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*

MAY 2014

1st – No reports returned.


2nd – The initial ENE directional winds turned by the evening to NNE with speeds through the day of up to and exceeding 22mph while gusting was at c27mph.  On/off rain during a mostly drab, overcast day.


3rd – Quite a cool day generally, reaching just +5 degrees with the wind-chill factor from ENE/ESE winds that varied ‘from a breeze up to 14mph’ along with gusting of 18mph.  A Garden Warbler* was the receiver of a new shiny ring today and also another Haven 2014 Year bird during a ringing session. PN.  Taking in the views across the scrape and grazing marsh from the main hide yielded counts of 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Bar-T Godwits and 26 Avocets, alongside 2 Wigeon, 2 Teal, 3 Shoveler and 12 Shelducks.  Also seen during this survey were 3 Common Buzzards.  An early evening (17.02hrs) seawatch supplied 2 Eider* (1 pair) that were flying N. IM.


4th – Mostly a bright day with some SSW winds of c14mph and the extra blasts reaching 17mph.  The temperature remained around +10 degrees.  The highlighted bird of today was a Great White Egret* (PRD), for which the news went out immediately via pagers and phones and several birders made it to the site to add this bird to their Haven Life Lists.  Initially seen c15.05hrs, the GWE (in breeding plumage) was viewable from the hide before it disappeared into a ditch – from here it was again seen in flight before the bird landed in a ditch by the Golf Course at 16.15hrs. (see Gallery for GWE). PRD/MR/SC/DS.   


5th – Several observers were around the site on this Bank Holiday Monday.  Of note, seen to be flying N off-shore was a Fulmar. PL.  A Garden Warbler was in the vicinity near to the Sewage Farm, as were some newly fledged ‘1J’ Robins and also a Chiffchaff.  On the scrape were 2 Dunlin amongst the regular selection.  This survey also took in observations at the Farm, giving a female Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Corn Buntings, along the tracks were 6+ Common Whitethroats, by the pond were 2 Blackcaps and in the area were also 4 Yellow Wagtails. GG.  


6th – Variable speed SW/WSW winds today – from 8mph up to 24mph and relative gusting from 9mph up to 30mph, complete with a mixed bag of on/off showers, cloud, sun and blue skies.  Temperature readings for the coast reached a high of +17 degrees.  No reports returned.  


7th – Of particular note today, was the report of a Swift* over the site – another Haven 2014 Year Tick. PRD.


8th – Rain during today’s survey kept the observer mostly in the hide.  A variation of species were on offer though and gave counts of 1 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 3 Oystercatchers, c15 Redshanks, c20 Lapwings with c5 chicks viewable at the time and 26 Avocets.  The Duck species were of 2 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 3 Shoveler and 23 Shelducks, while 2 Greylag and 6 Canada Geese (+1 gosling) were also on the scrape and grazing marsh.  A Cormorant was also on the scrape – these have been absent of late.  Over and around the vicinity were 20+ Swallows.  General observations of the reed-beds and localised hedgerows yielded 1 Wheatear, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Sedge and 2 Reed Warblers and rounding up the report, 2 Reed Buntings. MR.


9th – A colour-ringed Dunlin was one of two noted “schinzii” Dunlin on the scrape this morning. PRD.


10th – No reports returned.


11th – Observations by two were from the main hide today – mainly to keep dry during the onslaught of the rain and strong winds.  The totals reported were of a Ringed Plover, 1 Greenshank, 2 Sanderlings, 2 Curlew, 9 Dunlin and 20 Avocets that were across the scrape and grazing marsh, along with 2 Wigeon, 12 Shelducks and also a Common Gull.  Overhead, there were some 12+ Swifts recorded. IM/PL.


12th – The first report in for today was that of an Osprey* that was seen over the grazing marsh before drifting off in a SW direction towards Clacton. MR.  Surveying over the road (opp. Approach Road) this morning gave 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 of each Chiffchaff and Blackcap, while observations in the Dell a short time later, located a Siskin* that was on top of a fir tree. MR.  Seawatching for a while from the sluice area supplied 1 Bar-T Godwit, 5 Common Terns and c50 Common Scoters – all these birds were seen to head S.  Moving on to the main hide, viewing across the scrape, grazing marsh and skyline, yielded 1 Dunlin, 3 Whimbrel, 7 Curlew and 30 Avocets, 2 Gadwall, 2 Wigeon and 27 Shelducks, also 10+ Swifts. IM/MR.


