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: *

November 2011  

1st - The weather today included sun, rain, blue skies, cloud and mediocre temperatures.  The rain/drizzle was fairly brief prior to mid-morning and by the early afternoon, it had become rather pleasant out there.  Initial winds were of light to moderate WSW with a little on/off gusting and by the evening the direction was at SSW.  A few observers were on and around the site both this morning and during the afternoon.  Morning species and numbers were of 3 Snipe on the scrape and an "obliging" Sparrowhawk in this vicinity, a few Turnstones were along the beach, singles of Mistle and Song Thrushes were by the carpark, a Chiffchaff was near to Tariq and over the road a Kingfisher was seen. MR/MJ.  The first of the afternoon surveys, located a "Text Book" 1W Caspian Gull on the sea, just off of the sluice at 13.50hrs.  This bird was viewed until it took up and flew South at 14.10hrs.  A total of 50 Brent Geese and a single Cormorant were noted and very much in the distance, a Commic Tern was seen to be feeding.  A Grey Wagtail flew over. PRD.  Caught on "micro-chip" a S E Owl was today, one of the subjects of a photography session (see Gallery). RW. The latter part of the afternoon, found two very large mixed Tit flocks working along the Approach Road - circa half way along and also from the pond back down along the road, 5+ Redwings were noted between here and Tariq and 20+ Lesser Redpolls flew through after a brief tree-stop.  As per the end of October, Robins and Blackbirds were plentiful. KA

2nd - A bright but breezy morning with strong SSE winds, turned into an afternoon with even stronger SE winds.  The day throughout, had the addition of gusts of up to c34mph and subsequently it felt much cooler than the general temperatures actually were.  Viewing across the road this morning gave singles of Goldcrest and Blackcap, while up at the top of the service road, the Boating Club compound held a single Chiffchaff.  Surveying from the hide across the scrape, the surrounding grazing marsh and the arable, supplied counts of 2 Spoonbills (same two again) both of which were noted as being very active, 150+ Wigeon, 200+ Teal, 27 Brent and 170+ Greylag Geese, whilst birds of prey consisted of 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine (this was on the arable) and a SparrowhawkMR/PRD/JK.  Approximately half way to the Frinton end of site, a male Stonechat was located. PRD

3rd - After a night of on/off and sometimes heavy rain, the morning continued much the same.  Strong SSE winds were also accompanied by gusts of up to 32mph - no doubt bringing alot more of those leaves off the trees, on the typical late autumn day, that this one has been.  By early afternoon, the weather had brightened slightly but no change in the winds - direction or strength.  Reported, after taking refuge in the hide from one lot of heavy rain, the scrape had just 1 of the Spoonbills back on it this morning.  Ducks and Geese were the only other species to count for "on and around" the scrape itself, being 130 Wigeon, 280 Teal and 140+ Greylag Geese.  Viewing across to the arable gave totals of 150+ Lapwings and 24 Brent Geese, while observations across this whole area during this time, also gave 1 Common Buzzard and a single Sparrowhawk.  A Merlin was an additional bird on/over the site and just prior to heading for a late lunch, both a Bullfinch and a Chiffchaff were located beyond the metal gate just down from the Cottages. MR.  A sea-watching session took place 13.30-15.00hrs and subsequently provided views of a S E Owl, some 350 Brent Geese that were heading S and 2 Common Scoters (drakes) that were flying N. PRD

