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" has changed for several species this year 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: *


1st - A slightly brighter morning than that of yesterday but still cloud-covered.  WNW through W winds that during the early hours reached up to 27mph (gusting at 32mph) but had by 08.30hrs, dropped to c8mph with some extra blasts of around 13mph.  Coastline temperature readings of +12 degrees, so quite a mild morning for 1st November!  No reports returned.  Quite a rarity at the Haven these days is the Tree Sparrow* - two observers were lucky today when a single bird was heard and seen as it flew SW over the Approach Road.  Of note, an earlier flock of 5 'probables' also flying S, were too far past when noticed, to be confirmed. PRD/AM.  

2nd - A misty early morning eventually gave way to some fairly mild conditions that continued until late afternoon when rain came into play (heavy at times) amongst bright sun, mixed skies and at least one rainbow.  Initial Westerly winds of 9mph up to 14mph (+gusting of c16mph) became variable WNW through WSW and increased substantially up to 40mph and 48mph respectively.  Viewing from the hide gave counts of 1 Blk T Godwit, 10 Snipe and 25 Golden Plovers, 2 Shoveler, c300 Teal, c300 Wigeon and 200+ Greylag Geese of any particular note, whilst a half-hour look across a then mist-free sea yielded just 13 Turnstones of which 9 flew N and 4 headed S. IM.  During a five hour ringing session (details on relevant pages) there were few over and above sightings to add to the day with just a Chiffchaff (heard only), 2 Grey Wagtails at the Sewage Farm, views of a 1W Med Gull in the vicinity and a colour-ringed Herring Gull at the sewage farm.  On a wildlife note, a Common Seal was seen off the sluice. SC.  

3rd - After a chilly night with mostly clear, star filled skies and some rain, the morning was bright and sunny - if still a bit chilly.  WNW winds in excess of 35mph and gusting of 40+mph continued into the afternoon and had relented very little by the time it was dark (c16.45hrs).  At least two observers visited the site this morning with time spent mainly viewing from the hide.  The scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and skyline from this viewpoint yielded 1 Blk T Godwit, 5 Snipe and a Little Egret, 4 Shoveler, 6 Pintails, c300 Teal and c300 Wigeon, along with 2 Med Gulls, a Swallow and singles of both Sparrowhawk and Barn Owl. IM/PNs

4th - Following some heavy rain over night, the morning began with signs of brighter skies just after dawn but by 08.00hrs, it was again grey and overcast with drizzle in the air and looking ready to 'chuck it down'.  N through NNE winds at this time, being of variable speeds 14mph up to 27mph and gusting of up to 33mph.  A survey by one observer gave that there was nothing of note for the trees and bushes and the scrape gave nothing untoward.  The counts across the scrape and surrounding areas included 4 Snipe and 100+ Lapwings - the latter moving between the scrape and the arable, also 6 Pintails, 8 Shoveler, c400 Teal, c400 Wigeon and 239 Greylag Geese.  3 Little Grebes were noted today, one directly in front of the hide and two slightly further round the brook by the wind-pump.  Two short seawatch sessions (on route) yielded totals of 9 Gannets (N), 18 Fieldfares (in/off) and a Sparrowhawk that had been flying S off-shore before then coming in/off.  6 Turnstones were located along the seawall. MR.

5th - Initial winds and speeds were variable with direction swaying from WNW through NW with strengths of moderate to strong (10mph-29mph + gusting up to 35mph).  Early rain looked to be easing for a while but that didn't last and on/off downpours continued throughout!  The shelter on the Greensward was the place to stay for today's visit with the weather conditions.  Seawatching from 10.15hrs to 12.30hrs saw alot of movement off-shore albeit nothing too special.  Counts were of 2 Curlew, 85 Knot and 125 Dunlin as well as 26 Shelducks, 618 Brent Geese and 6 Gannets all of which were flying SW.  Of particular note, some 100+ Starlings flew in/off. MR.

