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*


1st - After a very mild October, the month of November began with a fairly warm morning that while grey clouds were apparent and included some very dubious dark ones, on the whole the conditions were quite pleasant - if a little bit on the blustery side across the site.  A few observers were on and around the site today (from early) and there were also Ringing Sessions going on.  During one of these sessions, a fly-by flock of Brent Geese was seen to include a Pale-bellied, while 3 Little Egrets flew in together, a Peregrine was viewed and 4 Stonechats and some 8 Reed Buntings were also noted on the report. SC.  During the afternoon (14.45hrs), a S E O was observed as it hunted in/over the areas towards the Golf Club. MRsl.     

2nd - A mostly grey day with SSW/SW winds that reached c21mph and while not cold, the temperature was noticeable in its drop from early afternoon.  The later than expected 'morning' drizzle turned to heavy rain which proceeded to be on/off for most of the afternoon into the evening.  No reports returned.

3rd - After rain through most of the night, this continued - very heavy at times - until at least 07.30hrs by which time it had eased to on/off drizzle..... the heavier wet stuff came back again later on!  The early dawn winds were of a SSW direction and speeds of up to 22mph with a coastline temperature of +12 degrees but seemingly colder with the wind chill.  By early afternoon, the now S winds had seen increases up to 35+mph and gusting in excess of 41mph..... and a drop in temperature.  No reports returned.

4th - Cool but bright by 08.00hrs with WNW winds of up to 16mph and gusting slightly higher of 18+mph.  The coastline temperature at this time was of +9 degrees.  A few observers visited during the day, covering from one end to the other of the main site - albeit a bit quiet of birds generally amongst the trees, bushes and hedgerows.  A Cetti's Warbler was heard over the road this morning (opp. Approach Road), while initially seen on the wires over the Memorials before they then flew and fed over the scrape, were 3 Swallows.  Across the scrape and surrounding area - from the main hide - were counts of 2 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, 5 Blk T Godwits and 164 Lapwings, 3 Shoveler, 3 Shelducks, 102 Teal and 177 Wigeon, while the Geese consisted of 22 Brents, c200 Greylags and still, the Emperor.  During these observations from the hide, a second Cetti's Warbler was heard (behind the Sewage Farm) and 1 Kestrel, 2 Common Buzzards and a total of 27 Stock Doves were also noted. MR/TS/PRD.  A single Wheatear (Greenland) was located along the track by the Golf Course 'Dump' - this is a noticeable rough ground and small mound area on the edge of the main Course. PRD.  Deciding that the day definitely warranted a site visit from the Frinton end (to the second turret), the rewards reaped included those of watching 2 S E O's across the fields, both hunting and 'at least three catches of small rodents' were viewed.  Of note, one of these Owls was 'much paler than the other, the darker bird appearing to have very fresh feathers'.  At this time, the Wheatear was by the 'dump', 3 Stonechats were in the vicinity, c20 Reed Buntings were notable and squealing from the ditch alongside the Golf Course, was a Water Rail.  Off-shore counts gave 1 Gt. Crested Grebe and also 2 Common Scoters and 7 Brent Geese heading N. PBr.    

5th - Variable but mostly N winds of up to 13mph and some extra blasts of up to 17mph, alongside rain and cooler conditions of +7 degrees. No reports returned.

6th - The early morning saw defrosting and scraping of vehicle windows and the temperature a little bit later at 07.00hrs was still trying to reach +4 degrees!  NW winds at this time of c13mph and gusting of up to 19mph.  Late evening saw some very strong winds.  A pleasant late morning cycle ride from the Frinton end through to the beach area (N of Sluice) with our youngest Haven member, located 3 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks by the Raised Golf Tee and a Rock Pipit by the third turret.  Off-shore sightings included a Gannet (N), 1 Red-T Diver (S), 24 Common Scoter (S), 34 Brent Geese (also S), while Wigeon and other Brents were in the vicinity.  Returning to the Frinton end, a Black Redstart (near the beach huts) was visible from the site. PBr/KBr.  

7th - The strong winds per yesterday late evening, continued through the night and into the early morning, being of up to 39mph and gusting of at least 48mph - a change of direction overnight however, to S.  Rain was also fairly constant through and into the morning giving a grey dismal start to the day, if slightly warmer at +12 degrees.  A seawatching session from 09.00 to 11.30hrs in 'not so good weather conditions' saw that several species were on the move.  Flying S were counts of 1 Grey Plover, 5 Shelducks, 8 Shoveler, 94 Common Scoter, 49 Brent Geese and some 173 small waders that were mostly Knot but did include a few Dunlin.  The Northbound birds during this time consisted of 1 Gannet (3Y), 1 Brent Goose and a small Skua sp. that was seen briefly (early in the session).  An adult Med Gull was amongst the regular Gulls by the Outfall Buoy.  A 'cracking' male Ring Ouzel (PRD) was located in the Dell at 11.05hrs. PRD/MR.  An afternoon walk (15.00 - 16.30hrs) to the main hide and the subsequent surveying across the main scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, yielded 1 Dunlin, 22 Blk T Godwits, 176 Lapwings, 2 Shelducks, c250 Wigeon, c300 Teal, 77 Brent and c200 Greylag Geese (inc. Emperor).  A Kestrel was also noted from the hide, while the return wander saw 6 Purple Sandpipers roosting on the Sluice Rocks. MR.

