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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Site Year Tick: *

MAY 2012  

1st - A grey and rainy start to the new month!  Many fields, marshes and some roads in the local area being flooded from the excessive rain the last couple of days and the Haven scrape and surrounding marsh etc being no exception.  ENE winds this morning varied from c13mph through 25+mph and the locally recorded gusting was of speeds up to 30mph.  A few breaks in the cloud-cover saw the sun trying to win through but not having too much success at that time!  The afternoon did, however, see the sunny, brighter skies and some warmer temperatures because of it.  A short morning survey gave singles of Cuckoo and Little Owl, also 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps and 5 Common Whitethroats, whilst viewing from the hide added 2 Sedge and 4 Reed Warblers, 4 Wheatears, a Yellow Wagtail, 30+ Swallows, 3 Swifts and a single House Martin.  A "stunning" male Whinchat (see Gallery) was seen in front of the hide.  Waders at this time, included 1 Curlew, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Oystercatchers and 23 Avocets.  A pair of Shoveler were observed, as were the 4 Canada GeeseMR/IM.  A return visit to site early evening, saw additions of a male Redstart near to the Owl's tree and also a pair of Ring Ouzels in this same vicinity. MR.  

2nd - Overcast with some NNW winds of speeds up to 16+mph and gusting that varied through the morning from 11mph through 20mph.  The temperature not overly cold this morning at approx +9 degrees but on site - the wind-chill factor was proving to keep the observers feeling very cold indeed!  First reports in for the day, gave that an Osprey* (Year Tick no.140) flew over the Access Road in a Southerly direction, heading towards Clacton at c11.45hrs, whilst still on site this morning was a male Ring OuzelAEC.  It was a fairly successful day for some new Haven Year Ticks all round and further to the Osprey, another three species throughout, took the total to 143 by the end of the day.  A combined report from three observers gave morning details of a Whinchat on the Golf Course, a single Grey Plover on the marsh, 1 S E Owl on a fence post at the rear of the scrape, a Common Tern* that was seen as it flew over the sluice, a Hobby* (prior to mid-day) that was viewed as it flew in/off, a single Little Egret headed over the scrape, while on the scrape, the fourth of the Year Ticks was a Greenshank*.  Also on the scrape during this session, were 8 Avocets, 1 Golden Plover, 6 Teal, 1 Wigeon and once again, a pair of Shoveler.  2 Tufted Ducks (both drakes) were noted, as were 8+ Yellow Wagtails, 12+ Swallows, 2+ Sand and 20+ House Martins.  Additions for the afternoon survey, were of 2 Common Sandpipers - one briefly on the scrape, while the other was around the Dipping Pond (carpark), a female Ring Ouzel was located in the field beyond the memorials/brook and taking the total of Hobbys on/over the site to 3 today, were 2 of them at c14.15hrs, that flew over the meadow/grazing marsh towards the scrape area.  Rounding up the days species were Whimbrel and Wheatears with counts of 20+ and 18 respectively. PRD/MR/IM.

3rd - After rain ALL night again, this finally eased off c06.00hrs but the skies remain very grey.  Some NNE through NE winds of 14mph through 23mph and occasional gusting (this variable up to 32mph), along with some early morning temperatures +8 degrees - so hopefully this could warm up even more as the morning progresses.  Several observers were on and around the site today and it is concluded that the most interesting bird was that of a Pied Flycatcher* - and this was apart from the fact of it being a “Spring passage” Pied-fly at the Haven!!  The bird was located along the hedgerows close to the mounds but gave reason for closer inspection if could be at all possible - this was possible later in the day (see Gallery).  Both a male Blackcap and a Chiffchaff were also in the same area at this time. PRD/SC/PNt.  Around the rest of the “very flooded” site – including the Farm - some 33 Wheatears were counted, a single Fieldfare (farm), 2 male Whinchats, one being by the hide and one (PBr.) near the Frinton end, a flock of 5 Grey Plovers were on the grazing marsh (a single of which was on the scrape later), 6 Bar-T Godwits were on the rear of the scrape, 3 Common Sandpipers of which one was on the scrape, the other 2 flew along the beach during the afternoon, 3 Canada Geese (inc. the currently residing pair) and a minimum of 20 Whimbrel were about.  2 S E Owls were viewed, the first was quartering the Golf Course, whilst the other could be seen at the same time, as it perched atop a post at the rear of the scrape.  A female Peregrine had interest this morning in a Racing Pigeon, which was subsequently chased across the arable by this Bird of Prey! PRD.  Still in it’s location near to Tariq was the male Ring Ouzel and it would appear that the female was also still in the vicinity. AEC.  Yellow Wagtails were in good numbers on the scrape during the evening, the count for these being 12+. HE.  Other species totals for the day overall, were singles of Little Owl and Greenshank, 2 of each Hobby, Golden Plover and Coot, 10 Avocets, 20+ Redshanks, 3 drake Shovelers, 4 drake Gadwall and 8 Teal. PRD/AEC/MR/PBr/HE.