6th - Grey, overcast and drizzle!  The on/off drizzle becoming heavier at times along with variable wind speeds of 8mph through 18mph and changeable directions of NW through N........ and all before 09.45hrs.  Although the coastline temperature readings at this time were just +9 degrees, when the winds dropped it appeared to be quite mild.  The only notable bird for the trees and bushes today was the Little Owl.  The small scrape area - situated beyond the memorials - held good numbers of Gulls (no counts made) while the sluice and associated rocks held a single Purple Sandpiper, 5 Turnstones and also a juvenile Oystercatcher that unfortunately appeared to be oiled.  Presently at a high level of water, the main scrape as viewed from the hide yielded counts of 8 Shoveler, 10 Pintails (3 drakes almost out of eclipse) and at least 400 each of Teal and Wigeon.  Waders were noted as 1 Blk T Godwit, 6 Snipe and c150 Lapwings and the Geese on show were just Greylags at c200.  Over on the arable were 20 Stock Doves and a Sparrowhawk was in the vicinity. PRD/MR.

7th - After some early rain which had stopped by 07.00hrs, the day continued in a mild fashion with temperature readings of +12 degrees.  Again the Little Owl gave the observer at least one noted bird for the trees and bushes and the scrape faired with little difference to yesterday's species but a variation in numbers.  A single Blk T Godwit was still in the area and 4 Snipe were on the report.  Ducks and Geese consisted of 1 Shelduck, 4 Pintails (see Gallery), 4 Shoveler, c300 Wigeon, c300 Teal and 240 Greylag Geese.  Nothing of any note was seen off-shore during this particular survey although a Purple Sandpiper and 8 Turnstones were located on the sluice areas on the wander back to the Service Road. MR.  The afternoon saw a two hour seawatch (12.35-14.35hrs) which yielded totals of 5 Red-B Mergansers, 9 Common Scoters and 56 Brent Geese - all these ducks and geese flew South. IM.

8th - Initially it was overcast and again fairly mild with the temperature at +11 degrees, along with light Southerly winds of c4mph through 9mph.  Conditions changed later to give heavy rain that continued into the night.  2 Glossy Ibis were seen to pick up from the marsh over the road and head over the Haven coast, continuing onwards out to sea.  These birds were also viewed by at least two other observers. LW.  Other observations during the day included two sea-watching sessions, viewing across the scrape and a wander to the Frinton end of the site.  The initial seawatch of one hour (10.00-11.00hrs IM/PRD) gave 1 Shelduck and 54 Brent Geese (42+12) heading S, 45 Common Scoters flying N and c130 Starlings coming in/off, while the second session (12.10-13.30 IM) yielded 6 Common Scoters and 33 Brent Geese heading S and a count of 35 Starlings - these were again in/off. IM/PRD.  Surveying the scrape and surrounding areas supplied 1 Blk T Godwit, 2 Snipe, 6 Shoveler, c250 Teal and c300 Wigeon. IM/PRD.  Of note along the route to the Frinton end, there were 3 Stonechats. PRD

9th - Another changeable day but with much stronger and variable winds.  Initially quite bright with some grey cloud around, the rain when it arrived then proceeded to be on/off throughout and heavy at times.  Early variable winds N/NNW/N/NW ranged in speed 9mph through 22mph with gusting of up to 27mph but by mid-afternoon these were W through WSW and speeds 28mph and 33mph respectively.  No reports returned.

10th - After rain throughout the night, the daybreak brought with it, blue skies and a very bright sun.  Winds by 09.00hrs were at NE and speeds 18mph up to 22mph with gusting ranging up to 27mph.  By late evening, the winds were at barely a breeze.  At least four observers visited the site and between them took in areas from both ends of the main Haven recording area.  The wander to the hide and subsequent viewing from this point gave 5 Turnstones on the lower seawall near the sluice followed by scrape counts of 1 Golden Plover, 1 Blk T Godwit, 1 Woodcock (this bird flew over the scrape and continued inland), 1 Shelduck, 4 Shoveler, c400 Wigeon, 400+ Teal and c200 Greylag Geese.  A single Common Buzzard was also noted from the main hide.  During this particular survey, the route to the Frinton end gave 7 Brent Geese that flew in/off and headed over the Golf Course, some 40 Starlings, again in/off and a count of 2 Stonechats along the way. IM.  Returning to the sluice area, 3 Purple Sandpipers were alongside the Turnstones. IM/PR/LRAt c15.35hrs, 3 Snow Buntings* were located along the seawall by the raised Golf Tee, one of which was still there some 45 or so minutes later.  Along the edge of the Golf Course itself were 4 Stonechats, whilst viewing from the beach area (opposite hide) gave 4 Gannets (singles) flying N and also 7 TurnstonesPBr.  