8th - A dry start to today along with Southerly winds of variable speeds 14mph through 25mph and extra blasts of up to c29mph.  Another 'warm' start saw a coastline temperature of +11 degrees prior to 07.00hrs (increasing to +13 later).  The wind speeds also increased up to 36mph and gusting considerably up to 46mph - direction swung SW to SSW and by evening back to S.  Heavy rain appeared for late evening.  Seawatching from 08.20 to 10.10hrs yielded of note 4 Diver sp. heading S and an Eider (duck) on the sea prior to the higher winds, also 2 Pomarine Skuas, thought to have been sitting on the water before taking flight and 'coming up to... briefly' the first of 5 Gannets (1+4 all N) before the said Skuas flew around the turbines then out to sea. LD.

9th - Yesterday's late evening heavy rain continued right through the night and into the morning, finally easing and stopping just prior to 09.00hrs.  Wind direction before this time was at N, turned to WSW by noon and to SW by the evening.  The former had speeds of up to 24mph and gusting of up to and in excess of 30mph, while the latter varied from c3mph up to 11mph and gusting up to c18mph.  The coastline temperature reached a maximum of +12 degrees out of the winds.  Surveying during a wander through to the Frinton end of the site and back, gave of note 2 Turnstones on the Sluice and 7 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks by the second turret, while c500 Brent Geese were seen to be drifting off-shore.  Near to the second hide were 2 Stonechats and hunting across the grazing marsh (between the scrape and the Golf Course) were 2 S E O's. IM.

10th - A half-hour cycle ride in from the Frinton end of the site (13.15-13.45hrs) along the seawall gave just a few notable species that included a Common Buzzard atop a fence post beyond the grazing marsh and a Barn Owl that flew across the marsh to the trees lining the Golf Course.  A Rock Pipit was near to the third turret while a Brent Goose sat offshore. PBr.

11th - No reports returned.

12th - At least three observers visited the site today and surveys began with a seawatch from the Greensward shelter.  Species and counts included 1 Curlew, 10 Dunlin, 1 Gt Crested Grebe and c90 Brent Geese heading S while a Shoveler and c300 Wigeon sat offshore.  A wander along to the third turret yielded a single Turnstone on the beach and a total of 5 Stonechats (2xGCdump+3x2nd hide).  Viewing across the scrape and immediate vicinity gave 5 Snipe, 12 Blk T Godwits and 165 Lapwings, 1 Shoveler, 2 Shelducks, 4 Gadwall, 130 Wigeon and 500+ Teal.  Initially there was a single Brent Goose on the scrape - this bird was then joined by the c700 Brent flock from the arable field while the c200 Greylag Geese still included the Emperor amongst them.  Also seen from the main hide, was a Kestrel. PRD/IM/MR.

13th - A couple of surveys across the site - morning and afternoon - both reported that the c700 Brent Goose flock included a Black Brant amongst them.  On both occasions the Brents were on the arable fields. MR/RB

14th - Missing the earlier rain, surveying from 11.45hrs through to 14.00hrs found that the Black Brant was again on the arable with the Brent Geese and also that the Brent flock had increased to c1450.  Across the site, the counts were of 1 Cetti's Warbler (singing between the Sewage Farm and main hide), also 1 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Turnstones, 2 Snipe, 8 Blk T Godwits and 138 Lapwings, 1 Water Rail (calling in front of the hide), 1 Little Egret, 2 Grey Herons and 2 Mute Swans.  Other Geese and the Ducks numbered 180+ Greylags (+Emperor), 2 Shelducks, 12 Shoveler, 12 Mallards, 170 Teal and 175 Wigeon.  Noted Gulls at this time were 3 L B B, 3 G B B, 85 Herring and some 110 Black-Headed. SC/PC.

15th - Several observers were around and about during the course of the day.  Early morning observations yielded 6 Bearded Tits in the fleet beyond the reedbeds, a female Stonechat was part of a Ringing Session and 2 Egyptian Geese* (07.30hrs) were seen to fly overhead. SC.  In the reeds by the second turret (10.32hrs) were 2 Bearded Tits. IM.  Amongst the Brent flock were 2 Black Brants. PL.  A survey from 11.40 to 14.00hrs yielded counts and species that included 1 Kingfisher, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, a male Reed Bunting and c20 Blackbirds, also singles of Barn Owl, Kestrel (male) and Sparrowhawk (fem) and 2 Common Buzzards.  The waders on site totalled 6 Curlew, 12 Blk T Godwits and 218 Lapwings while 12 Shoveler (4 drakes) were noted and the Brent Geese numbered c1600. LH.

