Common Sandpiper, 12 Whimbrel, 3 Blk T Godwits, 2 Ringed Plover, a single Curlew and the Avocet count starts the month still at 26. AEC.  Coverage for morning through to mid-afternoon, around the trees/bushes, greensward and fly-overs, gave 30+ Swallows, 2 Sand Martins and a House Martin, 10+ of each Sedge Warblers and Lesser/Common Whitethroats, 6 Reed Warblers and 6 Blackcaps.  A Cuckoo was perched below the tower on the greensward for a short time before taking flight and a Sparrowhawk flew low through the carpark trees.  Superb views were had today of a Nightingale - again located near the boat compound. GG/KA/AD/PRD/PNt/LR/PR.  Late afternoon additions for the scrape were 4 Dunlin and 2 Yellow Wagtails and a walk along the seawall supplied 3 Wheatears on the posts and fences on site. GG/MR.

2nd - Wet!  Overnight rain continued this morning and through into late afternoon before any signs showed of a possible let up in the weather.  Strong NNE winds kept the temperature on the chilly side, with wind gusts reported locally up to c39mph.  No reports returned.

3rd - A mixed weather day again, bright and sunny with patchy blue skies, then black clouds and heavy rain, alternating throughout.  The 'constants' being the bitterly cold and the very strong winds - the winds moving back and forth between NNW and NNE.  A search of the site did locate a Cetti's Warbler, 6 Whitethroats, 6 Sedge Warblers and 3 Lesser Whitethroats in the trees, bushes and equivalent habitat, while the general grazing areas gave a single Bar T Godwit and 5 Whimbrel.  Viewing from the hide gave counts of 2 Yellow and 4 Pied Wagtails, 3 Wheatears and 4 Linnet, 3 Swift, 2 House Martins and 12+ Swallows.  The scrape itself, held 1 Common Sandpiper, 28 Avocets (inc. a colour ringed bird), 2 of each Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers and 16 Shelduck. MR. A evening visit produced a winter plumage Knot on the scrape. PNt.

4th - Cold with bright sun and patchy blue skies to start the morning, rain showers crept in for a short while and left grey clouds over.  Moderate to strong N through NE winds turned to ENE for late afternoon.  An early visit today began with the area opposite to the site entrance, where a very mobile Cetti's Warbler was located, along with 1 Lesser and 3 Common Whitethroats and 2 Blackcap, while the grazing marsh on that side of the road held 15 Whimbrel and 4 Shelduck.  The carpark bushes were then searched and provided a further 2 Lesser and 3 Common Whitethroats, another Blackcap, 2 Linnet and a Little Owl.  The hide being the next port of call, supplied views across the scrape and surrounding area, of 1 Common Sandpiper, 10+ Redshank, 2 Ringed Plovers, 26 Avocets, 3 Whimbrel and 12 Shelduck.  3 Wheatear, a single Yellow Wagtail, 2 Reed Buntings and a Sedge Warbler were also noted in this vicinity, as were 10+ House Martins and 8+ Swallows.  A walk onwards to the end of the site, added 1 Marsh Harrier, 8 Meadow Pipits, 4 Skylark and a further 4 Linnets, 3 Wheatear and 2 Sedge Warblers. MR.  The Nightingale was seen for a short time, from the five-bar gate, during the afternoon. JBS.

5th - Quite a bright day in general, slightly chilly with some cloud cover and light to moderate ENE winds.  Wind direction became NNE by evening.  Again Little Holland Marsh (the area within our recording boundary) was checked along with the main site for any interesting "new" or "resident" feathered friends.  A Cetti's Warbler was again found and the Nightingale was singing once more.  8 Whimbrel were over the road, a Little Owl was seen and counts were made of 5 Blackcap, 10+ Whitethroat and 2 Lesser Whitethroats.  On and around the scrape were still 26 Avocets, 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 Ringed Plovers, with 8+ Redshank, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 of each Wheatear and Linnet, 6 House Martins and 12+ Swallows. MR.  A new addition for the Haven Yearlist this morning, was a Garden Warbler which could be located at the time, near to the ticket machine. PRD.