4th - Another night of constant rain was followed this morning by virtually non-stop rain until c09.30hrs, when the sun broke through the mass of grey cloud.  Initially there were strong 19+mph winds and gusting of up to 35mph, all at a direction of SSW.  Mid-day and during the afternoon, there were much lighter Southerly winds, although gusting was still relatively strong.  Sea-watching began today at 07.45hrs and the given totals through to 08.45hrs were 1 Swallow, 36+ Knot, 72+ Dunlin, 2 Grey Plovers, 3 Oystercatchers (2+1), 2 Curlew, 12 Common Scoters, a female Goldeneye and 8 Shelduck all of which were heading S, while a Gannet (ad) flew N.  Brent Geese totalled 308 with all barring 2 of these heading S. AD/GG/PRD.  A further 40minutes of sea-watching ensued from 08.45hrs and provided a drake Scaup, 4 Pintails and another 50+ Knot and 100+ Dunlin.  Slightly later, during a wander from the ringing compound to the sluice, the two observers were treated to views of 3 Goosanders* heading N and 4 R-B Mergansers flying S. A Wheatear (a Haven rarity in November) was noted on and around the mounds.  The ringing session provided some new "previously un-rung" birds including 6 Goldfinches.  The updates on these are on the newly re-designed and pictorial Ringing Activities page (formerly Recent Activities)GG/PRD.  A cycle ride along some of the seawall from the Frinton end of site (14.15-14.40hrs), located another Wheatear, this one by the second turret and it had the mis-fortune of being chased briefly by a female Merlin before the Merlin chose to land atop the seawall and subsequently gave superb views, prior to it flying to the far side of the Golf Course to the hedgerows where the bridlepath crosses the Course.  A total of 40 Brent Geese were on the fields, while a further 65 Brents were seen to head S off-shore. PBr

5th - What a surprise, bonfire night and the weather was rather damp today.  On/off rain through most of the morning and by early afternoon, the sky was still covered in cloud.  Winds were mostly light through the morning and of a NNW direction.  It was not the best of conditions for birding but a walk along the seawall produced a Snow Bunting by the 3rd turret and 9 Meadow Pipits, while a Chiffchaff was in the vegetation by the golf course.  Heading SW were 13 Lesser Redpoll, 6 Siskin and a count of 115+ Goldfinch.  Of note on the scrape there was a single un-ringed imm Spoonbill, 1 Dunlin, 1 Snipe, 2 Curlew and 2 Redshank.  A second Chiffchaff was located in the ringing compound and a good number of Blackbirds (20+) were feeding in the bushes by the sailing club compound. GG.

6th - Overcast, chilly and some moderate to strong N winds for this morning, along with some c29mph gusts.  The fine drizzle was on/off into the evening, by which time the winds and gusting had both strengthened considerably.  The scrape today was viewed briefly from the hide and no particular counts were made, although the notes refer to large numbers of "Teal, Wigeon and Greylag Geese" being present.  Birds of prey were on view at this time, consisting of a Common Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel.  An hour spent on sea-watching (08.30-09.30hrs) gave a small variety of birds moving this morning including a Woodcock flying in/off and a Snow Bunting that called as it flew overhead and was later to be found on the seawall near to the sluice.  Waders heading N off-shore were a single Curlew, 12 Dunlin, 14 Knot and 40+ Lapwings, while 8 of the 12 Gannets noted, also flew N.  100+ Brent Geese went past the Haven coastline during this hour, mostly travelling S.  A Purple Sandpiper was also a notable bird today. MR/PL.  An additional report from a site visitor was of 7 Siskin.  

NB: Whilst surveying the site throughout the day (6th), the most obvious movement was that of Blackbirds.  The large numbers of this species, over this last week, have been picked up by everyone who has been on and around the site.  Today however, saw continual "in/off" influxes of small groups of Blackbirds and prompted further evening surveys that concluded that there were in excess of 200 Blackbirds on the Haven site tonight.               