4th – Overcast and on/off rain again today but very little of the wet stuff compared to recent days.  Winds through the morning were light to moderate NNW with occasional gusts of c14mph and temperatures were generally cooler than yesterday.  Initial reports in this morning, gave that yesterday’s male “Pied Flycatcher” was still on site, as were both the female and male Ring Ouzels.  As at 12.45hrs, a female Pied Flycatcher had also been located just along from the mounds – yet another “Spring passage” Pied-fly!  The scrape at this time, held a summer plumaged Knot, whilst 3 Hobbys were noted on/over the site. PRD.  An afternoon visit and wander from the Farm, down across the Golf Course and the return journey, yielded 4 Corn Buntings, 2 Fieldfares (3 by the evening) and c15 Wheatears of note.  Alongside the flooded brook (that runs through the Golf Course) there was a single Common Sandpiper and to complete this survey, a Turtle Dove* was viewed for about 5 minutes as it sat atop a fence beyond the Course.  This Haven Year bird, then flew NW in the direction of Holland Pits. IM.  A Green Sandpiper* (PRw) as seen to fly over the Golf Course during the day, whilst an evening survey of the Farm area, provided a Spotted Flycatcher* which was near to the pond. PBr.  With several observers carrying out surveillance again today, the rest of the day’s report, details the highest of the counts (not combined totals) for the species and also highlights the morning Wheatear movement.  Wheatears were located and viewed all along the site bordering the seawall and many were seen to come in/off and drop straight onto the ground – well it is a long flight across the sea for all feathered species you know!!  An “absolute minimum of 63 birds” were counted, with notes being given that “lots appeared to be large and long-winged Greenland types”.  2 Whinchats (fem + male) were recorded, a Rock Pipit, 2 Reed Warblers, 3 Sedge Warblers (1 x in/off), a fem Redstart (golf course), 1 Cetti’s Warbler (vocal near to Tariq), 2 Lesser and 10+ Common Whitethroats, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 6+ Linnets, 5+ Skylarks and several Meadow Pipits.  6 House and 2+ Sand Martins made the notes, as did 423+ Swallows, 1 S E Owl, again a female Peregrine (adult) and 2 Cuckoos, with Duck numbers being 5 drake Shovelers and 2 Teal.  Waders over and above the earlier birds, were a Little Egret, 9 Bar-T Godwits (6+3) and 10 Whimbrel - with all these 20 birds seen to fly N, 4 Whimbrel were also on the marsh, while 4 Grey Plovers, 2 Turnstones, 3 more Common Sandpipers, a Ringed Plover, a Curlew, 2 Oystercatchers and 3 Redshanks round up yet another interesting day. PBr/IM/PRw/PRD.        

5th - The brighter start to the day was fairly brief as the skies soon became overcast and on/off drizzle proceeded through the morning and then continued into the afternoon.  Winds were of a NE direction initially with speeds varying 14mph to 20+mph, while locally recorded gusting was occasional but up to 25mph.  The afternoon saw wind direction turn through to ENE and there was a slight rise in it's speed.  At least three observers were searching and surveying the site from 08.45hrs through to at least 13.30hrs.  There was just one new Haven Year bird - being a Wood Sandpiper* (Year Bird number 148) that was located on the scrape this morning.  2 Spoonbills arrived on the scrape to be seen and subsequently reported at 11.10hrs, one of which was colour-ringed, possibly the same bird as previously noted on the site last year??  Avocets were again missing from today's reports - unfortunately these birds were somewhat flooded out in the few days of really heavy rain and have been "on/off" the site since.  With ideal current site conditions for Ducks, these totalled 32 Shelducks, 9+ Teal and a drake Wigeon, whilst the continued round-up of Waders today, were 10+ Bar-T Godwits, 6+ Common Sandpipers, 2 Greenshanks and 1 Grey Plover.  Also noted, were an adult Med Gull, 4 Coot, 4 Fieldfares (3xfarm + 1xgolf course), 25+ Wheatears (inc. 12+ along the walk to the Frinton end of site), 6+ Yellow Wagtails and again 2 Cuckoos.  The 2 Ring Ouzels (male & female) were also still on site and were together. PRD/LJ/IM.  Additions for the evening were a 1s male Grey-Headed Wagtail which was viewed from the main hide and the count for Yellow Wagtails was superb with c30 of these in the area. SH

6th - More on/off rain (sometimes just drizzle) for this morning, which unfortunately is what was forecast......... but as it's a Bank Holiday Weekend, why would we expect any different??   Wind direction through to mid-day and just into the afternoon, was fluctuating slightly either side of NE, of moderate to strong and was alongside gusting of up to c27mph.  Reported in at 10.25hrs, a pair of Pochard* (not too common a duck for the Haven these days) are alongside 7 drake Tufted and 2 female Tufted Ducks on the scrape. IM.  A follow-up report at 11.25hrs, gave that a Wood Sandpiper was also on the scrape and still viewable, was the "cracking" 1s Grey-headed Wagtail. PRDRBA pager also reported that a "Blue-Headed Wagtail" was on site today. RBA.

