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.  

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November 2010

1st - Although grey clouds did appear a few times, it was generally quite a mild and bright day.  NW winds were mainly moderate.  By 16.30hrs the light was noticeably being lost.  Once again over the site this morning was a Rough Legged Buzzard (09.40hrs).  Singles of Common BuzzardPeregrine and S E Owl were viewed, as were a Snow Bunting, StonechatChiffchaff, Rock Pipit, 5 Turnstones, 4 Bearded Tits, 20 Fieldfare, 9 Redpoll, 10 Siskins, 3 Mute Swans, 2 Oystercatchers and heading S, was 1 Swallow.  On and around the scrape area were 4 Blk T Godwits, 1 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 8 Shoveler, 1 Brent Goose and numerous Teal and Wigeon. JBS/PRD/AEC/MR/BS.  Additions for both early and late-afternoon were 2 Kestrels, 1 Sparrowhawk, 14 Meadow Pipits, 25+ Red L Partridge and 250+ Greylag Geese.  Both S E Owl and Snow Bunting were still showing c16.30hrs. KA/PBr.    

2nd - Winds were light to moderate WSW as at daybreak (06.30hrs) and dry.  The day remained quite mild until wind strength increased c15.30hrs and temperatures dropped very quickly.  Visits to site were again morning and afternoon with the morning reports giving the highlights of 1 Merlin, 1 Snow Bunting, 2 Rock Pipits, 5 Bearded Tits and 2 Common Buzzards. JBS/MR/MJ.  Good numbers of both Redwing and Blackbird were noted, while 2 Swallows (individuals) headed over. MJ.  The afternoon reports included 5 Turnstones on the sluice area, 8+ Goldcrests near the cottages and two Common Buzzards were seen on the ploughed field, sparring over a meal! KA/AD.

3rd - A chilly start this morning but dry with light to moderate WNW winds.  Conditions remained much the same with some added sun until mid-day, then some cloud cover into the afternoon that brought a short spell of drizzle.  Winds turned through W to be at SW as at 16.30hrs.  A Rough Legged Buzzard was seen on site c09.00hrs, briefly again at 09.45hrs, then at 10.38hrs when the bird flew N towards the church, being mobbed en-route.  10+ Bearded Tits were located early morning, a Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrels, several of both Redwing and Skylark were noted, as were the fly-overs S, of 80+ Goldfinch.  6+ Goldcrest were near the cottages and a single Turnstone was on the sluice. JBS/KA.  Additional sightings were 2 Merlin (male+fem), also the Snow Bunting, while late afternoon provided views of a S E Owl and further sightings of a Rough Legged Buzzard. JBS.    

4th - Some strong SW winds today, with gusts recorded for the area of c37mph.  Cloud cover with some bright sunny intervals during the morning, some clearer skies for the afternoon and a superb sunset.  The day remained dry.  A site visit from 14.15hrs to 16.15hrs, observed 2 Blk T Godwits on the scrape with a scattering of Lapwing, also Shovelers and the usual Teal and Wigeon.  At c15.30hrs, brief views were had of a Rough Legged Buzzard as it "appeared from behind the tree-line behind the church".  Other sightings from the hide, included 2 Common Buzzards, 1 Sparrowhawk and a Barn Owl, whilst a Goldcrest was seen next to the feeding compound. AP.  At 16.36hrs the Rough Legged Buzzard flew across the site in a NW direction towards Holland Pits area.  Earlier a Merlin had also been noted. JBS

5th - A very mild, dry morning with a light SW breeze and a cloud covered sky.  The afternoon brought rain and some moderate SW winds, although gusts were up to c40mph.  Coverage from mid-day to mid-afternoon, found the site to be very quiet birdwise - the highlights being a single Merlin and just 2 of each Sparrowhawk and Rock Pipit. JBS.   