7th - A typical wintery morning, as now to be expected, with some moderate to strong NNE winds, generally overcast and a fine and fairly constant drizzle.  There was little change in the weather during the day apart from a turn in the wind direction as it went through NE to ENE.  Sea-watching prior to 09.00hrs, with some very limited viewing conditions for off-shore, gave a Woodcock in/off, 1 Red-T Diver, 8 Eider, a couple of Wigeon and Mallards, a Dunlin and of course there were some Brent Geese, 26 of them headed N and a further 53 flew S.  Blackbirds were again exceptional in their numbers, with 30+ noted just around the Dell area. AD.  On the arable c13.00hrs, 4 Pink Footed Geese were located (viewable from the hide), while on the rocks some 250yds North of the sluice, a cracking male Black Redstart was in-situ and a total of 2 Sanderlings and 6 Turnstones were also seen along the front. MR/PRD/LH.  Finally, after various numbers of them being seen either side of the Haven throughout the morning, a single Little Auk* was noted as it flew N past the site at 14.00hrs. PRD/MR.  A Common Buzzard and 2 Sparrowhawks were included in the species noted from the hide today, as were 200+ Lapwing, 5 Shelducks, 180+ Teal and 200+ Wigeon, with Brent and Greylag Geese numbering 84 and 224 respectively. LH/MR.  Further to the earlier watch, three more sea-watches took place (continuing to 09.30hrs/10.30-11.30hrs/12.30-14.30hrs), providing additional totals of 1 Pintail, 7 Gannets, 2 Eider, 23 Common Scoters, 2 Shelduck, 5 Wigeon and 19 Brent Geese that were all heading N and totals of 4 Gannets and 45 Brent Geese heading S.  An adult Kittiwake was obviously not too sure about going anywhere and rested itself upon the sluice. MR/PRD.  Another late Wheatear was located during the latter part of the afternoon, this bird was in the area N of the sluice. PRD.           

8th - It was a mostly dull day with drizzle in the air, alongside some strong SE winds - all changing by the evening to some lighter SSW winds but on/off proper rain!  Visibility this morning was not too brilliant for off-shore viewing, due to the mixed drizzle/mist conditions.  Sea-watching again proved to be the choice of a few, to start the day's observations.  Between 07.45hrs and 09.00hrs, counts of species that were all noted as flying North, were 2 Great Skuas (Bonxies), 4 Little Gulls, 1 Guillemot, 8 Common Scoters, singles of Red-T Diver, Gannet (juv) and Cormorant, with the numbers for Brent Geese being 22 (these were during this survey, passing in one's and two's).  Sat on the sea just off-shore, a further 4 Little Gulls were seen. AD/MR.  Session two of sea-watching (09.00 - 10.30hrs) ended with two very frozen observers but provided views of 1 Gt-N Diver, 2 Red-B Mergansers, 2 Eider, 4 Gannets (1juv+2ad+2W), 3 Wigeon and c40 Brent Geese of which the Diver, Wigeon and most of the Brents flew N while all else had gone S.  A Fieldfare was noted as it flew in/off.  Generally around the site, there were still high numbers of Blackbirds on view (100 at least) with a Redwing and a Song Thrush also seen, as was a single Sparrowhawk.  The juvenile un-ringed Spoonbill was once more located on the scrape, alongside 10 Cormorants, 6 Shelduck, 230 Teal, 300+ Wigeon and 34 Brent Geese.  Viewing across this immediate vicinity and also over the surrounding grazing marsh/arable, a further 265 Brent Geese, 122 Lapwing and a Marsh Harrier were added to today's listings. MR/PRD. (Of note, the Harris Hawk was again on the site this morning).   

9th - Moderate Southerly winds began the day, unfortunately again with on/off drizzle and rain!  By mid-day, the skies had brightened somewhat and although the temperatures have been slightly "cool", it is actually fairly pleasant out there - considering the time of year.  A morning survey from the hide, gave 4 Turnstones on the scrape area, while the ducks were totalled as 6 Shelducks, 120+ Teal and 130+ Wigeon and while Greylag Geese within this area were at 12, many more of these were spread around the grazing marsh.  The arable held slightly more interest with 4 White Fronted Geese being located amongst 274 Brent Geese and a total of 162 Golden Plovers, overtook the morning count of 100 Lapwings.  Around the Dell (early a.m.) were 2 Lesser Redpolls and referenced generally for the site, good numbers of the Thrush species were still about.  Off-shore movement was limited to just a few Brent Geese. MR.  Reported in at 13.45hrs, the earlier White Fronts appear to have moved on or are just out of sight, while the scrape has the 2 Spoonbills back on it this afternoon and on/around the mounds, there is a Black Redstart (fem/imm). PRD/JK.