7th - Sunny...... some blue skies......... white clouds....... will it last the Bank Hols. Monday?? .......it did.....more or less!  The morning temperatures reached approx +9 degrees and the S through SSE winds were light to moderate with the occasional extra blasts of c14mph - so nothing too drastic with the wind speeds before mid-day.  Going into early afternoon, the winds had picked up slightly so keeping the temperature feeling a bit cool and mid to late afternoon saw some on/off drizzle.  An interesting record today was of a female Cuckoo, (see Gallery) - originally trapped and rung at the Haven in 2010PNt/SC.   Quite a few birders were on site throughout the morning and the afternoon.  On and around the scrape/grazing marsh were totals of 1 Avocet, 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Bar-T Godwits, 4+ Common Sandpipers, 6+ Whimbrel and 8 Blk-T Godwits, along with 6 Coot, a 1s Med Gull and a pair of Tufted Ducks.  Additional afternoon birds were of 4 Wood Sandpipers (1+3) and Tufties had increased to a count of 8 (5 drakes).  A female Merlin was observed as it took out a Common Sandpiper, only for this drama to unfold further, when a Kestrel took the prey from the Merlin and........ ended up releasing the Common Sand!  Across the site, other notables were 3 Cuckoos, a male Ring Ouzel (again near to Tariq) and a Redwing (along the Approach Road) - all viewed during the morning, whilst a Marsh Harrier that flew over the scrape to land at the rear of same and 2 S E Owls were seen later in the day. PRD/PL/MR/HE/IM.  

8th - After on/off rain through the night, the day began overcast and drizzly.  SSE winds before 08.30hrs were very variable - from c8mph through 20+mph, gusting of up to 26mph and although the gauge read +10 degrees, it appeared at the time, much cooler than that.  Through the day, the winds dropped to remain mostly of the lighter speeds and it did eventually feel warmer out there.  A late morning cycle ride along the seawall from the Frinton end, out along the marshes road and back via the Farm and through the Golf Course, supplied a few species and counts of note.  8+ Wheatears were mostly along the seawall, at the "slower" cyclist speed, some 12+ Whitethroats were counted along the marsh road, singles of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Little Owl were viewed, as was a Hobby (near the Farm).  Still up at the paddocks was a single Fieldfare. PBr.  Observations from the hide during the day, gave that a Wood Sandpiper was still on the scrape, as was a single Bar-T Godwit and these were alongside 3 Common Sandpipers, 6 Blk T Godwits, 1 Avocet and a Little Grebe, while Ducks and Geese totalled 2 Gadwall, 4 of each Tufted and Shoveler, 35 Shelduck and 3 Canada Geese (2+1).  Some 60+ Swallows were viewed, 1 Sand and 2 House Martins, 3 Swifts, also 2 Sedge and 4 Reed Warblers.  A S E Owl was again present on site, with 2 Little and 1 Barn Owls also being noted for this survey.  The female Ring Ouzel was seen on/off all day, 2 Little Egrets made the notepad and a single Turnstone was located on the rocks. MR.  A pleasant evening added 2 Lesser Whitethroats and a Blackcap in the areas near to the Sewage Farm. PNt.

9th – Again a slightly rainy start to what appears could remain a warmer day (+11 degrees by 08.00hrs).  Some light winds of a Westerly direction – so far being barely a breeze at times with some occasional boosts of up to 14mph.  Generally overcast.....!  Several observers were on and around the site during the day and between them accounted for 2 Cetti’s Warblers, 6 Blackcaps, 2 Lesser and 8 Common Whitethroats, c 10 Wheatears, a Yellow Wagtail that showed briefly, 1 Little Owl, 1 S E Owl and a Hobby – the latter being perched at the rear of the scrape.  Waders consisted of a summer plumaged Ruff, viewable until c19.00hrs, 1 Bar Tailed and 2 Blk T Godwits, 3 Avocets and 2 Whimbrel.  A drake Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler, 30 Shelducks and the pair of Canada Geese (+1 gosling) were also noted.  A Ring-tailed Hen Harrier flew towards, then away from the scrape and headed towards the farm at 12.15hrs, while later in the day there were 2 Hen Harriers – one of which deemed to be a 2Y female bird, had made a kill (prob. Moorhen) and proceeded to enjoy!  On the wildlife front, opposed to the birds, 2 Water Voles were seen swimming in the channel outside the hide. PRD/MW/MR/IM/HE.