6th - Another mild day, although slightly chilly to start.  Mainly blue sky with some cloud and the winds a light NW.  Coverage across site throughout the day, included some excellent viewing again of a Rough Legged Buzzard (14.30hrs til at least 14.50hrs), also a S E Owl and still near to the second turret were +/- 4 Bearded Tits. AD/GG/PNt

7th - Mainly overcast this morning with an occasional break-through of sun and also a bit of rain for good measure.  The rain became quite persistent later in the day!  Winds being moderate NNE to begin with, although gained strength throughout.  After notification from Paul (PBr), of the very good off-shore and in/off movement along the coast at Frinton, a seawatch from 10.00hrs to 13.00hrs was undertaken from the Haven.  A Kittiwake (1W) was the first of this species noted off the Haven this year, taking the Haven 2010 Year List to 179.  A Med Gull (adW) was observed and an imm Gannet flew N.  Just a few Knot headed N, 185+ of them, also a single Avocet and 3 Dunlin.  4 Goldeneye (1pr & 2 single drakes), 16 Eider (mixed flock of 14 & 2 drakes - all N), 20 of each Common Scoter and Shelduck, 10 Wigeon, 8 Teal and 223 Brent Geese were the duck/geese counts of all clearly visible passing birds, during this seawatch.  Distantly however, in the gloomy weather conditions, there was definitely alot of other movement.  In-off the sea within this three hours, were a S E Owl, 180+ Starlings and 30+ ChaffinchPRD/MR.  Viewed on and across the site this afternoon was a Black Redstart by the compound, a Common Buzzard, plenty of Blackbirds and Starlings and 2 S E Owls of which one of these, may or may not have included the bird in-off. MJ.

8th - Not a very nice weather day with very strong SSE winds and gusts of at least 46mph, plenty of rain and an extremely clouded sky - seawatching was definitely going to be part of today's coverage!  From 11.00hrs to 12.30hrs the off-shore counts were 66 Dunlin, 68 Knot, 23 Common Scoter, 6 Wigeon and 8 Brent Geese all heading S, while the only species to head N, was a single ad Gannet.  A visit to the hide and viewing across the scrape and surrounding area, gave 6 Blk T Godwits, 1 Snipe, 2 of each Gadwall and Shelduck, also 4 Shoveler.  A Sparrowhawk was also noted.  Across the marsh areas, large flocks of Starling were observed, while back near the Sewage Works, the Black Redstart was still around. MR

9th - Rain and more rain today, being very heavy at times, while the skies have been full of some interesting cloud cover, appearing to show the whole spectrum of the colour grey!  Very strong winds varying E through NE to N and back again.  Seven species were observed during a two and a half hour seawatch session today, giving a count of 2 Kittiwake (ad+1W), a single ad Gannet, singles also of Gt. C Grebe, Lapwing and Shelduck, 4 Eider (2ad+1yr drake +fem) and 5 Brent Geese.  All the noted birds were heading N. PRD.   An additional report for this afternoon, gave 4 RB Merganser (2prs) heading N, close in-shore. JBS.

10th - A dry day with bright sun at times but very cold across the site with some biting NNW winds for most of the duration, these turned to WNW by late afternoon.  A quick morning visit saw a single Chiffchaff around the bushes, while soon after, surveying the scrape area gave 4 Blk T Godwits, 1 Redshank, 4 Shoveler, 8 Shelduck and numerous Teal, Wigeon and Greylag Geese.  2 Sparrowhawks were also noted. MR.  A cycle ride from Frinton to the Haven, paid dividends at lunchtime when along with a second observer, 9 ad Whooper Swans were seen coming in from the SE.  Initially way out over the sea, they flew in towards the Haven, finally settling off-shore opposite the grazing marsh from 12.50hrs until c14.15hrs and at least giving a couple of other observers time to view. PBr/MP/KA.  While keeping watch on the swans, 2 Lapland Buntings were calling as they flew over heading S (12.57hrs).  Other off-shore movement included a single Knot, 14 Dunlin and 3 Sanderling all moving S,  a juv Gannet that flew N, while in/off came 1 Chaffinch, 2 Skylark and 42 Starlings and noted along the seawall was a Grey Wagtail.  Additional birds during this visit, for the scrape and it's surrounding grazing fields, were singles of Curlew, Kestrel, Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier. PBr/MP.  Mid-afternoon coverage along the seawall, gave species/numbers over and above the earlier reports, of a S E Owl, singles of Purple Sand and Rock Pipit, 4 Turnstones and seen heading N were 6 Brent Geese.  A flock of Siskin were also noted. PRD/JBS.    