11th - For those burning the mid-night oil, a very heavy frost was to be seen outside and the new day's Northerly winds were but a breeze.  Dawn was a fantastic spectrum of colour but with a change of winds (by 08.30hrs) to strong Westerlies of 22mph through 29mph and gusting of up to 35mph the temperature was at barely +6 degrees.  Today's report consisted of counts from a five hour seawatch and a lot of handy pre-warning from the 'Frinton Obs.' as to Southerly movement heading through.  Totals from the Haven coastline were of 1 Gt. C Grebe, 130 Knot, 245 Dunlin, 2 Pintails, 3 Goldeneye*, 3 Shelducks, 177 Wigeon, 165 Common Scoters and 711 Brent Geese, all of which were flying South, while the noted birds heading North were 1 Gannet (juv) and 26 Brent Geese. IM.

12th - Several observers visited the site throughout the day and a count for WeBS was also undertaken.  The totals for the WeBS consisted of 2 Snipe, 2 Curlew, 6 Turnstones, 58 Lapwings, 2 Pintails, 3 Shoveler, 5 Shelducks, not to be ignored - there were 20 Mallards (+ 1 'dodgy' one), 285 Wigeon and 470 Teal.  Also included were 244 Greylag and 32 Brent Geese (latter in fields below the church), 2 Grey Herons and finally for this survey, 10 Cormorants. SC.  Other surveys (four+half hours) included notes of 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Sanderling and 4 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks and sluice areas, while another long seawatching session by two observers, provided 1 Coot on the sea drifting with the tide, 53 Brent Geese flying N and totals of 1 Red-T Diver, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Goldeneye, 268 Common Scoters and 519 Brent Geese that were all heading South. IM/MR.  A lunchtime run from the Frinton end of site along the seawall (adjacent to Golf Course) gave a few species to note, namely 15 Pied Wagtails feeding on a hatch of flies, 20 Meadow Pipits and 3 Reed Buntings while visible to the south of the Whalings huts were 2 Stonechats.  Initially on the sea, 12 Brent Geese picked up and flew to join a larger flock on the fields. PBr

13th - De-icing the vehicles was the order for many first thing this morning but whilst it was obviously very cold, it was dry and the early NNE winds were light (5mph - 11mph) with gusting reaching a mediocre 15mph.  No reports returned.

14th - Winds were variable in direction throughout the day, back and forth N through NE with speeds of 17mph up to 29mph and gusting in excess of 34mph.  With the wind-chill factor, the coastal temperature readings reached a high of +7 degrees.  Reported for today was a Red Kite that was seen to drift North along the coast at c13.00hrs. MR.

15th - A chilly start this morning but quite bright with blue skies from early on,  - clouds of various white through grey shades appeared for later in the day.  The initial Easterlies moved to ESE and were of speeds up to 19mph with gusting at times in excess of 19mph.  Located in the reedbeds between the two footpaths that go cross the Golf Course at 11.15hrs, were some 5 (prob.6) Bearded Tits viewable at the time from the seawall. PRD.  A further 5 Bearded Tits (from a reedbed between the hides) were seen to take flight and head high in the direction of the Golf Course.  So at least 10 Beardies on the site today.  The route to the Frinton end of site - seawall, rocks, marshland, Golf Course and fly-overs - also provided totals of 1 Rock Pipit, 3 Purple Sandpipers, 4 Turnstones, 1 Little Egret, 2+ Stonechats and in/off, a count of 565 Starlings.  A session of seawatching (12.15-14.30hrs) provided views of more species flying N than S today.  The Northerly movement consisted of 20 Curlews, 1 Red-B Merganser, 2 Goosanders* (ducks), 3 Eider and 5 Gannets, while the Southerly passage was of 1 Red-T Diver and 12 Common Scoters. IM/PRD.  Notes for the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and visible skyline from the main hide, included 8 Shoveler, 150+ Teal and 200+ Wigeon.  Particular reference was made to an immature male Marsh Harrier, seen to have both the '5th and 6th' primaries missing on the left wing. PRD.     

16th - On/off brighter spells during the day but mostly variations of cloud cover.  Wind directions and speeds being of N through NNE, 9mph to 13mph and gusting of up to 15mph.  Generally, a cool day of +7 degrees maximum.  Morning sightings gave that 10+ Bearded Tits were again on the site as were 5 Stonechats and 1 Little Egret.  Viewed Birds of Prey were singles of Peregrine (female) and Common Buzzard as well as 2 Sparrowhawks. GG.