10th – Some SSW fairly strong winds today that varied 19mph through 28+mph, alongside gusting of up to 32mph.  The temperature was not too bad at +13 degrees.  A couple of birders made visits to the site, one during the morning and the other for the afternoon and evening. The site held singles of Cuckoo, Kestrel, Willow Warbler and Wigeon and a Cetti’s Warbler that called just the once!  2 Chiffchaffs were located, as were 6 Blackcaps, 2 Lesser and 15+ Common Whitethroats, 8+ Reed Warblers and 3 Reed Buntings.  Viewing from the hide gave 2 Avocets, 15+ Redshanks, 2 Teal, 7 Gadwall and 15 Shelduck, 2 Canada Geese (+1), 6 Wheatears, 40+ Swallows and 2 of each House and Sand Martins, with additional evening birds (c17.30hrs) being 2 Ringed Plovers (see Gallery) that dropped in to have a wash - having done so, they were then chased off by a Lapwing.  A Grey Heron and a single Oystercatcher were the last to arrive on the scrape this evening.  A Marsh Harrier was at 18.30hrs, quartering the Golf Course. Around the Dell were 2 Linnets and a Wheatear. MR/PRw.

11th – A bright, sunny day with mostly blue skies and white clouds (a few grey ones did creep in), along with W winds of up to 25mph and gusting of up to 31+mph.  Out of the winds, it remained fairly warm at c+13 degrees.  A morning cycle ride/walk (08.45hrs to 10.00hrs) in from the Frinton end of site, to the sluice and back, supplied singles of Turnstone and Grey Plover on the beach, an Oystercatcher that flew S, a Common Buzzard that headed towards Gt. Holland, whilst also heading S, were 18 Goldfinches, 32 Linnets, 60+ Swallows, 40+ House Martins, 6 Sand Martins and 33 Swifts.  The Golf Course held a few birds, being 8+ Wheatears, 1 Reed and 3 Sedge Warblers and 5+ Whitethroats.  Across the scrape and grazing marsh were 4 Avocet and 6 Redshanks, 2 Common Terns, singles of Cuckoo and Hobby, with a Turtle Dove at 08.50hrs, flying in/off and through the site (towards Gt. Holland) and at 09.15hrs, a Tree Pipit* was calling as it flew South. PBr/KBr.  Another Haven Year Bird today, was that of a Wood Warbler*, this species was last recorded on the site in 2009 (May 4th).  The bird showed briefly in the hedgerows of the carpark (12.55hrs) before disappearing and could not be re-located.  This survey which began from the Holland end of the site and covered towards Frinton, also reported 2 Yellow Wagtails (heard only), a Garden Warbler (carpark bushes), 4+ Blackcaps and the Cetti’s Warbler singing near to Tariq.  A Whinchat was seen in the far SW corner of the scrape field, where a Spotted Flycatcher was also noted.  In total 6+ Spotted Flycatchers were seen – one by the ringing compound, 2 on the hawthorn S of the Dell and others 3+/- in the carpark.  A juvenile Marsh Harrier was about, as was a female Peregrine – she “took out” a Pigeon from the grazing marsh beyond the Memorials, also 4 Coot, 1 Oystercatcher, 2 Dunlin, 4 Shoveler (3 drakes) and 6 Gadwall.  The following were also part of the second report but may be +/- the counts from earlier.  2+ Lesser and 12+ Common Whitethroats, 8+ Swifts, a Sand Martin and 2+ Cuckoos. PRD/IM.  At 19.00hrs, a Turtle Dove was located in the Dell. IM/MR. 

12th – A sunny early morning with variable NW through NNW winds of lighter speeds being of c9mph to 15mph, with some extra blasts of 18+mph.  The general wind speed did pick up after 09.00hrs to a minimum of 16mph and the direction turned to ENE.  Temperatures were holding at +11+ degrees.  One observer wandered the site during the day and another took a mid-day run from the Frinton end, through the Haven (and beyond, before doing the return journey).  The former provided totals of 1 Spotted Flycatcher along the hedgerows of the carpark - near to the picnic tables – where there were also 6+ Blackcaps, a single Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser and 10+ Whitethroats.  A Hobby flew over the carpark around mid-day.  Surveying from the hide gave of note, 2 Common Terns, 14 Avocets, 4 of each Gadwall and Shoveler, 12 Shelducks and a Marsh Harrier. IM.  The latter observer, added a Turnstone that was on the beach below Clacton Sailing Club, also singles of Cuckoo and Kestrel. PBr.  Overlap birds were of 2 S E Owls, 8+ Wheatears and 2+ Yellow Wagtails. IM/PBr.