13th – Today saw two more birds for the Haven 2014 Year List and several observers on and around the site.  The ‘day’ bird/s appeared to be the Spotted-Flycatcher* with 2 reported before 09.37hrs.  The first was in the elder beyond the 5-bar gate, the second Spot-Fly was on the mounds area.  A later report gave that 3 were located on site before noon. IM/MR.  Also around the site generally were singles of Cetti’s Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers and some 10+ Common Whitethroats.  A Whinchat* was seen from the main hide as were 4 Sedge Warblers, while a Wheatear was on the mounds upon the return wander back to the Service road and a Sparrowhawk flew low across this road.  Counts made from the hide included 1 Dunlin per yesterday, 24 Blk T Godwits, 34 Avocets, again there were 2 Gadwall, Wigeon had increased to 3 and Shelducks numbered 28.  Also viewed from the main hide were 2 Common Buzzards. IM/MR.   By mid-afternoon, there were two Spotted-Flycatchers together by the new trees on the grass slope that is on the way up from the carpark.  Presumably these were the earlier birds - given the location.  (see Gallery for Spot-Fly). DS.  


14th – Initial NW through WNW winds of up to 12mph along with additional blasts of up to 15mph later became slightly stronger E with gusting of up to 18mph.  Bright skies from very early this morning which were complimented by the sun, of which, remained throughout the day.  Temperature readings for the coastline reached +14 degrees.  The first report in gave that 3 Whinchats were located on the fence to the far right of the main hide and 2 Little Terns* flew N. PRD.  Additional for the day were a single Common Sandpiper of note on the scrape and amongst some 30+ Avocets were the Haven’s own GB/GY and another locally ringed bird.  The same or two more Little Terns were noted as feeding off the sluice area on the wander through to the hide first thing.  (There were no signs of any Flycatchers during this survey). MR.


15th – Another day of mostly sun and blue skies with variable strength winds from a breeze (c3mph) up to 13mph with some gusting of up to 15mph.  Wind direction by mid-evening was holding at SE, while the coastline temperature dropped noticeably from its earlier +14 degrees.  An hour's survey from the Frinton end of site through to the hide (09.00-10.00hrs) gave views of 2 Little Terns fishing off-shore opposite the Golf Course while 2 Cormorants flew N.  Brief views were had of a Barn Owl out hunting and Wheatears numbered 3 along the route of which there were 2 males and a female. (2 opposite Golf Course + 1 by the hide). PBr.


16th - A glorious morning with sun and blue skies and a temperature of +11 degrees before 09.00hrs.  Very light SE winds of 2mph through 4mph and very little in the way of gusting (5mph), changed for later in the day to SSW of speeds up to 10mph and gusting of 12mph.  Reported for 12noon on the scrape, a Temminck's Stint* was a welcome bird for the year.  Missing from last year's (2013) listings, Temminck's Stint has with today's bird, now been included on the records for nine different years since the first report of Temminck's Stint here in 2001.  Also of note, the majority of these records have been in the month of May. PRD.  Additional reports for on and around the site were counts of both a Common Buzzard and a Marsh Harrier, also 1 Med Gull (adult) and 5 Common Gulls, a single Greenshank, 4 Dunlin and 38 Avocets, 5 Shoveler (+8 ducklings) and 22 Shelducks. IM/PRD.


17th - The temperature along the coastline was at +14 degrees before 09.00hrs and the day proceeded to be a warm one.  Initial winds were SSW of some 6mph through 10mph and just slightly higher occasional gusting, while the evening saw the direction at SE.  At least five observers were on and around the site at various times today from morning into the afternoon and from the report received - there was obviously movement in/out throughout.  A ringing session also took place.  Particular notes were of a single Grey Plover (PRD), 2 Greenshank (PNt/GG), 3 Ringed Plovers (PRD/MR/GG), 1 adult Med Gull (PRD/GG) and 2 x 1s Med Gulls (SC/PNt/GG), while 2 Dunlin and a Little Egret stayed around and were on view for everybody. PRD/SC/PNt/MR/GG.  Singles of Wheatear and Common Buzzard were amongst the counts (PRD/GG/MR), as were 2 Little Terns (PNt/GG).  Over and above, some 40+ Cormorants flew N while the 8 Shoveler ducklings were again seen and a count of 3 small Redshank chicks was made. GG.


18th - Another glorious day of sun and temperature readings for our coastline of +15+ degrees.  Variable winds from SE through ESE with speeds up to c14mph and again, gusting just slightly higher.  No reports returned as yet.