10th - As per through last night, the morning began with light to moderate SE winds and drizzle in the misty air.  The wind strength dropped very slightly for the afternoon and there was the occasional strip of blue sky but generally quite dull.  A visit to the site prior to 09.00hrs, gave views of a Snow Bunting along the seawall (between the 2nd and 3rd turrets), 10 Meadow Pipits in this same area, a Rock Pipit was on the rocks at the Frinton end, whilst also along and on the rocks and sluice were singles of Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone and Ringed Plover.  The Blackbirds were of interest in their numbers again, with 35+ located near to Tariq and a further 10+ in the outer vicinity of the sewage works and mounds - two quite small areas, considering the size of the Haven site.  A Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrests, 25+ Chaffinches and a single "fly-over" Lesser Redpoll were also noted.  The scrape appeared to be lacking anything that could be of interest at this time.  Across the fields on the arable, 4 White Fronted Geese were once again amongst some 275 Brent Geese........ then the mist closed in! PBr.  

11th - Strong winds and gusting throughout the whole day, along with some cooler temperatures (+13 degrees but this counteracted by the biting coastal winds), grey skies and an on/off fine drizzle.  The winds turned SE through to SSE and gusting averaged c29mph.  Visibility from the coastline was once again limited due to the off-shore mist.  No reports returned.   

12th - Another morning of murky, misty conditions although with just some light SSE winds, the temperature did appear to be slightly milder.  The direction of and the strength of the winds, remained much the same through to the evening, it was definitely warmer but unfortunately these combined conditions also held the off-shore mist.  A few observers were on and around the site from the morning through and into the late afternoon, during which the fields, scrape and coastline were surveyed.  On the rocks towards the Frinton end, a single Purple Sandpiper was located, the sluice provided 3 Sanderlings and 5 Turnstones, 42+ Wigeon were sat on the sea, whilst a Med Gull was also on the sea in close vicinity and after a brief touch-down, a Grey Wagtail continued it's fly-over.  Several species were noted during a sea-watch and gave some interesting numbers (for the Haven) of Red-B Mergansers.  There were 17 of these ducks seen during this watch (10+7) but from details received earlier in the morning from the Frinton Obs (PBr), many R-B Mergansers had already gone past/over the Frinton coastline, so these possibly but not necessarily also went past or could have been viewable from the Haven site.  Singles of Gt. Crested Grebe (on sea) and Red-T Diver (N) were off-shore, as were 4 Shelduck (2 drakes), 15 Common Scoters (1+1+1+12) and 32 Brent Geese.  Viewing across the scrape and the fields/arable beyond, gave 6 Shelduck, 21 Golden Plover and a Little Owl of note.  The 4 White Fronted Geese were located amongst the Greylag Geese, when they deemed to emerge from behind the hedgerows.  Elsewhere on site, a Stonechat was included in today's sightings. AD/PRD

13th - Quite a bright and pleasant morning with some light to moderate ESE winds and temperatures of around +12 degrees.  As the day moved from mid-morning through and into the early afternoon, gusting of c24mph was again cooling the temperature and by late afternoon, it was decidedly chilly!  There was still a persistent mist off-shore today and also for a short while across land circa mid-afternoon.  A few observers spent various durations on, around and viewing from the site today.  Both male and female Marsh Harriers were seen, the female was over the grazing marsh early in the day and the male was later viewed from the hide.  The 4 White Fronted Geese were very visible today - on the grass right in front of the hide - whilst on and in the area of the scrape itself were 2 Blk T Godwits, 7 Golden Plover, 3 Shoveler and 14 Shelduck, all being alongside TealWigeon and Greylag Geese (no counts for the latter 3 species).  Across the fields, the arable held 300+ Brent GeeseBlackbirds were noted as still being in good numbers, as were Thrushes in general. MR.  A half-hour session of sea-watching this morning, provided 2 Red-B Mergansers flying S, 2 Shelducks heading N, 4 Brent Geese that flew in/off and 5 Turnstones that were along the shore. AD.  During a family wander across the site c11.20hrs, 4 Common Cranes were viewed as they flew directly overhead/over the radar tower and continued on a flight-path out to sea. RC.  