13th – Southerly winds of light to moderate strength initially, along with variable gusting of up to 19mph.  The day progressed to be warm and bright throughout, if a tad on the very blustery side by the evening.  A pre-lunchtime survey found that both of the Cetti’s Warblers were in their respective areas (one by Tariq and one over the road), while in and around the rest of the bushes, trees and hedgerows were 2 of each Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, 6+ of each Blackcap and Reed Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroats and 12+ Common Whitethroats.  Also seen were a Little Owl and 1 Cuckoo.  The scrape and surrounding area held 4 Oystercatchers, 5 Avocets and 16 Blk T Godwits of note, alongside 2 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler and 26 Shelduck, 2 Canada Geese(+1) and a further 2 Reed Warblers. MR.   An afternoon visit (15.30-16.30hrs) gave additions of 2 S E Owls – showing really well across the grazing marsh, 7+ Redshank and 1 Common Tern on the scrape, at this time there were 2 Cuckoos calling and 2 Swifts were seen.  An Osprey was the highlight of this survey, viewed as it flew over the scrape – causing even the bigger gulls to move fast – it then drifted around for a short time before heading out to the sea and away in a Northerly direction. PBr.   

14th – The early hours saw some bright weather with blue skies – only for a few hours though – then the rain came back!  On/off rain through into the afternoon before it turned slightly brighter as the evening approached.  Morning winds were Westerlies of 14mph through 19+mph, with gusting of up to 26mph.  It was at least quite warm to start the day (+10+ degrees by 06.30hrs), although it chilled down a little bit for early afternoon.  A Spotted Flycatcher was located again on site this afternoon - which pleased the observer having missed seeing the ones earlier in the week.  The Cetti's Warbler was still by the Memorials.  Surveying from the hide included totals of 2 Reed Buntings, 2 Reed Warblers, singles of Sedge Warbler, Whinchat and Wheatear, 70+ Swallows, 8 House Martins, a single Sand Martin, 1 Hobby and 1 Cuckoo.  Across the scrape were 2 Common Terns, 2 Oystercatchers, 3 Turnstones, 1 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover and 8 Avocets (3 of which were seen to drop in and also included a Colour-ringed bird), also 3 Shoveler, 5 Gadwall, 30 Shelducks, 9 Greylag Geese and the pair of Canada Geese with their one off-spring. MR.

15th - After the latter part of last evening and from then on through the night seeing more torrential rains, the morning began bright and sunny.  Variable NW through WNW winds of c9mph up to 15+mph, along with some extra gusts of up to 19mph.  As per yesterday though, the weather changed within a short space of time - the temperature dropped and the winds increased considerably, going up to 34mph with gusting of up to 42mph.  The day went on to be filled with intermittent rain, hailstones, sun and those persistent gale-force winds!  A morning visit to the site today and surveying the trees, bushes and hedgerows gave 2 Cetti's Warblers (one still near to Tariq and one by the dipping pond - carpark), 2 Cuckoos, 2 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps, 2 Lesser and 7 Common Whitethroats.  The scrape and it's surrounding very soggy marsh was playing host to 2 Common Terns, 4 Cormorants, 2 Oystercatchers, 9 Avocets, 2 Tufted Ducks, 4 of each Gadwall and Shoveler, 28 Shelducks and the 2 Canada Geese (+1).  Also noted from the hide, were a Sedge and 2 Reed Warblers. MR.

16th - Grey clouds were still lurking today.......... although it was generally fairly bright.  Westerly winds were the order of the morning and into the early afternoon, speeds of which varied 11mph through 16mph with some gusting of c20mph.  A wander around the site and a visit to the hide during the morning did not provide any new "Year Birds" but proved to be rather more pleasant for surveying than yesterday.  There were once again 2 Cetti's Warblers on site and 2 Cuckoos.  Also noted were 3 Lesser and 14+ Common Whitethroats, 4 Chiffchaffs and 6+ Blackcaps, a Little Owl, a Sparrowhawk and a male Peregrine - the latter bird being viewed from the hide.  Feeding off-shore were 2 Common Terns.  Across the scrape area were 7 Avocets, 4 Gadwall, 5 Shoveler, 26+ Shelducks and the pair (+1) of Canada Geese.  A single Yellow Wagtail, 6 Reed Warblers and a Little Egret were further recorded species viewable from the hide at this time. MR

