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 - During this very foggy day, no sign could be found of yesterday's Shrike but the Rough-Legged Buzzard (juv) was seen to be atop a fence post at the rear of the marsh as at 08.54hrs. IM.  Early afternoon a Black Redstart was located at the Raised Golf Tee along the seawall c12.30hrs (towards the Frinton end). PRD.  The UK Coal Tit that has been utilising the feeders of recent days..... now sports a shiny Haven ring. PNt.  The RLB (on day thirteen at the Haven) was also reported as still on site - seen briefly by the seawall/Golf Course early afternoon. RBA

2nd - Another day where fog and mist of various depths remained across the local areas.  Of particular note, there was once again a Black Redstart located, near to the beach huts as at 11.30hrs. PRD.  Also reported for today were a S E O and 5+ Stonechats - the latter seen along the length of the site. SM.  The Rough-Legged Buzzard was reported (19.55hrs) as still on the site per the pager service. RBA.  A returning 'Suffolk' Herring Gull was seen today on the Sluice Rocks. MR.

3rd - The first report in this morning was that, as viewed from the first turret, the Rough-Legged Buzzard was still on the site as at 08.12hrs and 'no fog'.  This was the only sighting of the RLB during this particular morning survey, during which, observed from the main hide were singles of Kestrel and Common Buzzard, also 2 Stonechats while across the scrape and surrounding marsh there were 2 Ruff, 2 Snipe, 30 Blk T Godwits, and 94 Lapwings, 4 Shoveler, 126 Teal and 162 Wigeon, 1 Barnacle Goose and 123 Greylag Geese.  A walk to the third turret added totals of 2 Reed Buntings, another 5 Stonechats, 8 Meadow Pipits, 1 S E O and 3 Turnstones. MR.  A five hour ringing session included eight different species of which 'Goldcrest' numbered 7 birds. SC.  Observations this afternoon, from 13.45hrs until at least 15.15hrs, found that the RLB was back out on view and perched atop various fence posts and fencing near to the Golf Course.  Additional for today were 2 Green WoodpeckersLH/LC.

4th - A morning visit found the Rough-Legged Buzzard to be atop the fence in the vicinity of the third Owl box as at 09.00hrs and (unlike yesterday a.m.) continued to show itself very well throughout the morning "even coming in to land on the fence in front of the hide for a while".  A Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk were also on view during the survey from the main hide, as were 2 Cetti's Warblers, while the scrape and surrounding marsh held 11 Snipe, 30 Blk T Godwits and 176 Lapwings, c130 Teal, c160 Wigeon, 1 Barnacle and 130 Greylag Geese of note.  The return wander from the hide, gave a single Turnstone on the Sluice while a 'quick look' around the Memorials area saw additions to the report of 6 Goldcrests and over the marsh, a S E O. MR.  Today, the Haven's juvenile Rough-Legged Buzzard made it to 'Bird of the Week' on Birdguides 4th Nov 2015 weekly news report.

5th - Performing well this morning, the juvenile Rough-Legged Buzzard was still on site as at 10.00hrs. MR.

6th - Seemingly "quite settled" the Rough-Legged Buzzard was around during this morning's visit and site survey and it was also noted that while "numbers are increasing" there was little change to the current resident species.  Viewing from the main hide provided 1 Ruff, 4 Curlew, 22+ Snipe, 29 Blk T Godwits and c100 Lapwings, 6 Shoveler, 202 Wigeon, 206 Teal and c150 Greylag Geese.  A Water Rail was heard (front of hide) and in the vicinity were singles of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard.  Also of note were 2 Herring Gulls bearing NTGG rings - these were amongst others of this species.  Located along the front today were 4 Turnstones. MR.

7th - Observations today found that much was as per yesterday with just 8 Golden Plovers of particular note that were seen on the scrape prior to the arrival of the Greylag Geese.  The RLB was not located during this visit but the area that this bird has been frequenting of recent days, had this morning, a shooting parting across it. MR.

8th - Initial reports were of the Rough-legged Buzzard being once again viewable on the site as at 10.00hrs and it was also reported (RBA Pager) as seen during the early afternoon. MR.  Two of the ringing team were somewhat surprised to have a Reed Warbler amongst their selection of species today - definitely late in the season for this particular and 'noted very healthy bird'. PNt/LW.  

9th - Very little change from recent days was the report for today's survey - with an increase of Wigeon to c250 and Teal up to a count of 320 being the main notes.  The Rough-Legged Buzzard (on site for three weeks as at this survey) appears to be 'spending more time out of view along the bottom hedge' in an area more sheltered from the directional winds. MR.