6th - A glorious morning with some patchy cloud but sunny with light NE winds, the afternoon faired much the same. An ad Spoonbill was located on the scrape just prior to 13.00hrs but it quickly took up and flew SE. JBS.  Other species noted today around and about the site, were 6 Wheatear, a single Yellow Wagtail and 10+ House Martins, 28 Shelduck and a fem Teal, 26 Avocet, 10 Whimbrel and a Curlew. PRD.

7th - Sunny, mainly blue skies and brisk ENE winds this morning.  The afternoon turned very grey with some rain later.  Along the seawall coming in from the Frinton end and from the hide around mid-morning were totals of c6 Wheatear, 5+ Reed and 2 Sedge Warblers, c20 Swallow, 2 House Martins and a single Swift.  A male Shoveler, 12 Shelduck, 2 Ringed Plovers, 11+ Redshank, 26 Avocet and an Oystercatcher were all located on the scrape, while a Whimbrel was heard. PBr.  The Nightingale was again singing. JK.

8th - A miserable morning - overcast, drizzle and NE winds.  This did not change going into the afternoon or evening either.  The scrape was much the same as yesterday apart from the addition of 2 Dunlin.  The Nightingale was vocal throughout the day. GG/MR

9th - Again overcast with drizzle and a light NE wind.  A couple of unusual sightings this morning, with 3 Barnacle Geese flying in from the NW, out to sea, then NE, also a pair of Tufted Duck had a look at the scrape but also continued NE.  Although the scrape remained the same, the first of this year's Avocet chicks was seen today.  3 Wheatears and 4 Yellow Wagtails were noted from the hide. GG/MR.  A visit across the road, produced 1 Cetti's Warbler in full song, 12 Whimbrel and 4 Oystercatchers. PL.  Later additions included 2 Grey Plovers (1 sum. plum), these were only brief visitors due to being "seen off" by the Avocets (PL/MR), while an early evening visit located a single Common Sandpiper. MR.

10th - A cool but bright morning with ENE moderately strong winds.  Some drizzle late afternoon along with a sudden drop of temperature.  Coverage today produced a Cetti's Warbler and again in song was the Nightingale, with the bushes/trees also holding 1 Chiffchaff, a lesser Whitethroat and 10+ Common Whitethroats.  Viewing across the scrape gave a fem Teal, 1 Ringed Plover, 10+ Redshank, 4 Oystercatchers, 20+ Lapwing and 26 Avocets with 6+ young.  Activity in the air, included 20+ Swallows, 10 House Martins, a Sand Martin, 3 Swifts and a Sparrowhawk.  Noted for around the grazing marsh in general, were 5 of each Wheatear and Sedge Warblers, 2 Reed Buntings and 6 of each Skylark and Meadow Pipit. MR/PRD.

11th - Mainly overcast with some bright spells and chilly with moderate to strong NNE winds.  The winds turned to ENE and increased in strength as the day went into early afternoon and gusts locally were recorded at c26mph. Across the site today in trees, bushes and reedbeds, were 4 of each Sedge and Reed Warblers, 2 Reed Buntings, 6 of each Blackcap and Whitethroat and singles of Cetti's Warbler, Nightingale, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Little Owl.  Around and about were also noted 1 Cuckoo, a Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk, 8 House Martins, 10 Swallows, a single Swift and 2 Wheatear, while the scrape played host to 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Oystercatchers, 10+ Redshank, 18 Shelduck and the currently residing 26 Avocets (+6). MR.  