17th - The skies were very mixed today but they did include some bright, sunny spells.  Winds were initially S to SSE, moving through the day to become E through ESE by the evening.  Mostly moderate wind speeds with gusting at times of up to 21+mph.  A morning survey again today, which also included a one-hour seawatch from 10.30hrs that provided two new Year Birds.  A Fulmar* was seen to fly S, whilst a Little Tern* (number 153 for the Haven Year) headed N with the only other species of note during this session, being that of a Gt. Crested Grebe.  The scrape was empty of any wading birds during this visit, Duck counts were of 4 of each Gadwall and Shoveler and 31 Shelducks, while G B B Gulls were in good numbers of 70+.  Swallows, House Martins and Swifts totalled 20+, 4 and 20+ respectively, with 4 Reed Warblers, a Yellow Wagtail and a Marsh Harrier also being viewed from the hide.  Generally around the site, 2 of each Cetti's Warbler and Cuckoo made the report, as did singles of Little Owl and Sparrowhawk, 10+ Common Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs and a further 4 Reed WarblersA female Wheatear was noted along the seawall mid-morning. MR/PRD/PBr/KBr.  Additional species were from a report of birds viewed whilst playing a round of Golf and also from a late evening (20.30hrs) run from the Frinton end and back.  A S E Owl was seen to be quartering the meadows between the hide and the Golf Course during the day and seen again late evening, 2 Med Gulls, 2 Oystercatchers and 2 of each Reed Bunting and Reed Warbler (the latter +/- earlier reports), also a Little Owl (evening) in the unusual location of “sitting on the seawall” just before the Whalings beach huts, with the final species of the day, being a single Cormorant that flew S. GB/PBr.

18th – The morning began as bright and sunny but before 09.00hrs, the clouds had moved in with some of those grey ones again..... the sun kept trying and it was not too bad a day at all.  ENE wind speeds were of 13mph through 18+mph with extra blasts of up to 22mph during the morning.  Just a single Wheatear was seen on site again today and this bird was located in the Dell during a survey that took in the areas from opposite the Approach Road, the Dell, through the carpark and on to and included the viewing from the hide.  2 Cetti’s Warblers were noted, as was a Little Owl on his usual tree and a Yellow Wagtail was viewed from the hide – unfortunately for the Wagtail, there was a Hobby!  Having caught the Wagtail in flight, the Hobby perched upon a fence post and devoured said prey.  3 Bar-T Godwits, a Common Sandpiper and a Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers and 8 Avocets were the Waders on and around the scrape, with 2 Common Terns, 3 Canada Geese (+1), 5 Greylag Geese, 2 drake Shoveler, 6 Gadwall and 22 Shelducks completing the round-up from this particular report. IM/PRD.  A visit to the Farm and on down to the Golf Course (18.00-19.00hrs) and a S E Owl was showing well at the rear of the grazing marsh. PBr.

19th – Today turned out to be a very warm one, with temperatures reaching +18 degrees (having reached +11 before 09.00hrs).  Wind direction and speeds were of SW, varied 15mph through 22+mph and gusting was up to 26+mph.  Prior to 07.30hrs this morning (oh the joys of parenthood!!), an early morning run gave that a Cuckoo was being vocal on the site. PBr/KBr.   The site proved to be quiet - even at more sensible hours of surveying today.  From the Approach Road across to the Dell there were 2 Lesser and 6+ Common Whitethroats, 2 Chiffchaffs and 6+ Blackcaps, whilst the scrape and surrounding area, hosted a Little Egret, 9 Avocet, 2 Common Terns, 3 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall and 26 Shelducks of any note.  A S E Owl was still on the site, this was viewable from the hide, as was a single Wheatear and 3 House Martins.  The Golf Course held a Bar-T Godwit – which was amongst many Golfers! IM/PRD.

20th – A grey, overcast and cooler morning to begin with, alongside NNE moderate winds (erring to the higher end) and some gusting of up to 22mph.  The day proceeded to become brighter and warm.  No reports returned.

21st - After forecasts given of "going to be hotter than Spain this coming week" - the morning was overcast and cool....  Wind direction and speed before 08.00hrs, being N through NW, moderate to strong with some gusting of up to 28mph.  It did warm up quite a bit but the winds remained fairly constant.  Around the site in general were 3 Chiffchaffs, a Little Owl and 10+ Whitethroats, whilst the Approach Road held several Blackcaps.  A Hobby, 12 Swifts, 1 Sand and 2 House Martins along with 20+ Swallows were viewed from the hide, as were 2 of each Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting.  2 Common Terns were noted for the scrape and surrounding area, along with 18 Avocets, 10+ Redshanks, 2 Oystercatchers, the pair of Canada Geese (+1) and 2 Greylag Geese.  The Duck counts were of 1 Teal (possibly injured), 3 Gadwall, 6 Shovelers and 18 Shelducks.  G B B Gulls also featured in today's survey of the scrape with some 54 sub-adults and these included a Colour-ringed bird. MR.