14th - Another grey day with a mist still very much hanging around - patchy over land but more dense over the sea!  The mist continued to give that drizzle/damp effect.  The mostly light to moderate winds began as ESE and moved to E by mid-afternoon.  With tree cutting and some felling going on along the approach road, along with a clear-out of the dipping pond and it's surrounding area today, not only was the stink from the pond appearing worse than those arising from the sewage plant at times but the vehicles, caterpillar digger and personnel involved, were definitely enough to make these areas void of any birds!  One of the visits today, took in a walk to the Frinton end of site - not a lot along there and nothing of any real note.  Viewing from the hide provided 1 Blk T Godwit, 4 Shelduck, 7 Shoveler, 100+ Teal and 250 Wigeon, while 150 Lapwing were spread between the scrape and the arable.  Also on the arable were c600 Brent Geese.  Singles of Common Buzzard and Fieldfare were also in the vicinity. MR.      

15th - A bright morning from the break of dawn, slightly cool but pleasantly so, along with some initial light Easterly winds.  By late evening the winds had turned to SE.  Initial reports in this morning gave that 19 White Fronted Geese were amongst the Brent Geese on the arable (09.15hrs) - viewable from both the lay-by and carpark, while a slightly later update, gave that a fem/imm Black Redstart was on the roof of the Sluice Cottages at 11.55hrs. PRD.  Other surveying going on around the site this morning, included counts of 4 Snipe and 165 Lapwings, 35 Stock Doves, 250 Herring Gulls, singles of Common Buzzard and Fieldfare, 685 Dark-bellied Brent and 197 Greylag Geese.  The Duck species totalled 9 Shelducks, 30 Teal, 200 Wigeon and 51 Mallards (inc. those on Little Holland Hall pond). SC.  

16th - Some light (to moderate at times) Southerly winds on generally bright and again pleasant day.  A few grey clouds around but nothing too drastic.  A Chiffchaff was viewed along the hedge by the brook, having been previously heard as it called from the ringing compound.  The White Fronted Geese were viewable from the hide and were at a total of 19+ today, while the Brent and Greylag Geese numbered 700+ and 150+ respectively.  Also on and around the scrape were a single Blk T Godwit, 8 Shoveler, 9 Shelduck, 60 Teal and 100+ Wigeon.  Both a Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk were in the vicinity during these observations.  Belated confirmation was of a Tundra Bean Goose* on the site this morning. MR/BS.      

17th - Light Southerly winds this morning, although these had at least doubled in strength by mid-day.  For the time of year, there were some reasonable temperatures again today (+12 degrees) and bright.  A minimum of three observers were on and around the site during the morning, taking in views from the road/lay-by, a cycle ride in from the Frinton end and a general survey around the site.  A total of now 25 White Fronted Geese were on the arable beyond the grazing marsh and amongst these (and c580 Brents) was a single Pink-Footed Goose.  On the scrape were 2 Blk T Godwits and 7 Shovelers of note, although the Geese along with +/-300 Lapwings had previously been in this area prior to the "bird-scarers" going off and causing a re-distribution of these birds to both sea and arable. PRD/PBr/AD.  On the Golf Course were some 6 Meadow Pipits, whilst a Snow Bunting - originally on the seawall - flew when it became disturbed, across to the boundary of the grazing marsh and Golf Course.  Some good views of a female Red-B Merganser were much appreciated by the observer, as she sat upon the sea, close in, prior to her flying North. PBr.  A Spoonbill located on the marsh this afternoon, took up and flew away from the site in a SW direction. MR.  The bird that rounds up today's sightings, is that of a Water Rail that was seen briefly during the day . PRD.          

18th - At the very break of dawn this morning, the colours were pretty pastels over the coast, while the moon was still shining brightly across the way.  The trees and leaves were extremely still and it was cool but definitely not cold.  By 08.00hrs there was a slight breeze that turned within the hour to light winds and these subsequently remained throughout - also bringing a slightly cooler feeling to the day.  No reports were returned for today - however, at least one local patch birder was hot-footing it around the Highlands and no doubt celebrating afterwards!!!