19th - Initial winds being of barely a breeze up to 5mph with a few extra blasts of c7mph and a direction of SE.  Before 07.00hrs the coastline temperature readings gave +15 degrees and the sun was bright......... so could be another superb day weather-wise.  A morning run (c08.00hrs), along the seawall and Golf Course areas from the Frinton end and then the return journey, supplied little in the way of birds apart from a single singing Reed Warbler of note, 3 Oystercatchers that were flying around noisily and 5 Shelducks that were originally on the Golf Course before they flew towards the scrape. PBr.  On a Wildlife note, an immature Broad-Bodied Chaser was seen and photographed at the Dipping Pond. MR.


20th - The SW winds of up to 18mph with gusting of up to 23mph, turned direction for later in the day to S.  There was some early rainfall in local areas just a mile or two away from the site but occasional showers and a couple of heavier downpours collared the Haven later in the day.  Just after 08.00hrs 3 Turtle Doves* were seen to fly over the Golf Course before landing in the field N of the bridle-path towards the farm. PBr.  Whilst the Doves could not be relocated from the Farm/public tracks, a Hobby* was seen, as were 2 Corn Buntings. IM. The visit made between 08.00-09.00hrs also provided singles of Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper on the scrape, a Cuckoo, 2 Barnacle Geese that flew over and onwards up the coast (c08.45hrs) while off-shore movements gave a Common Tern (N) and 104 Brent Geese (38+44+22). PBr.  Further observations across the scrape and grazing marsh, yielded 4 Oystercatchers, 10+ Redshanks, 20+ Lapwings (+c8 chicks), 34 Avocets (2 Haven Colour-ringed included) and a second Common Sandpiper (see Gallery) made an appearance.  Ducks and Geese of note were 2 Shoveler (+8), 10 Shelducks, 4 Greylag and 8 Canada Geese (+1).  The localised hedgerows and reed-beds gave counts of 2 Sedge and 2 Reed Warblers and 3 Reed Buntings. MR.


21st - Initial winds this morning were of a NNW direction before turning to ESE slightly later.  Locally recorded speeds gave that there was a variation from c7mph up to 13mph while those extra blasts were of up to 15mph until early afternoon when speeds increased up to 17mph and 20mph respectively.  Again there were a few on/off light showers for the afternoon and some heavier downpours for a while too!  The coastline temperature readings for the day reached a maximum of +15 degrees.  At least two observers visited the site and their surveys resulted in counts for the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh (from the hide) of 1 Ringed Plover, 3 Common Sandpipers, 4 Oystercatchers and 46 Avocets, 24 Shelducks, and 2 Little Terns.  Seen to fly (together) along the rear of the scrape were 2 Cuckoo, while 3 Little Egrets flew over and out to sea.  Rounding up the report were 2 Yellow Wagtails that were also viewable from the main hide. IM/MR.


22nd - Along with some early rain, the SW winds were strong at speeds of 25mph through 37mph alongside gusting of some 42mph.  The temperature along the coast was (prior to 08.00hrs) at +14 degrees.  The day remained warm, if overcast at times before the downpours started again during the evening.  Surveys today included one up at the Farm and a second that covered areas of the main site.  Although expected at this time of year, it is good to see that the observer was able to add to the report that Swifts, Swallows and House Martins were indeed in 'good numbers' over the Farm and its buildings.  The Farm Pond and associated tree line gave 1 Water Rail and 1 Spotted Flycatcher, while other additions were 3 Gt. Spotted Woodpeckers (1ad+2juv) and 2 Corn Buntings. IM.  The main site yielded counts of 1 Cetti's Warbler (beyond the Sewage Farm), 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Chiffchaffs, c6 Blackcaps and 'lots of' Common Whitethroats.  A Gadwall, 2 Wigeon (1pr), 2 Shoveler (+8) and 14 Shelducks along with 8 Canada Geese (+1) were across the main scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, as were totals of 1 Little Tern and 2 Sandwich Terns, 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Dunlin, 4 Oystercatchers, c12 Redshanks, c20 Lapwings (+8) and 46 Avocets - the latter of which, included four colour-ringed birds.  The localised reed-beds and hedgerows as viewed from the hide at this time, gave 2 Linnets, 2 Reed and 2 Sedge Warblers and 5 Reed Buntings, while over and near this vicinity were c30 House Martins, c30 Swallows and 5 Swifts. MR.