12th - Cool with intermittent very bright sun and grey clouds, along with NNE winds this morning.  There was one sudden downpour and then it went back to being a fairly decent day with the wind direction changing to Easterly.  At 09.00hrs a Spoonbill was on the scrape.  The bird remained until 10.15hrs when it flew towards Gt. Holland.  Also on the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, were 20 Shelduck, a drake Shoveler and a fem Teal, alongside 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Whimbrel, 7+ Redshank, 20+ Lapwing and 26 Avocets (+4).  6 House Martins and 8 Swallows were viewed from the hide during this visit.  Covering the rest of the site, proceeded to provide counts of 2 Nightingales in close vicinity of each other, a Cetti's Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 8 Whitethroats, 4 Reed and 5 Sedge Warblers, 2 of each Linnet and Wheatear, 6 Skylarks, 8 Meadow Pipits and a Little OwlMR.

13th - A very sunny start that continued through the day but it remained very cool with light NNE winds.  A search across the site included checking out the bushes and reedbeds, viewing from the hide and a walk along to the Frinton end.  Acknowledged during this visit was a definite increase in the numbers of Sedge and Reed Warblers with those counts being 8+ and 11+ respectively.  Both the Cetti's Warbler and 2 Nightingales were again noted, as was a Little Owl, a Cuckoo, 5 Whimbrel, 2 Wheatears, a single Chiffchaff and 3 Goldfinch, while Reed Buntings and Blackcaps numbered 5 of each.  The scrape was slightly quieter than yesterday although the nesting pair of Greylags now have 7 new goslings.  A Common Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plovers, 8+ Redshank, 24 Avocets (+6) and 14 Shelduck were the other counts for this vicinity. MR.

14th - Another bright but chilly morning with light NNE winds.  The temperature improved during the day which remained bright with the winds turning to SSE by early evening.  A morning visit coming in from the Frinton end of the site, gave numbers around the scrape of 26 Avocet (+7), 10 Redshank (+1), 2 of each Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Oystercatcher and a brief stay by a single Curlew.  Also 6 Greylag Geese (+7), 3 Mute Swan including a nest building pair, 1 Little Owl and a fem Wheatear.  5+ Sedge and 6+ Reed Warblers, 2+ male Reed Buntings, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and a Swift were noted, along with details of both Meadow Pipits and Skylarks feeding young.  At least 8 ducklings were part of a Mallard brood noticed, while in front of the hide was a Moorhen with just one off-spring.  No bird activity was recorded for off-shore but a Common Seal was close in-shore at the far end of the site. PBr.

15th - Bright to start the day but turned very overcast with some occasional light drizzle and SW moderate winds.  A  1s Little Gull and a 1s Med Gull were the best of what were on the scrape today.  Other birds were 1 Dunlin, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Ringed Plovers, 1 Curlew, 1+ Common Sandpiper, 12+ Redshanks (+2) and 23 (+8) Avocets.  2 Marsh Harriers and 5 Swifts drifted through.  1 Cetti's Warbler and 2 Nightingales were again noted. PL/PRD/GG.  Additional for this afternoon were 2 Yellow Wagtails and a colour ringed Herring Gull. MR.

16th - A moderate WSW wind and bright this morning.  A few "new in" migrants of note were a female Whinchat, female Wheatear and a single Yellow Wagtail, otherwise much the same. SC/GG.

17th - Sunny with patchy cloud and NW light to moderate winds this morning, turning very grey and much cooler for the afternoon.  Wind direction changed slightly to WNW.  2 Little Terns were seen this morning. PRD.  Counts for the scrape today gave 1 Blk T Godwit, 2 of each Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher, 8+ Redshank (+1), 24 Avocets (+17) and 22 Shelduck, while a new Mallard brood totalled 10.  A single Wheatear was also noted from the hide, as was a Marsh Harrier.  Trees, bushes and reedbeds supplied 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Nightingale, 10 Common and 1 Lesser Whitethroats, 11 Reed and 7 Sedge Warblers and 4 Blackcaps.  12 Swallows were around and about. MR.

