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 2015

1st - No reports returned.

2nd - A dry and mostly bright day, although chilly at times with a definite increase of wind strength by early evening.  No reports returned.

3rd - A grey morning with rain continuing from overnight, along with strong winds - variable SE through SSW.  At least two observers visited the site through the morning with noted counts for the scrape - as viewed from the main hide - as being 10+ Redshanks, 29 Avocets and 53 Blk T Godwits, while 2 Swifts* were seen to fly over the scrape and in the vicinity were singles of both Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard. IM.  Viewing across the Pools (Memorials) gave 3 Bar-T Godwits of particular note. PNs.  Weather-wise the afternoon included the return of the sun and subsequently and gorgeous evening.  A run from the Frinton end, down past the Haven site with a diversion into the main hide (c19.30 to sunset), yielded some 18 Linnet (total of smaller parties) and a 'nice male Greenland Wheatear'.  The scrape still held all the Blk T Godwits, 24 of the Avocets and 12 Redshank, while an adult Med Gull flew over S at the time.  A Swift, 2 House Martins and 2 Oystercatchers were recorded and at least 16 Whimbrel were spread across the Golf Course plus a further of these on the beach. PBr.

4th - Still Southerly winds this Bank Holiday Monday morning and a mostly bright one too.  An early visit to the Frinton end of the site (along the seawall) yielded 3 Swallows, several Meadow Pipits, a Reed Bunting and both Sedge and Reed Warblers.  During this survey, a Cuckoo flew over the reedbeds by the turret. JH.

5th - An evening visit (18.00-20.30hrs) found that the Grasshopper Warbler was again reeling on site, while a Spotted Flycatcher* was located by the Memorials. DS.  The addition of Greenshank* to the Year List was also during an evening visit - this bird was on the Pools as viewed from the Platform. MR

6th - A site visit this morning included viewing from the hide and also a short seawatch.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, the counts were of 1 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers, 12 Redshanks, 44 Avocets, 51 Blk T Godwits and also c30 Lapwings (+3+4) of which the first of this year's broods (two of) were visible.  Ducks and Geese in this vicinity included 2 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 6 Shelducks, 7 Teal, 6 Greylag and 8 Canada Geese.  A Common Tern* was on the scrape early on during this visit and a Common Buzzard was noted.  Several Swifts were among the hirundine movement in/off during the off-shore viewing, while a Hobby also - albeit briefly - showed interest in this steady stream of birds. MR.  At this stage of 'Holland Haven in Spring' it was noted along with the report (MR) that Blackcaps, Reed WarblersCommon and Lesser Whitethroats and a few Chiffchaff appear to be well established on the site again and that there are 3 possibly even 4 Cetti's Warblers holding territories.     

7th - Not too many species were visible during a morning visit - coming in from the Frinton end, through the site and back again.  On the Golf Course initially were some 23 Whimbrel but this number had decreased by the return trip, Avocets on the scrape at this visit totalled 50+, a Common Buzzard was seen to soar over the Farm, while both in/off and heading S there was a 'steady trickle' of Swallows.  Also noted were 3 House Martins. PBr/KBr.

8th - No reports returned.

9th - Definitely a mix of cloud colours  - very dark to very white - be they against a mostly blue sky today, along with on/off appearances by the sun.  Two hours spent on the site this morning yielded 22 species of particular note.  Singles of Blackcap, Whitethroat, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, Song Thrush, Jay and Green Woodpecker were included, as were 4 Reed Buntings and 4 Reed Warblers, also 2 Swifts and 4 Swallows.  Waders, Ducks and Geese of note across the area totalled 2 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers (1pr), 10+ Redshanks, 20 Blk T Godwits, 46 Avocets (inc. the Haven's GB-GY still with a slight limp), 1 Teal, 2 Gadwall (1pr), 5 Shoveler (1pr+3drakes), 12 Shelducks, 2 Greylag and 6 Canada Geese. SC/(JH).

10th - Moderate to strong Southerly winds across the area with mostly a bright and sunny outlook during the morning.  Notable reports this morning were of 2 Cetti's Warblers and a Cuckoo all being in the vicinity near to the Sewage Farm between 06.40hrs and 09.30hrs. PNt.

11th - A warm, sunny and bright day that saw at least two observers on and around the site.  The trees, bushes and hedgerows through to the main hide, appeared much the same as in recent days and no little surprise species could be located during this survey on our Haven section of the East Anglian coast.  Viewing across the Pools - from the Platform - gave a single Common Sandpiper with some 26 Blk T Godwits.  From the main hide, a 2cy Yellow-legged Gull, was a brief visitor to the scrape mid-morning, while the general species in this vicinity included a Med Gull, 2 Gadwall, 3 Teal, 4 Shoveler, 12 Shelducks, 6 Greylag and 6 Canada Geese.  Also 2 Whimbrel, 12+ Redshanks, 46 Avocets and the Blk T Godwits had increased at this time to 64.  A Common Buzzard was noted.  Heading from the hide along to the end of the Boardwalk (i.e. towards Frinton), additions were of 1 Wheatear, 2 Sedge and 6 Reed Warblers with notes made of Reed Bunting, Linnet, Skylark and Meadow Pipit. PRD/MR.