10th - A few observers were on and around the site during today, as was the Rough-Legged Buzzard.  While the bird showed well 'a couple of times' during the morning, a lunchtime cycle ride found the RLB to be showing very well indeed over the Golf Course and at times was within a c5mtr range. PRD/MR/PBR.  The morning survey from the main hide gave totals of 1 Water Rail (PRD), 1 Ruff, 26 Blk T Godwits, 87 Lapwings, 5 Shoveler, 141 Teal, 174 Wigeon and some 2 Brent and 150+ Greylag Geese.  Seen to fly over at this time were c70 Golden Plovers.  Singles of Stonechat, Song Thrush, S E OKestrel and RLB were also noted from here, along with 2 Sparrowhawks and 2 Common Buzzards.  Two colour-ringed Herring Gulls were among those on the scrape. PRD/MR.  The lunch hour on site (13.15-14.15hrs) gave additions of 2 Stonechats by the Golf Course, a Ringtail Hen Harrier, a Marsh Harrier (imm) and a further Kestrel.  An S E O put up 2 Ruff and 6 Snipe from the grazing marsh, the SEO possibly the earlier bird.  The surprise bird today was a Swallow - initially seen to be hawking the area near to the Clubhouse, the Observer continued to Frinton and the Swallow continued South. PBr.

11th - No reports returned.

12th - "Once again very little change" with just a few small number differences to recent days.  Across the scrape and grazing marsh there were 1 Little Egret, 2 Grey Herons, 1 Water Rail (heard in front of the main hide), 30 Blk T Godwits and 10 L B B Gulls, the Shoveler count was up to that of 7, while Teal, Wigeon and Greylag Geese held no changes.  Viewing from this point also yielded 2 Stonechats, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Rough-legged Buzzard (performing well over the Golf Course), 2 Common Buzzards and a colour-ringed (NTGG) Herring Gull.  The wander along the front gave 2 Turnstones on the Sluice.  A Red Fox was on the Wildlife notesMR.  During a ringing session (07.00-11.30hrs) 3 Goldcrests featured, while 5 Siskin were fly-through birds and further colour-ringed Herring Gulls were added to today's reports.  Additional Wildlife sightings were of singles of both Red Admiral and Peacock Butterflies. SC

13th - Of particular note, a 1W Caspian Gull was located on the scrape at 10.55hrs, while the Rough-Legged Buzzard was also on view. PRD.

14th - The Rough-Legged Buzzard remains viewable on site today. JH.  In the drizzle, a late morning visit to the main hide was made for a WeBS count, which provided 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 7 Moorhens, 2 Snipe, 24 Blk T Godwits, 145 Lapwings and 295 Golden Plovers, along with 2 Shoveler, 19 Mallards, 75 Teal, 80 Wigeon, 1 Canada, 7 Brent and 175 Greylag Geese.  The Gulls consisted of 3 L B B, 75 Herring and 100 Black-headed. SC.

15th - A Goosander* was seen and photographed by observers - unusual for the Haven, the duck flew onto the scrape and had a c1 hour stop-over. CP/J/IS.  A wander to the main hide and back by two observers,provided c30 Siskin flying over the Mounds, while a Purple Sandpiper and 7 Turnstones were all on the Sluice.  Across the scrape, grazing marsh and fields were a single Curlew, 2 Dunlin, 4 Snipe, 28 Blk T Godwits, c150 Golden Plovers and 200+ Lapwings, 2 Gadwall and 6 Shoveler, with the Teal and Wigeon in numbers much as per recent days.  The vicinity also held 3 Stonechats, 2 Kestrels and 3 Common Buzzards.  The return walk yielded a Great Crested Grebe on the sea, just drifting with the tide. IM/PL

16th - The Rough-Legged Buzzard looked to be leaving the Haven this morning when it was seen to be drifting in flight in a SW direction over the main road at c10.20hrs - it turned out that the bird was just having a little wander and returned later to the main site. IM.

17th - A visit to the main hide provided the report for today and included counts of 1 Rough-Legged Buzzard (hunting across the fields including those by the second hide from 08.57hrs), 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Kestrels and 2 Common Buzzards.  A male Stonechat was on view and some 15 Siskins flew towards the Sewage Farm, while a Water Rail was heard (front of hide) and of note 17 Blk T Godwits, 100+ Lapwings and 2 Shoveler were on the scrape areas.  Teal and Wigeon - again very little change to that of recent days. IM.