19th - A bright, sunny, pleasant day, with initial light SE winds that continued as such throughout the whole day.  The temperature at +10 degrees, was not overly warm but not cold either.  A Caspian Gull (1st yr) was seen on the sluice rocks for a short while but flew out to sea before any others arrived to see it. GG/PN.  Other birds of note were a male Marsh Harrier and 1 Little Egret while the White Fronted Geese were today down to just 7 in number but were still amongst the flock of Brent Geese that in turn numbered 800+.  Fly-overs included those of 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Lesser Redpolls, 2 Siskin, 4 Skylarks and 11 Meadow Pipits. GG. 

20th - A heavy morning dew on the cars and shrubbery along with some very variable misty conditions that continued on/off throughout the day.  Visiting the site saw that the 7 White Fronted Geese were still in the vicinity, along with c1250 Brent and 180 Greylag Geese.  2 Curlews were noted, as were 5 of each Shelducks and Shovelers, 80+ Teal and 300+ Wigeon.  A single Sparrowhawk was viewed. MR

21st - Another day of on/off misty and "damp in the air" conditions.  Colder than yesterday but still relatively warm for this far into the month of November!  The winds remained mostly of a light strength and in a direction of ESE.  Today's surveying again noted the 7 White Fronted Geese - these were once more on the arable with the Brent and Greylag Geese for which their numbers were much as per yesterday.  The only changes from yesterday with the Duck counts were the additions of 2 Gadwall, while the Shoveler count was down to just 1.  Today's wader count supplied 2 Blk T Godwits, a single Snipe and 4 Turnstone.  A Sparrowhawk was out and about and located along the coastline areas, was a Stonechat. MR

22nd - A chilly, damp day with a lingering fog that varied from patchy to quite thick throughout the whole day.  A couple of attempts of rain failed to come to anything more, while winds were very light.  No reports returned.

23rd - Ice on the vehicle screens this morning and slightly hazy but the sun made an early appearance and it remained bright through the morning.  By late morning it was just about reaching +6 degrees - definitely more of a winter chill today!!  Initial very light SW winds increased in strength slightly during the morning, again during the afternoon and there was also the occasional gusting.  Two observers covered quite an area of the site today, including a good walk across the Golf Course (public path) and along the farm track - unfortunately, the bird life today was a bit limited.  Brent and Greylag Geese counts were of c1000 and c180 respectively, while Grey Herons on and around the marsh numbered 6+.  One of the dead trees played host to 2 Common Buzzards, some 20 Goldfinches were seen to fly through and along the coastal areas were 4 Turnstones. PRD/MR.

24th - Quite a bright day throughout, along with blue skies and a variety of white cloud.  The temperature sitting at +12 degrees certainly felt much cooler but this no-doubt was to do with the moderate to strong SSW winds and gusts of up to c32mph.  By the evening the wind direction was at SW.  Viewing by one observer from the hide, provided totals of 3 Blk T Godwits, 5 Shoveler and 5 Shelducks, 60+ Teal and 100+ Wigeon, while the respective numbers for the Brent and Greylag Geese were 900+ and 150. MR.  A morning cycle ride from the Frinton end of site, along to the tower and (mostly) a walk back again, gave the Haven Year List another addition, in the form of an adult Shag* that was viewed as it flew along close in-shore, heading off in a Southerly direction.  Off-shore and heading S were 2 Cormorants, 2 Goldfinches also flew S, 2 Turnstones were on the rocks and 4 Meadow Pipits were along the seawall.  A Stonechat was located near to the second hide, while the scrape held 4 Grey Herons of note and the grazing marsh held 4 Curlews.  The Brent Geese at great distance on the arable, varied in their numbers through the day (c600 this visit) with "plenty of to/fro from Hamford during the day". PBr.

25th - Some Westerly winds today that were mostly of a moderate strength but were quite "biting" on occasions.  Again the temperature sat around the +12 degrees, although the latter part of the afternoon saw a quick fall to +8 degrees.  The duration saw a bright, if low winter sun.  No reports returned.

26th - Sunny throughout most of the day with some cloud that crept in for the latter part - prior to a brilliant sunset.  Strong winds, that remained SW for the duration, included plenty of local gusting at c30mph through the morning but these did ease a little bit for the afternoon.  No reports returned.