17th - A fairly calm start to the day with ENE winds of barely a breeze through to 7mph with occasional gusting of up to 11mph - by 10.45hrs the wind direction had turned to ESE and of very slightly higher speeds.  Coastline temperature readings as at 07.00hrs of +6 degrees increased to a maximum of +8 degrees, whilst conditions by mid-day were of a 'misty drizzle'.  At least three observers visited the site today and the two reports covered the walk along the front including a seawatch, viewing from the hide and a wander over the road (opposite Approach Road).  A mid-morning wander to the second turret gave 3 Bearded Tits that were located in the reedbed in front of the second hide, while the rocks on the front (just over wall from second hide) gave a Purple Sandpiper and 7 Turnstones. MR.  Off-shore (07.55-08.25hrs) proved quiet with just a single count of c40 Common Scoters flying N. IM.  Walking to the second turret during this survey provided a single Rock Pipit, 2 Stonechats (1pr) and fly-over S of a flock of 12 Snow Buntings.  Notes for the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and skyline, included 4 Shoveler, 7 Shelducks, good numbers of Teal and Wigeon and a Common Buzzard. IM/PL.  Showing very well over the road was a Water Rail. PL.    

18th - A grey morning with drizzle again in the air, temperature readings of +7 degrees and some N through NNE winds of c10mph with gusting of up to 13mph.  A site visit (10.00-12.50hrs) coming in from the Frinton end, yielded 1 male Stonechat, 2 Little Egrets flying together towards the Golf Club, a Sparrowhawk in the seawall vicinity, a Barn Owl perched atop a post along the rear hedgerows and 'chased by 2 Jackdaws over and along the back hedge and high into the sky out of sight' was a Ringtail Hen Harrier. BS

19th - After a very chilly start, blue skies emerged with white clouds dotted about and bright sun.  NNE winds of variable strengths 9mph through 19mph and gusting of up to 23mph, turned slightly to become NE later in the day with barely any increase in speed.  A walk through to the raised Golf Tee was the order for this morning with the scrape being viewed from the top gate (i.e. from coastal path) along the way.  The route to the 'Tee' gave 4 Stonechats (2prs) (see Gallery) of which one pair were in the Moth Sanctuary and the other pair near to the second turret, while feeding up on the arable beyond the Golf Course were some 100+/- Brent Geese.  The return walk added 4 Pied Wagtails, 8 Meadow Pipits and 2 Bearded Tits that were again in the reedbed (northern end of it) by the second hide.  No counts were made for the scrape areas but notes gave that 'it looked quieter than of late but still good numbers of Teal and Wigeon... a few Shelducks'.  The Greylag Geese were all over the marsh and both Lapwings and Gulls - both of these again in good numbers - were on the ploughed field over towards the actual Farm. MR

20th - Most definitely a winter morning!  Variable NNW through WNW icy winds of 23mph up to 29mph and gusting of up to 33mph - giving a wind-chill temperature of just below zero.  Needless to say, early morning de-icing of vehicles locally was a must...... but at least the dawn skies gave a superb glow.  No reports returned.

21st - Not a very nice day weather-wise with plenty of rain, strong winds and very cool temperatures.  The NNE winds were of speeds up to 36mph and gusting reached at least 40mph.  No reports returned.

22nd - Fairly bright throughout the day, cool but dry.  At least three observers were on the site today, two during the morning for a seawatching session and another - from the Frinton end - during late afternoon.  The morning's counts for off-shore included 1 Purple Sandpiper, 28 Knot, 3 Little Gulls (2ad+1imm) and 6 Eider (4 drakes) with all four of these species heading N, while noted as they flew in/off were 140 Starlings. IM/PRD.  At 16.00hrs, a Barn Owl was seen to be hunting over a small field of rough grass. BS.  

23rd - Mostly a bright but chilly day with some excessive winds at times.  No reports returned.

24th - By the afternoon, the ESE winds had reached speeds of 22mph and some fairly constant gusting was of up to 27mph.  On/off drizzle throughout the day and with the cold winds, the wind-chill factor was at just +2 degrees.  No reports returned.

25th - Variable blue and grey skies, mostly dry but with several attempts (some longer than others) of some very icy drizzle.  N through NNW winds of moderate speeds for the latter part of the day and the temperature finally reached +5 degrees.  Noted species by one observer during a site visit today were of 1 Siskin, 30 Stock Doves, 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Purple Sandpipers and a single Gannet. AM.  An additional report for c13.00hrs gave 2 Little Egrets that were near the brook (per parallel to the second hide). P&TBt.