11th - What a day out there!  Heavy rain to start and some extremely strong SSW winds.  Weather reports showed gusts c09.30hrs at 37mph and stated "to expect gusts up to 60+mph".  The rain stopped occasionally through the day to allow a bit of sun but it was mainly wet.  Wind direction going into the evening proved Westerlies and indeed, gusts were being recorded locally up to at least 60.1mph.  No reports returned.

12th - A dry start this morning although the winds were still very strong and began the day alternating WSW through SW.  Wind gusts reached c40+mph during the morning and increased during the afternoon.  Rain also came into play by mid-afternoon and continued into the evening, some of this once more, proving to be heavy.  Wind direction continued to vary SW through to W and vice-versa.  Site coverage gave the highlights of 5 Waxwings that came in/off, 3 Purple Sandpipers along the front and a single Common Buzzard over the grazing fields. JBS.

13th - Mainly a greyish hue across the skies today with a feel of misty-rain.  A slightly milder day than the last few with winds being variable moderate to strong (although compared to the last two days, today's winds could be considered "light"!).  As at mid-afternoon wind direction was SW.  An early morning visit to the scrape produced little, however, birds of interest were 6 Shoveler, 6 Shelduck and 2 Blk T Godwits.  Whilst ringing, totals flying S were 165 Siskin, 3 Redpoll, 50+ Goldfinch and 20+ Chaffinch.  Best of all, was a female Goosander that flew over our heads and headed SW.  Nothing of note out at sea but a single Rock Pipit and 4 Turnstone were by the sluice.  A Woodcock was flushed from the edge of the "mound" and a Grey Wagtail visited the Sewage Farm. PRD/PNt/PT/GG.

14th - Again, quite a mild morning with some light SW winds, while the sun attempted at times, to break through a very cloud covered sky.  By mid-day the winds had turned to NNW and the heavens had well and truly opened, bringing heavy rain.  Much the same on the scrape this morning although Blk T Godwits were up to 4 and 3 Curlew visited briefly.  Southerly passage seen this visit, totalled 1 Brambling, 5 Redpolls, 178 Siskins, 17 Chaffinch and 35+ Goldfinch.  A female Merlin flew over the car park and the Rock Pipit was along the seawall, while a Chiffchaff was along the approach road. GG.

15th - Some early morning frost and mist that the sun soon started to burn off.  Blue sky with some mainly white cloud and light NW winds with the day becoming quite nice, just lower temperatures.  Early morning coverage saw good numbers of both Blackbirds (30+) and Robins with a single Redwing also noted.  2 S E Owls were viewed across the grazing marsh, as were singles of Common Buzzard and Kestrel.  2 Blk T Godwits, 2 Shelduck, 100+ Teal and 80+ Wigeon were on and around the scrape, while a further 84 Wigeon, were sitting just off-shore.  4 Turnstones were seen on the sluice and the trees/bushes gave 2 Goldcrest of interest. MR.  Further coverage, c10.45hrs to 13.30hrs, added singles of Bearded Tit, Sparrowhawk (fem), Dunlin and Snipe, 2 Redshank and 70 Lapwing, while 6+ Skylarks came in/off and 2 Siskin flew over heading S.  Totals had increased from the morning with regard to Turnstones and Teal, taking them to 6 and 200 respectively. PRD.                                                                                                        NB. The R-L Buzzard was noted just NW of the Haven (PBr) this a.m but not actually from the site - however, it does  confirm that the bird is still around. 