16th - No reports returned.

17th - No reports returned.

18th - Before the morning rain, counts were noted of 2 Song Thrush, 2 Redwings and 40+ Blackbirds while slightly later and after the rain, a total of 7 Goldcrests were located amongst the carpark bushes. MR.

19th - No reports returned.

20th - Very quiet on site during today's survey with just a single Goldcrest being seen in the bushes behind Tariq and a noted count of 2 Chiffchaffs. MR.

21st - A slightly later than normal start today, however the observations from the carpark towards the platform (Memorials area) yielded a fly-over of 7 Pink Footed Geese (09.55hrs) that appeared to be heading for the main scrape.  The pools below/beyond the Memorials gave a few of both Wigeon and Teal, alot of Gulls and 14 Shoveler at this time.  Upon reaching the main hide, the species viewed across the scrape and surrounding area included the 7 Pink-Foots - these later flew to the arable - while very soon 2 White-fronted Geese* dropped onto the area to join c200 Greylag Geese (+Emperor), a drake Pintail, a Gadwall, 4 Shelducks, c200 Teal and c200 Wigeon.  Waders consisted of 2 Snipe, 4 Blk T Godwits and c200 Lapwings.  Heading back towards the sluice, 4 Snow Buntings* flew over the heads of two observers before dropping for a short time along the front - giving time for those still in the hide to get to and view these birds. PRD/MR/PR/LR/TS/SC

22nd - The 7 Pink-Footed Geese were reported as being on the field behind the owl boxes as at 08.38hrs. IM.

23rd - A seawatch took place from 08.00-10.00hrs this morning, unfortunately proving extremely quiet of any movement.  A Red-T Diver heading N, 3 Goldeneye flying S and c50 Wigeon sitting on the water were noted. IM

24th - Early observations during a two hour period (07.00-09.00hrs) on the main site gave of particular note, c17 Reed Buntings, singles of Stonechat (male), Kingfisher and a Green Woodpecker, while c60 Brent Geese flew towards the arable. SC.  At c09.24hrs while surveying from the first left-hand layby (over the road bridge on the B1032) and looking towards the set-aside/hawthorns on the far side of the field, the surprise was to be found of 3+ Yellowhammers (MR) , that within a short space of time was confirmed as 5+ (PRD).  This species over the years, declined in numbers from the Haven site and immediate farmland within our boundaries, to become a much sought after bird by many locals.  To have a report this morning of the 5+ Yellowhammers in one place and for them to stay put for any duration, was brilliant news all round.  These were still showing well as at 13.20hrs. MR/PRD/AD/KA.  An early afternoon brief survey added a Barn Owl perched atop a fence, a S E O hunting across the marshland and 2 Sparrowhawks along the hedgerows/fence line. TB.

25th - Seawatching this afternoon between 14.10hrs and 15.30hrs was well timed for the observer when, within the first ten minutes, it gave an addition in the form of a Razorbill* to the Haven 2014 Year List.  This bird flew N at 14.20hrs.  Flying NE of note during the survey, were also 3 Red-Throated Divers and 3 adult Gannets. PRD.  

26th - No reports returned.

27th - Observations and reports today gave that 4 Yellowhammers (MR) were below the Memorials (10.45hrs), while there were still several Yellowhammers over the road in the set aside/hawthorns and another flew over-head by Viking Way also c10.45hrs (PRD).  It would definitely be very good to see these birds appear more regularly on the Haven reports.  The flock of Brent Geese on the arable held a probable Pale-Bellied. MR.    

28th - Another 'Year List' tick and a very good one indeed this morning was of Common Crane* when 2 of these flew over the scrape at 09.55hrs and continued in a SW direction. IM.  Noted on the scrape as at 11.08hrs, there were again 2 White-Fronted Geese amongst the Greylag Geese. MR

29th - At least three observers were around the site today and the reported species included that of a Ringtail Hen Harrier (IM) which after being initially located, gave excellent views to those in the hide.  Noted on the scrape were a drake Pintail and 3 Gadwall amongst the regular and now wintering Ducks.  The 2 White-Fronted Geese were on the pools below the Memorials (09.55hrs/IM) and 2 Little Egrets were on the site, while fly-overs were of 7 Snipe, 14 Golden Plovers and a Marsh Harrier.  Over the road on the set-aside were some 15 Yellowhammers (MR) and rounding up these particular surveys were c20 of each Reed Bunting and Skylark. MR/IM/GG.  Additional birds were of a Common Buzzard and seen on the rocks along the front, a total of 4 Purple Sandpipers. SS.  

30th - No reports returned.

As at 30th November, the Haven 2014 Year List stands at: 186.