26th - A pleasant morning with bright sun, blue skies littered with white clouds, a temperature of +5 degrees and NNW winds being at times barely a breeze and at most, reaching 9mph.  Apart from a change to cloudier skies later in the day, the conditions remained fairly much the same.  A walk through the site from the Frinton end this morning saw a few notable species and numbers for the various areas.  Singles of Sanderling and Turnstone were on the beach, while both a Snipe and a Curlew flew up from the field and 2 Little Egrets were once again in this vicinity.  Along the coastal path, 2 Pied Wagtails were upon the seawall, 2 female Green Woodpeckers were located on a fence post by the second hide and 26 Herring Gulls were on the Haven outfall.  Noted fly-overs were flocks of Brent Geese.  The scrape and its surrounding area held counts of 1 Redshank, 92 Lapwings, 3 Shelducks, 157 Wigeon, 52 Brent and 98 Greylag Geese, as well as 5 Magpies at this time. BS.  A seawatch failed to give anything of note, so a wander along the front was undertaken before one of these three observers later returned to the hide.  There was an increase of numbers of some species from the earlier survey and some had obviously moved through.  Along the beach, Sanderling and Turnstone counts were up to 2 and 3 and a single Oystercatcher was an addition, while Pied Wagtails were up to 8, a Reed Bunting was seen, 12 Meadow Pipits and 8 Stonechats made the notes, as did singles of Grey Heron (over the marsh), Kestrel, Common Buzzard and a Colour-ringed Herring GullTS/IM/MR.  Across the scrape, surrounding areas and directly in front of the main hide, were at this time over and above this morning's notes, 4 Shoveler, c300 TealShelducks had increased to 4, Greylag Geese had increased to 130, Lapwings were up at 120, Snipe now at 4 and a Water Rail was out in front of the hide.  Located on the brook by Tariq, were 2 Little Grebes. MR.     

27th - A visit by one observer was spent mostly along the Approach Road where a finch-type bird had initially caught his eye.  This bird - in amongst a flock of Great Tits - appeared to be 'pure white with a hint of yellow in primaries and black edging on tertials..... couldn't get a good look at the bill'. MR.  Other species noted for this area were counts of 5 House Sparrows, 7 Chaffinches, 11 Greenfinches, a Song Thrush, 2 Redwings and 20+ Blackbirds.  The wander to the main hide, located 1 Purple Sandpiper and 2 Turnstones on the sluice, while the viewing from the hide itself, gave 130 Lapwings, 4 Shelducks, c100 Wigeon, 150 Teal and 110 Greylag Geese.  A Sparrowhawk was also noted. MR

28th - A grey start to the morning with that misty drizzle once again.  Prior to 09.30hrs, the winds were of NW through NNW and of speeds up to 7mph alongside coastal temperature readings of +6 degrees.  Surveying today found the trees and bushes to be much quieter than of yesterday but they still held a few Chaffinches and Blackbirds while House Sparrows had increased to 9+ and a single Chiffchaff was also located.  The sluice held of note a single Sanderling and 5 Turnstones today and viewing from the main hide gave a few extra species to add to the notebook.  The scrape and surrounding marshland supplied 2 Shoveler, 4 Shelducks, c100 Wigeon, 230 Teal and 241 Greylag Geese, also singles of Little Egret and Snipe, 2 Water Rails (both these in front of the hide see Gallery) and a total of 150 Lapwings. MR.

29th - Another typical wintery grey morning with W through WNW winds of up to 18mph and gusting of up to 29mph.  Although some patches of blue sky appeared around mid-day and it generally brightened, this was short-lived with some very dark clouds covering the skies by 13.00hrs and both wind speeds and gusting definitely increased.  Morning observations during a walk from the Frinton end of the site up to the Farm and back down over the Golf Course, gave counts and species of 24+ Rooks that were across the ploughed field, 3 Moorhens and 24+ Mallards, a Red-legged Partridge, also a Kestrel over the fields, whilst seen to fly over Holland Hall wood was a Common Buzzard. The Farm hedge yielded a single House Sparrow and the Golf Course held a Stonechat of note that was atop a gorse bush. BS.

30th - A day of on/off drizzle with some NW through NNW moderate winds of up to 10mph.  Temperature readings of +6 degrees but the winds were icy cold.  No reports returned.

As at 30th November, the Haven 2013 Year List stands at 180.