18th - A glorious bright morning to start, slightly chilly with a WNW breeze.  By mid-morning the light winds had turned to E and by the evening were SE, while the day itself was more overcast into the afternoon.  Visits took place both this morning and this evening, with only slight variations of numbers/species.  The scrape again was much as has been in recent days, showing up to 24 Avocets plus young, 2 Ringed Plovers etc, with additions of 2 Blk T Godwits, 2 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper and a pair of Gadwall.  The Greylag Geese still have all 7 goslings, only 8 of the Mallard brood were about though.  In and around the bushes and reedbeds were 6 of each Blackcap and Sedge Warbler, 12 Reed Warblers and 3 Reed Buntings, with Common and Lesser Whitethroats being 11 and 5 respectively.  Singles of Cetti's WarblerNightingaleCuckoo and Little Owl were all viewed, as were both a Yellow Wagtail and a Swift. Numerous Swallows were over the site this evening. MR/AD.

19th - Dry, very sunny and light Southerly winds - these conditions continued from morning through to the evening.  No reports returned.  

20th - A somewhat greyish cloud cover during the morning with the sun breaking through several times.  A very light SSE alternating to SSW breeze and warm until turning very cool going into the evening.  Site coverage today took in the approach road through to the Frinton end, incorporating the scrape.  Not too many birds were around the approach road while initial searches of trees and bushes in the carpark and associated areas, confirmed that both the Cetti's Warbler and a Nightingale were still about.  Late morning, on the return walk, a Spotted Flycatcher was located in this vicinity.  Seen from near to the sluice, a Fulmar, close inshore, was flying S and further along the coast, 2 Sandwich Terns headed N.  Viewing from the hide gave 1 Little Egret, 1 Brent Goose, 14 Shelduck and a single fem Teal alongside our currently residing 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Oystercatchers, 8+ Redshanks and 24+ Avocets (with 18+).  2 imm m/f type Marsh Harriers were noted, also from the hide, as were 3 of each Sedge and Reed Warblers and a single Reed Bunting.  Along the reedbeds and surrounding vegetation, to and from the far end, counts were made of 6 Reed and 4 Sedge Warblers, 4 Reed Buntings, 5 Linnet and a male Wheatear. PRD/MR.  

21st - Blue skies, sunny and mainly hot with a cool breeze at times coming in from the East.  A brief visit this morning and 2 Cetti's Warblers and a Nightingale were in full song. GG.  A short look out to sea in the evening produced 2 Sandwich, 2 Little and a single Common Tern, all heading NE. GG.  Additions were singles of Yellow Wagtail and Whimbrel. PRD/AM

22nd - Slightly foggy to start the morning but the sun broke through eventually giving a very pleasant day with light E winds.  An adult Spoonbill was located on the scrape c13.20hrs, staying until 13.40hrs when it then flew NE. PRD/GG. Other birds of note were a Spotted Flycatcher, singing Cetti's Warbler and Nightingale, 3 Cuckoo, 1 Hobby, 3 Little Terns,a drake Tufted Duck and 4 Marsh Harriers. GG.

23rd - A glorious day, bright sun and hot. The morning gave a light NNW breeze that by mid-day had turned to WSW and was SSW going into early evening. This morning a single Grey Plover, a Little Egret, 2 Marsh Harriers and 4 fishing Little Terns were noted during a walk to the NE boundary. GG. 