16th - It was extremely cold out there this morning - vehicles everywhere being de-iced and the frost covered foliage makes one think that Christmas is not too far away!!!  The sun was out fairly early this morning and remained so for the duration, making for a pleasant and dry but slightly chilly day.  Beginning as a very light Westerly breeze, the winds by dark, were a moderate SSE.  Initially the scrape was some 90% frozen and held the sum total of 1 Blk T Godwit!  Along with 2 Snipe, a few Teal and Wigeon had re-appeared on this area by mid-day.  A Cetti's Warbler was heard during this visit, located between the sluice and the hide, while around the site in general were singles of S E Owl and Little Owl, 2 Fieldfare, 5 Redwing, 15+ Blackbirds, a single Song Thrush, 4 Goldfinch and also 2 Reed Bunting.  Surveying the beach, gave 5 Turnstones and a Redshank.  Birds of prey on/over the site were 2 Common Buzzards and 1 of each Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. MR.  Later additions on the shore were 2 Sanderling. JK.  A brief viewing early afternoon, gave 100+ Lapwings on the grazing marsh near the road, with numerous Starlings, Gulls and c40 Greylag Geese. KA.  A further additional report, included sightings of a Barn Owl, 12 Brent Geese and also a S E Owl (This SEO may/may not have been a second bird). SN.  Coverage that incorporated the area along from and opposite to the approach road, gave further numbers of Fieldfare at 15+, Redwing at 3+, Snipe at 3 and added a count of 3 Little Grebes (over the road), a Curlew, 1pr Bearded Tits (outside the hide + the male had ring on right leg) and also 2 fly-over Siskins.  5+ Redpoll sp were interesting to say the least with 3 of these birds most definitely not Lesser!  Unfortunately, the viewing through his bins' was all too brief for the observer whom "was absolutely stunned as to how gleaming white.....underneath". PRD

17th - A bit grey and overcast today with moderate and sometimes quite strong SE winds.  The day remained dry but chilly.   No reports returned.

18th - Dry to start the morning and again cloud cover, with the winds being light to moderate SSE.  Apart from a slight shower, conditions remained much the same throughout.  The reported highlights for the site today, were 2 S E Owls and singles of both Merlin and Snow Bunting. JBS.

19th - A bit of a foggy morning with some very light WSW winds.  Unfortunately, the fog remained in-situ for the duration, quite thick in some local areas and generally making it a very gloomy, damp day.  No reports returned.

20th - Another typical wintery day, being at times bright and appearing mild but that biting chill just hanging in there.  Afternoon visits found the site to be very quiet amongst the redbeds, bushes etc., with just a couple of Goldcrests, a single Redwing and a Kestrel being noted.  Surveying the beach and off-shore areas, located 1 Sanderling and 6 Turnstones on the beach itself, while viewing from the hide, added to the day's totals with 1 S E Owl (sitting in the back hedge), 1 Sparrowhawk, 20 Brent and 60+ Greylag Geese up on the fields, 2 Blk T Godwits, 6 Cormorant, 4 Shelduck and numerous Teal and Wigeon on and around the scrape. MR/IM

21st - Quite a mild morning to begin the day, although by c11.00hrs the temperature had dropped and the sun was fighting to stay out from the grey clouds that were rapidly moving in.  Winds being very light Northerlies early on but gaining in strength by mid-day.  The news of a Treecreeper (MR) along the approach road at 08.55hrs, was very good indeed.  The bird flew across the road, from the right of the last speed-bump prior to reaching the carpark and proceeded to be viewable on the left for a short while.  Unfortunately, the bird had not been seen again as at 11.40hrs.  Good numbers of Blackbirds along this stretch, also a Fieldfare and Goldcrest. AD/KA.  Viewing from the hide gave 3 Blk T Godwits, 4 Shelduck and good numbers of Teal and Wigeon on the scrape while 130+ Brent and 200+ Greylag Geese were seen across the fields.  Although the rest of the site was relatively quiet, a S E Owl was noted, as were 3 Song Thrush, a Kestrel, 3 Turnstones and a Chiffchaff.  Sitting off-shore were a single drake Goldeneye and some 100+ Wigeon. MR/IM