22nd - A bright but very blustery morning - winds of a NW direction being strong (22+mph) and complete with gusting recorded locally of 31+mph.  The temperature by 09.00hrs reading was +12 degrees and this increased to +20+ degrees as the day went on - the strong winds continued throughout the day!  Surveying the site from morning through to early evening gave two new Haven Year ticks today, the first in the morning being a Grey Partridge* (MR) “on grass near memorials before flying over the Brook onto grazing marsh”.  The second, originally seen at 15.15hrs briefly on the new pool, 3 Temminck's Stints* (PRD) subsequently re-appeared on the scrape at 15.30hrs and were still on the scrape as at 17.35hrs.  A drake Garganey was noted in this vicinity in the morning and proved to remain in this area through until the evening.  Other species on and around the scrape consisted of 1 Little Egret, 1 Common Sandpiper, 5 Avocets, 9 Redshanks, 4 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, 28 Shelduck, 2 (+1) Canada and 14 Greylag Geese, also 2 Reed Buntings and 4 Reed Warblers.  The trees, bushes and hedgerows on site, held 2 Cuckoos, 2 of each Cetti’s and Reed Warblers, a single Chiffchaff and 6 Blackcaps.  1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Sand and 2 House Martins, 20+ Swallows and 14 Swifts were also within the reports. PRD/MR/PBr.

23rd – A bit of a grey sky to begin the day but the temperature before 07.30hrs was already at +13 degrees.  NW winds, were at this time, of moderate strength along with some added gusting of c18mph.  The sun appeared as per the forecasts and the day warmed to (locally recorded) temperatures of +20+ degrees, the winds lessened for the afternoon, turning in the process to Easterlies – a very pleasant day indeed!  Morning observations gave that the 2 Cetti’s Warblers were moving about somewhat – one varying between Tariq and the Gunfleet Boating Club compound, while the other was in the area around the wooden bridge entrance to the Approach Road woods.  Also on the site were once again 2 Cuckoos, along with notables in and around the trees/bushes of a Little Owl, 3 of each Reed Warbler and Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcaps and 12+ Common Whitethroats.  An additional 4 Reed Warblers were viewed from the hide this morning, as were 1 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Buntings, a Marsh Harrier and a S E Owl (the SEO also seen later in the day on/over the Golf Course).  The scrape and surrounding grazing marsh played host to 10 Avocets (their numbers fluctuating regularly at the moment), 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Oystercatchers, 8+ Redshanks and 4 Common Terns, with the Duck and Geese counts providing 2 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 24 Shelducks, 2 (+1) Canada and 2 Greylag Geese. MR.  Further surveying gave four more species for the day with a Spotted Flycatcher seen near the Sewage Farm, a Yellow Wagtail on the Golf Course, a Hobby that was hawking over the scrape and finally there were 2 Common Buzzards seen to be soaring over the arable. PRD.

24th - A glorious day to be out and about with variable ENE through NNE light winds with the occasional extra speeds of up to c13mph - not what you could call gusting by any means.  The temperature before 08.00hrs was already at +14 degrees and looked to increase as the day went on.  Viewing from the hide during the morning supplied counts of 2 of each S E Owl, Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting, 4 Reed Warblers and as per yesterday, a sub-adult Marsh Harrier.  Across the scrape and grazing areas were a Greenshank, 2 of both Dunlin and Oystercatcher, 9+ Redshanks and 14 Avocets, also 2 Common Terns, a small number of G B B Gulls – including a Colour-ringed bird, 2 (+1) Canada and 2 Greylag Geese, 5 Gadwall and 26 Shelducks.  A further 7 Reed Warblers were located around the rest of the site, along with 7 Blackcaps, 2 Lesser and 10+ Common Whitethroats, the 2 Cetti’s Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs and singles of Little Owl and Cuckoo. MR.

25th - And another superb morning with blue skies, bright sun and by 07.30hrs, the temperature was already at +15+ degrees.  Variable ENE through NE winds again for the earlier part of the morning but slightly higher in strength than yesterday, being of 11mph through 16mph with some occasional gusting of c19mph - within a few hours though....  Very blustery conditions ensued for the rest of the day with general wind speeds of c25mph and gusting of 29+mph.  The only report in for today, was that of a drake Garganey that was again on the scrape (as at 10.00hrs). PRD.

26th - More "sun-burning" weather today with clear skies, sun, ENE winds of mostly lighter strength but varying at times to strong and some occasional gusting of up to c29mph.  Temperatures by 08.30hrs were at +14 degrees.  Surveying through the morning into the early afternoon, located a few Waders around the scrape area including a Wood Sandpiper that was seen only briefly before it disappeared into the grass/pools beyond the scrape.  Singles of Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and Curlew were noted, as were 4 Avocets and 2 Ringed Plovers.  A Little Egret was also viewed, along with a pair of Common Terns, a drake Wigeon, a pair of Teal, a pair of Shoveler and 7 Gadwall.  A Marsh Harrier was the only Bird of Prey to be seen at this time. PRD

27th - Temperatures of c+20 degrees today along with some mostly light but occasionally moderate NE winds.  It was definitely another glorious day.  A few observers were on and around the site throughout the day with one new Haven Year Bird being located - that of a Little Stint*.  The Little Stint was on the scrape alongside 5 Ringed Plovers, 4 Avocets and 2 Dunlin, also a single Knot - the Knot causing debate in the hide, as it appeared to be in a "bleached winter plumage".  Ducks and Geese in this vicinity were 2 Teal, 4 Gadwall, 20 Shelduck, 2 (+1) Canada and 8 Greylag Geese, whilst also viewed from the hide were 2 Marsh Harriers.  The areas from the carpark to the hide, namely among the trees, bushes and hedgerows, were some 2 Lesser and 7+ Common Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps, a Cetti's Warbler and a single Cuckoo. PRD/MR/IM/PR/LR