12th - Some excitement was generated this morning both on and near to the site when a juvenile American White Ibis was located along the rear of the scrape. MR.  Unfortunately, while this bird is most likely from a breeding colony in Europe (and came to the Haven via Kent & Surrey), it is not at this moment in time, considered by the BOU/BBRC as a valid British record.  (Further info and photos to be added soon).  Only a few regulars managed to see the AWI on the actual Haven as the bird moved initially across the road, then back to the fields beyond the carpark before taking flight to a field/brook area in Great Holland. MR/PRD/PBr/DS.  Apart from the AWI on the scrape during observations, there were counts of 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Oystercatchers, 10+ Redshanks, 44 Avocets, 92 Blk T Godwits, 2 Gadwall, 3 Teal, 4 Shoveler, 8 Shelducks, 4 Canada and 6 Greylag Geese.  Singles of Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier were noted, as were 2 Sand and c50 House Martins, c100 Swallows and a Year Tick in the form of 2 Little Terns*. MR.  Additions along/from the seawall were of 12 Linnet (2xflocks) and a female Wheatear, 2 Whimbrel (Golf Course), a Little Tern (off-shore) and a flock of some 80+ Blk T Godwits that flew in to the scrape and are included the previous/above count. PBr.  

13th/14th/15th - No reports returned.

16th - Of particular note today, was that on route to the Sewage Farm/Compound area, a Turtle Dove* was seen at a puddle before it flew off over the Sewage Farm. LW.

17th/18th/19th/20th - No reports returned.

21st - Of note, a Spotted Flycatcher was located in the bushes by the Memorials at 09.14hrs. MR.  The Spot-Fly was still in the same area as at 18.38hrs. DS/KA/AD.  Much later on during this glorious evening, a Grasshopper Warbler was both heard and seen. DS.

22nd - At 07.47hrs, a Spotted Flycatcher was seen - in the bushes at the top of the carpark. MR.

23rd/24th - No reports returned.

25th - A Red Kite (09.26hrs) was seen beyond the Golf Course where it was initially perched atop a post near to the third Owl box prior to taking flight (c09.44hrs) over the Farm and was seen to land distantly in a tree.  The first Avocet chick of the year was seen on the scrape this morning. MR.

26th - Of note today (c13.45hrs) a Spotted Flycatcher was located at the Brook end of the compound (area beyond the rear of the Mounds). PRD.

27th - During a ringing session this morning, a Whitethroat proved to be a regular Haven visitor having been originally ringed here in 2012 and since been re-trapped here in 2013, 2014 and today.  Off-shore sightings of note were 4 Oystercatchers seen to head South. SC

28th - Of note, the second brood of Avocet chicks were visible today - this brood numbered 3. MR.

29th - Still very quiet on the site in relation to variation of species but the Haven's regular birds are now in full swing of feeding young and those already fledged - the likes of Tits, Starlings and Blackbirds etc. - can be seen around the trees and bushes, while on the scrape the noted young additions have this last week or so, been of Avocets, MoorhensShelducks and Canada Geese.  Viewing from the main hide today gave counts of 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Snipe, 2 Oystercatchers, 6 Moorhens (+4), 10+ Redshanks, 20+ Lapwings, 21 Blk T Godwits and 32 Avocets (+1).  Also, 5 Shoveler, 12 Shelducks (+10), 12 Canada Geese (+7), a 2cy Med Gull, 3 L B B and 40 Herring Gulls, while the Black-headed Gulls numbered some 62 and are nesting on both the island and the raft.  Additions during this survey from the hide were a Cetti's Warbler, c20 House Martins and c30 Swallows. MR.

30th - A short seawatch session (11.00-11.30hrs) by two observers, yielded of note, 2 Common and 2 Sandwich Terns* - all heading North. IM/PL.

31st - A great way to end the month with the site's second record of Red-necked Phalarope* that was located on the scrape this morning by Ian Minton.  The first record was back in 2003 and was a September visitor.  This female Red-necked Phalarope stayed for the rest of the day and into the evening - until at least 20.30hrs - giving many the chance to observe. IM/PRD/MR/LH/PBr/et al.  Noted counts for this area (17.15-18.00hrs) included 17 Blk T Godwits, 31 Avocets and an adult female Marsh Harrier. LH.  Additions for the scrape, surrounding marshes and reedbeds slightly later (from 20.00hrs to sunset) were of 5 Shoveler, Blk T Godwits had increased by 2 this evening up to 19, just 3 of the regular Redshanks were visible, 1 Water Rail was in the ditch (right of the scrape), 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler and noted was 'plenty' of Reed and Sedge Warbler activity.  2 Barn Owls were 'almost constantly on show' along the rear of the grazing marsh, c40 Swifts were seen to join c25 Swallows as the sun dropped - at which point an 'interested' adult Hobby flew through and proceeded to sit itself at the rear of the marsh.  Quite possibly the earlier noted female Marsh Harrier was also on view at c20.00hrs with 3 Common Buzzards also being atop posts in the vicinity.  Rounding up the birdlife on this superb evening was a Red Kite that 'appeared on a post to the left of the scrape until sunset'.  On a Wildlife note, an Otter was also seen during this latter survey. PBr.

As at 31st May 2015 the Haven 2015 Year List stands at: 142.