22nd - The morning began as slightly chilly but bright and looked to becoming a reasonable day on the weather front.  Mid-morning however, saw a sudden change in cloud conditions and with them came the rain - intermittent from then on and through into the evening.  Coverage across the site by several today, included a seawatching session from 11.00hrs until 12.30hrs.  Located this morning by the approach road entrance, in the evergreens, were 2 Firecrests.  Fly-overs noted heading N, were 2+ Goldfinch and 3+ Siskin, while Southbound was a Redpoll sp (again looking pale!). PRD.  On the scrape and over the grazing marsh were 2 Blk T Godwits and 85+ Brent Geese.  A Goldcrest was also noted on route. JK.  The seawatch supplied an adult Kittiwake, 2 Brent Geese, 1 Shelduck and 4 Teal all heading S, with the Northbound birds being 3 Teal, 2 Common Scoter, 32 Eider (14 + 18 & incl. 5 drake) and a fem Goosander (11.46hrs beyond yellow bouy).  On the sea for the duration were 200+ Wigeon and also viewed was a fem Sparrowhawk.PRD/MR.  Also reported for the site today were singles of S E Owl, Snow Bunting and Rock Pipit.

23rd - Cold!! Bright at times, blue sky with plenty of cloud moving around and a definite icy feel in the light NW winds.  The majority of the site was covered during today's visits and gave a fair selection of species.  The bushes, trees and hedgerows gave 3 Song Thrush, 1 Redwing, 1 Kestrel, 2 Goldcrest and 10+ Goldfinch, while noted fly-overs were 30+ Siskin.  Time spent in the hide, provided views of 1 Little Egret, 2 Blk T Godwits, 1 Common Buzzard, a Merlin (1Wfem), 150+ Brent and 150+ Greylag Geese, while the duck count gave 2 Shelduck, 32 Teal and 50+ Wigeon.  Along the seawall, beach and just off-shore on the sea, there were singles of Stonechat, Black Redstart, Rock Pipit, Grey Wagtail and Sanderling, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 4 Turnstones and 150+ Wigeon. MR/PRD

24th - A bright icy start that warmed, slightly, as the morning went on.  Apart from the chill factor, generally quite a pleasant sunny day with some light to moderate WNW winds.  A brief afternoon visit to site, gave the highlights of a male Black Redstart along the beach and also views of a S E Owl. JBS.  Also noted today, were 5 Little Grebes seen on the brook. MR.   

25th - Some moderate NW winds this morning and temperatures were just above freezing, while the sun tried hard to stay visible amongst the variable cloud cover.  The afternoon sun was extremely bright but failed to add any warmth to the biting cold winds and nightfall brought ice covered roads and cars by 18.00hrs.  Surveying the site today, gave the Black Redstart once again and also counts of 25+ Blackbirds, 3 Redwing and 2 Song Thrush, 200+ Golden Plover, 6 Blk T Godwits and 12 Cormorants.  2 of each Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were also seen. MR/PRD.  The Rough Legged Buzzard made another appearance over the site just prior to mid-day, then re-appeared this afternoon (MR/PRD/JBS/PBr), while another addition to today's "Birds of Prey" was at 14.15hrs when a Red Kite was also in the vicinity. PRD/JBS/PBr.  Just off-shore, on the sea, were 350+ Wigeon, while singles of Oystercatcher (S) and Turnstone were also noted. MR/PRD/KA.  17 Curlew were additional, as was a single fly-over Siskin. PRD

26th - As the temperature continued to remain barely above freezing point today, the wind direction was variable NW through WNW and of light to moderate strength.  Some afternoon cloud cover hung around but there was still some blue sky.  Icy conditions again as dusk fell.  A walk along the seawall produced little with 2 Purple Sandpipers being the highlight.  Two x 1 hour seawatches produced 2 cold observers but no birds. GG/PRD.  The only additions from another visit were a flock of c1000 Brent Geese seen initially sitting on the sea, these then proceeded to take off from the water in smaller groups and re-located themselves on the top fields. JBS.  