24th - A bright, fresh start this morning with a very slight WNW breeze.  Hot in the sun by mid-day, with by then, a light Southerly wind, becoming cooler with stronger E winds by early evening.  A second Spotted Flycatcher was located today and the 2 were both in the vicinity of the memorials.  Being very vocal from their bush habitat, were the Cetti's Warbler and Nightingale, while just off the sluice, 3 Little Terns were feeding.  Viewing across the scrape saw that the fem Teal was still there and that Shelduck numbers had risen to 34.  These were alongside an LRP, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plovers, 10+ Redshank (+1), 27 Avocets (+18+) and the first Lapwing chick to be seen this year.  A single Wheatear was seen from the hide and 2 Goldfinch were additional in the trees/bushes. PRD/MR

25th - Grey and a lot cooler today with some much stronger ENE winds.  Recorded locally, wind gusts were over 32mph.  During a one hour site visit, late in the afternoon, counts for the scrape gave 24 Avocets (+20+), 1 Ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatchers and Shelduck numbers were up again - now at 44.  A Kestrel was definitely too close to the 10+ Redshanks - a bit of grief going on there!!  A Little Tern flew low over the scrape area and 3 Yellow Wagtails were noted on the island. MR.  

26th - Very overcast with strong NE winds but dry.  A morning visit to the hide, saw that the scrape was again much the same, although only 20 Shelduck were viewable, it was noted that the Avocets still have 20 chicks and an additional species was a Whimbrel.  2 Marsh Harriers were in the vicinity and CuckooLittle Owl, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were all on site.  The Cetti's Warbler and Nightingale were again noted. MR

27th - Cool, grey and damp underfoot from the overnight/early morning rain, however, this did clear and warm up slightly, to give a pleasant afternoon into evening.  Light SSE winds.  Reports for today gave the additions to the scrape of a drake Tufted Duck and a single Dunlin, while Shelduck were at 30 and Avocets at 24 (+24).  A mix of all the hirundines today, with 30+ Swifts, 50+ Swallows, 6 House and 2 Sand Martins.  Again the Nightingale was noted, as were Cuckoo, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and showing very well was a single Little Owl.  Initially there were 3 Little Terns around the sluice area - this later increased to 5.  It was also confirmed that 2 Cetti's Warblers were again on site. MR/PRD.    

28th - A bright, warm start to the day along with moderate WNW winds.  Early afternoon saw a few grey tinged clouds and winds had moved to NNW, by evening these had turned again to SSE.  No reports returned.    

29th - Overcast today, with moderate SSE winds and rain mid-day which remained intermittent into the afternoon.  A mid morning visit and on the scrape were 1 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plovers, 7 Redshanks, 23 Avocets (+28) and 19 Shelduck. A Common Tern preened on the raft for a while, a Little Tern was fishing by the sluice and a distant Marsh Harrier flew NW.  The Nightingale was again in full song. GG/PNt.

30th - A mixed morning of sun and then black skies, after more overnight/early morning rain, with WNW moderate to strong winds.  Local recordings of wind gusts, given at c34mph.  A good walk around the site this morning but very little about.  A singing Willow Warbler along the approach road was new in,  the Nightingale and Cetti's Warbler were still singing, also 2 Cuckoo.  A movement of Swifts was noted with 62 moving through.  An adult female and 2 juvenile Marsh Harriers were working the rape fields and a Common Tern was feeding along the brook. GG.  Mid afternoon saw 1 immature and 2 adult Spoonbills dropping onto the scrape for 10 minutes before flying off SSW. PNs. 

31st - The month ended with a dry day, although this again was very mixed with bright sun and cloud cover.  Winds were mainly at NNE throughout.  Coverage of the site gave details of 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, the Nightingale, Cetti's Warbler and a single Little Owl, all amongst the trees and bush areas, whilst viewing from the hide, provided views of 2 Marsh Harriers, both a Barn Owl and Kestrel, 3 Sand Martins and 8 Swallows.  Actually on the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, were singles of Common Tern, Tufted Duck (drake), Teal (fem), Little Egret, Dunlin and very briefly, a Greenshank.  Also noted were 3 Ringed Plovers, 2 Oystercatchers, 15 Shelduck and 2 juv Cormorants.  The 24 Avocets counted, as at todays visit, are nurturing some 34+ chicks. MR.  Additional sightings were of 3 Blk T Godwits and a Cuckoo. JK

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