28th - And yet another superb day weather-wise - with NE winds being at times barely a breeze with variable speeds from c4mph through to 10mph.  The temperatures once again, hit +15 degrees before 07.30hrs and soared higher as the day progressed.  The Little Stint was still on the scrape as at 09.50hrs. PRD.  Observations through the morning saw slight variations in numbers from yesterday and the additions on the scrape area of a single Greenshank and 3 Oystercatchers.  Alongside the previously noted three species were 2 Common Sandpipers, a Dunlin, 1 Knot, 3 Ringed Plovers and 9 Avocets, 2 Common Terns, 2 Teal, 3 Gadwall, 9 Shelduck and the pair of Canada Geese (+1).  Amongst the trees and hedgerows were 2 Cetti’s Warblers, 3 Lesser and 10+ Common Whitethroats, 7+ Blackcaps and rounding up the reports, a Little Owl. PRD/MR  

29th - NE winds again this morning, varying from c9mph through 17mph with some very occasional extra blasts of up to 21+mph.  The temperature before 09.00hrs had reached +17+ degrees.  Later in the day there was some intermittent cloud-cover and it gave the impression of being cooler.  Today’s report gave that a Spoonbill was on the scrape as at 09.10hrs and there it remained for the duration (see Gallery) .  Other than the Spoonbill (a Colour-ringed bird), the scrape was fairly quiet with 2 Dunlin, 10 Avocets, 10+ Redshanks, a Little Egret, 2 Tufted Ducks, 4 Gadwall and 6 Shelducks.  The bushes and hedgerows held of note, 2 Lesser and 8+ Common Whitethroats, 7+ Blackcaps, 2 Cuckoos and singles of both Little Owl and Kestrel. MR.

30th – A change of direction for the winds this morning, being of SSW and of light to moderate speeds (9mph through 12mph) along with a little bit of gusting of up to c15mph.  Definitely a bit on the cooler side today although the temperature had reached +13 degrees by 07.30hrs.  After another dry day, just prior to 18.00hrs the "slightly later than predicted" rain appeared....... a downpour of c25 minutes but more on/off rain along with some thunder and lightning followed during the evening.  Initial reports gave that the adult Spoonbill was still on the scrape as at 09.00hrs but otherwise it was very quiet on the site at that time and also a little bit on the misty side – hence the rear of the scrape was not so easy to survey.  Observations through the morning in addition to the Spoonbill report, gave counts of 1 Ringed Plover, 11 Avocets and 12+ Redshank, 5 Gadwall and 9 Shelduck, also 2 Common Gulls and dropping in just briefly for a “wash & brush-up” was a Little Tern.  A Marsh Harrier was seen from the hide, as were Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers and a Reed Bunting – the latter three species were in front of the hide and were busily collecting grubs from the Cow Parsley.  2 Cetti’s Warblers were again located amongst the trees and bushes on the site, while singles of Little Owl and Cuckoo, 3 Lesser and 10+ Common Whitethroats along with 5+ Blackcaps rounded up the sightings for the morning. MR.  An afternoon site visit saw a Peregrine on the Coastguard Radar Tower, whilst at 17.00hrs the Spoonbill was still on the scrape as was a Little Stint. PRD.

31st – Cloud-cover started the day although it was still quite bright - the day progressed nicely to being another warm one of temperatures in the region of +17 degrees.  Westerly winds prevailed of mostly 14mph through c17mph with additional gusting reaching c20mph.  At least two observers were on site today with the hopes of locating another “new year bird” for the last day of this month of May.  Unfortunately they could not add to the year’s listing but a Little Stint (see Gallery) on the scrape was most definitely a brilliant little bird to watch regardless. The Spoonbill had been on site earlier in the day (viewed from near to the Sewage Farm) but was not seen for the rest of the duration, while singles of Little Egret, Cuckoo, Little Owl, Marsh Harrier and Kestrel were other notables during the day.  3 Lesser and 12+ Common Whitethroats, a Chiffchaff and 6 Blackcaps were on and around the site, with a noted fly-over being of 2 Med Gulls and a “drifter” was that of a single Brent Goose that sat on the sea just drifting N on the tide.  The balance of Waders, Ducks and Geese on the scrape were 9 Avocets, a Gadwall, 2 Shovelers, 5 Shelducks, 2 (+1) Canada and 6 Greylag Geese. MR/PRD.

As at 31st May, the Haven 2012 Year List stands at 156