27th - Fog and ice and all foliage, cars and roofs were covered in a heavy frost this morning until at least 09.45hrs, although the sun was attempting and finally did break through.  The temperature, needless to say, stayed basically at zero before dropping again late afternoon, to below freezing point.  Winds were light Northerly to NW and the site also saw some sleet/snow during the course of the day.  A good number of visitors to the site this morning provided the following sightings, 1 S E Owl, 3 Little Egret, also 1 of each Grey Plover, Redshank and Sparrowhawk, 3 Sanderling, 4 Turnstones and 200+ Golden Plover.  The Rough Legged and a Common Buzzard were over the site at 11.00hrs and additional birds were Firecrest, Snow Bunting, 2 Grey Wagtails and 2 Purple Sandpipers.  Fly-overs included 7 Siskin, 1 Redpoll sp and 5+ Goldfinch. JK/IM/SW/RN/LD/GG.

28th - Temperatures were still below freezing as at late morning and the winds were light Northerly.  Morning cloud cover was evident and early afternoon brought some much darker cloud, although the sun was quite bright at various times.  A couple of snow flurries also graced the area again today.  Going into the evening, the temperature actually rose above freezing........ just!  Wind direction turned before dark, to ENE.  Reported for the site this morning, were 2 Common Buzzards, between the church and the golf course, while also out hunting, was a S E Owl.  South of the golf course, a Lapland Bunting was located and additional notables were 100+ Skylark, numerous Golden Plover and still a huge flock of Brent Geese. SN.  

29th - Blue skies with a bit of cloud, bright sun, snow on the ground and some on/off snow flurries, temperature slightly above freezing and light to moderate NNW winds - wrapped up well, it was quite a pleasant winters morning.  Early afternoon saw a bit of a snow blizzard and from then on, the temperature lowered again to begin freezing before dark and wind direction was once more round to ENE.  Viewing from the road (c09.45hrs & c12.00hrs) across the site and a mid-afternoon cycle ride (14.00hrs to 14.45hrs) along the seawall, provided sightings of Common Buzzard, Peregrine (ad fem) and Kestrel, 65 Golden Plover, 260 Lapwing and 250 Brent Geese.  A Little Egret was seen as it "attempted to fish in the unfrozen areas" under the footbridges, while along the seawall were singles of Grey Wagtail, Redshank and Meadow Pipit.  Six groups of Lapwing (total of 52 birds) were noted as they came in/off the sea during the latter visit. PBr.

30th - Barely above freezing as at 06.00hrs and although it was rain that was coming down just prior to this time, by 06.15 it was sleet!  The sleet and snow continued to be on/off all day but did not settle.  Strong ENE winds started the day and by dusk this evening they were still strong, having turned slightly to NE.  Gusts recorded for the area were at 34+ mph.  A brief look across a limited area of the site this afternoon, gave 4 Redwing, 100+ Lapwing, c30 Golden Plover and a single Kestrel. KA.  A seawatch from near to the Sailing Club (13.45hrs to 15.30hrs) saw 2 Little Gulls feeding just off-shore, 200+ Wigeon and 4 Gadwall sitting on the sea, a juv Gannet and a Gt. C Grebe heading N, while 14 Brent Geese flew S.  As dusk approached, the Lapwing and Golden Plover across the grazing marsh, were up to 250+ and 80+ respectively. MR.  

As at 30th November, the Haven Year List 2010 stands at 180.