27th - After a night of mostly gale force winds, the dawn break saw a continuation of these SW winds along with gusting of c35mph.  The wind speed did drop as the morning progressed into afternoon and the direction turned to W.  After a very cold start this morning, the temperature rose to +13 degrees and the sun came out but the chill factor was rapidly moving in by 15.30hrs.  At least two observers were on site this morning and their viewing of the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh and of across the arable, provided counts of 2 Blk T Godwits, a drake Gadwall, 5 of both Shelduck and Shoveler, c100 Teal and c200 Wigeon.  The farmer over this last week has been making every effort to remove and keep the Geese off of his fields and this morning, the numbers (at this visit) had reduced to c400 Brent and 200+ Greylag Geese.  Always a pleasure to see - a Kingfisher was also noted today. MR/JK

28th - It was a definite cold one this morning with alot of ice on all vehicles and some very frosty looking shrubbery!  Some light SW winds (although barely a breeze at times prior to 08.00hrs) and a very "mottled looking" sky to begin with although this was blue and sunny beyond.  Stronger winds ensued later in the day and the sun was a bit "hit and miss".  Around the carpark bushes this morning, a Little Owl and 2 Reed Buntings were noted, as were 3 Redwings, 4 Song Thrushes and 20+ Blackbirds and once again, the rest of the site had many more of the "Thrush species"  throughout it.  Taking in the views along the seawall and as far as the Golf Tee, there were 6 of both Meadow Pipits and Turnstones and also 1 Purple Sandpiper, while heading SE off-shore were some 200+ Brent Geese.  The Brent Geese on the arable (viewed from the hide) had increased again today and also included a Pale Bellied.  The Greylag Geese across the observed area numbered 200+.  The duck count provided 6 Shelduck, 10 Shoveler, 70+ Teal and 250 Wigeon, with the wader count for the scrape being just the 1 Blk T Godwit.  A Common Buzzard was seen at this time, on/over the site. PRD/MR.  Seen at the sluice was a Snow Bunting and a single Little Egret was a fly-over. PRD

29th - Initially the morning looked as if it could be quite bright and sunny but before very long, the sky became dull, overcast, then very dark before a short spell of rain.  The morning SSW winds proved to be running at c22mph while the local gusting was up to c36mph.  The afternoon winds faired much the same through until the evening, turning then to W before back to SW and dropping in strength.  The rain however......... when the skies again went very dark, this fell very heavily and continued into early evening.  A half-hour seawatch this afternoon, produced a grand total of zero but was followed by the two observers "legging it" to the hide to escape the fast approaching rain!  From cover of the hide, the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh held 6 of each Shelduck and Shoveler, 120 Teal, 320 Wigeon, 135 Lapwing and still the single Blk T Godwit.  2 White Fronted Geese were viewable, as were 200+ Greylag Geese, while a single Brent Goose flew over the scrape. MR/PRD.  Slightly later, 40 Brent Geese flew across the marshes. MR.

30th - A bright and sunny, if somewhat breezy morning for the last day of the month, along with blue skies and temperatures of around +10 degrees.  SSW moderate winds complete with gusting of c21mph were recorded for the early part of the day and by the latter part of the evening, these winds were Southerlies with strengths of up to 26mph and gusting of c44mph.  Observations through the morning gave reports of a female Stonechat on the mounds, an Oystercatcher on the sluice rocks, prior to it flying N and along the seawall/beach areas were a total of 6 Turnstones.  Viewing across the scrape and the surrounding vicinity provided counts of 1 drake Gadwall, 6 Shelduck, 9 Shoveler, 120 Teal and 240 Wigeon.  Blk T Godwits were up to a count of 3 today and 2 juvenile Mute Swans made a brief visit.  Amongst the 200+ Greylags were the 2 White Fronted Geese, while the Brent Geese again included a Pale Bellied.  The Brents were initially on the arable at c700 in number but the bird-scarers had reduced this number to less than 200 by late morning and many of these Brents re-located to the scrape. MR.   

As at 30th November, the Haven 2011 Year List stands at 189.

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