23rd - Before 08.00hrs this morning, the Southerly winds were moderate to strong with speeds of up to 27mph and that extra gusting reaching 31mph.  Variable temperatures up to this time having already been at +15 degrees, the gusting had at this point, dropped back to +13 degrees.  A visit to the main hide today gave noted counts of 3 Dunlin and 50 Avocets, 14 Shelducks, 1 Med Gull (2cy) and a single Brent Goose, while amongst the Canada Geese there were 5 new goslings.  A Cuckoo was also on the report from the hide and in the vicinity over/near the scrape were also c15 House Martins and c20 Swifts. IM.


24th - A mixed morning of mostly rain (heavy at times) with variable overcast and blue skies with appearances by the sun and also some fast moving variations of both grey and white clouds.  S through SSW winds, these variable in speeds - from 17mph up to 26+mph - along with considerable gusting of up to 32mph.  The temperature along the coast being of +14 degrees.  No reports returned.


25th - A glorious day with temperatures along the coastline holding at +14 degrees and generally bright and sunny.  Wind direction varied S through SSE of speeds also variable (13mph - 26mph) and gusting that at times reached 31+mph.  No reports returned.


26th - Overall a very warm Bank Holiday Monday with temperatures reaching +16+ degrees locally.  Blue skies and bright sun with some intermittent grey clouds and accompanying on/off showers (some heavier than others).  The evening saw heavy rain that continued well into the night!  Initial wind direction was of N/NNE, changing prior to close of day to Easterlies.  Wind speeds varied throughout from c4mph up to at least 20mph and those extra blasts were up to 25mph.  No reports returned.


27th - After a night of virtually constant rain that finally eased by c06.00hrs, the grey overcast morning skies do not look too hopeful of a sunny day at all.  Initial winds being variable from NNW through to ENE, speeds up to 18mph and gusting of up to 22mph, while the coastline temperature by this time was at +14 degrees.  The early a.m. skies didn't disappoint...... and while the rain stopped for a time, some on/off light showers and later some heavier downpours occurred.  Wind direction by mid-evening was holding mostly at N.  A short sea-watch session gave one observer views of 2 Little and 4 Sandwich Terns off-shore. IM.  Surveying this morning from the Approach Road through to the main hide gave little of particular note but several Whitethroats were seen along the route and counts were made of 1 Lesser Whitethroat (hedge by wind-pump), 1 Chiffchaff (Approach Rd) and 2 Blackcaps (also Approach Rd).  Looking from the sluice, 2 Sandwich Terns were seen to fly N.  Observations from the main hide, added 1 Sedge and 2 Reed Warblers, 2 Linnets, also 12 Swifts, c30 House Martins and c40 Swallows.  On and across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were totals of 3 Little Egrets, 3 Cormorants, 2 Gadwall, 2 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler (+8), 18 Shelducks and 7 Canada Geese (+1+6), while the Waders consisted of c10 Lapwings (+6), c10 Redshanks, 46 Avocets (including colour-ringed individuals) and rounding up the birds on the scrape areas were a count of 10 Blk T Godwits that dropped onto the scrape at 10.15hrs. MR


28th - A turn in wind direction through today round from Northerlies to SSE, of light speeds (3mph up to 11mph) and gusting of barely 13mph.  Another mixed bag of weather - with rain to start, mostly grey skies throughout, a few light showers but warm at +14 degrees.  At least two observers were on and around the site and reported their subsequent survey per taking in the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh areas and visible skyline from the main hide.  Wader counts included 10 Blk T Godwits and 48 Avocets, Ducks comprised 2 Tufted Ducks, 2 Gadwall, 2 Wigeon and 11 Shelducks, the 7 Canada Geese were noted with their goslings (+1+6) and a single Little Egret was also located.  A Marsh Harrier and c30 Swifts completed the report. IM/MR


29th - A mostly bright, sunny day with some grey cloud, while the coastal temperatures were of +14+ degrees.  The Easterly winds remained around the 15mph speed and gusting was c17mph.  No reports returned.


30th - Drizzle started the day on a grey morning but eased after a while.  Easterly winds varied up to 17mph and there were extra blasts of up to 20mph.  A combined report from two observers today related to noted species viewed from the main hide.  On and around the scrape were 1 Little Egret, 1 Sandwich Tern, 10 Blk T Godwits and 55 Avocets, also 2 Teal, 2 Gadwall and 16 Shelducks.  Over and through the area were 10+ Swifts and some 12+ House Martins. IM/PRD.


31st - A warm, clear morning with light winds prevailing and it continued to be a very pleasant day.  No reports returned.  Overall this month, 12 species were added to the Haven 2014 Year list. 


As at 31st May, the Haven 2014 Year List stands at: 150.