18th - The Rough-Legged Buzzard was noted as hunting this morning at c08.55hrs. IM.

19th - No reports returned.

20th - A few observers were on and around the site today with reports covering from the Frinton end into the site and from the carpark to the second hide.  Morning reports included 36 Brent Geese sitting on the sea, small Goldfinch flocks passing overhead, the Rough-Legged Buzzard atop a post in front of the rear hedgerows (viewed from the second hide), 1 Kestrel (hovering close by), 1 Green Woodpecker (post by hide), 4 Curlew and 28 Lapwings that flew over.  A male Stonechat was on a bush by the Golf Course. BS.  Further reports gave that a 1W Caspian Gull was on the Sluice Rocks and was a different Gull to that on 13th Nov'15.  A single Marsh Harrier and 2 Common Buzzards were viewed from the main hide, while slightly later a S E O (IM) was flying along the seawall region by the second hide.  Once again a Water Rail (heard only) was in the vicinity of the main hide and notables on the scrape areas were 2 Little Egrets, 1 Ruff, 11 Blk T Godwits and 8 Shoveler.  Along the seawall were a single Purple Sandpiper and a total of 6 Turnstones. IM/PRD.  Flying over the Sewage Farm on the wander back to the carpark, a Swallow was definitely out of place for the time of year. IM

21st - Today proved to be a very good day for seawatching with 9 Haven Year Ticks amongst the species seen.  First reports gave a Rough-Legged Buzzard in/off at 10.00hrs and 2 Pomarine Skuas that flew S at 10.21hrs. DS.  With the highest totals used from two reports, three observers proceeded to view 1 Red-Breasted Merganser* (S), 5 Goldeneye* (3N+2S), 7 Common Scoters (S), 12 Pintails, 20 Shelducks (S), 4 Gannets, 1 Grey Phalarope* (N. right behind the Knot), 6 Golden Plovers (in/off), 12 Knot (N), 15 Snipe, 1 Guillemot* (N), 2 Little Auks* and 2 Razorbills*, 1 Shag* (N), 2 Little Gulls (S), 1 Swallow (another late one heading South) and 8 Fieldfares.  As at 13.05hrs there were 15 Whooper Swans* (12ads+3juvs) on the sea and visible from Clacton Sailing Club. The species during these observations were viewed from 09.00 to 15.45hrs. PRD/IM/DS. Additions to the day's reports were of 7 Bewicks Swans* (on the scrape - these had also been seen to fly in/off by observers on the front), 30 Brent Geese, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 1 Redpoll sp. and 3 Skylarks (in/off). SN

22nd - At least four observers were seawatching from the site and again the off-shore movement proved to be good even though there were no further Haven Year Ticks added during the session (08.00 - 13.00hrs).  With the highest totals being used from two reports, the counts included 3 Skylarks (in/off), a Fieldfare (in/off) and 350+ Starlings in/off, also 1 Purple Sandpiper, 3 Turnstones, 2 Red-Throated Divers (S), 2 Diver sp. (S), 25 Gannets, 1 Goldeneye (S), 5 Eider (1+4 of which 3 drakes), 5 Red-Breasted Mergansers (2N+3S), 20 Common Scoter, c30 Shelducks and 250+ Brent Geese.  A total of 6 Little Auks were seen during the course of the five hours of which 1 flew S, 1 came in/off with Starlings, 2 landed briefly on the sea before flying N, another flew N and 1 - a very tired little bird - was unfortunately taken by a G B B Gull. PRD/IM/DS/PNs.

23rd - A much quieter day on the bird front and whilst one observer had wandered along from one end of the site to the other and back, the species noted were few and this certainly was not helped by the fact that the scrape was frozen.  A Woodcock was seen to fly into the reedbeds by the Golf Course, 6 Curlew were in the next field, c350 Brent Geese moved back and forth sea to arable and 14 Shoveler were with c200 Wigeon on the edge of the pool beside the scrape.  A count of 4 Stonechats were noted throughout, the Rough-Legged Buzzard was hunting at c09.40hrs, 2 Common Buzzards were in the vicinity, as were singles of Barn and S E Owls.  There was no notable movement for off-shore. IM.  A ringing session took place this morning (07.15-11.45hrs), on the way in along the Approach Road, a Woodcock was seen in the car headlights (2 noted today), while a Goldcrest was one of the species during the session.  A total of 5 colour-ringed Herring Gulls were viewed and reported today - two being from Suffolk and three from NTGG schemes. SC.

24th - Of particular note during a visit from 10.45hrs to 14.15hrs, a Guillemot was seen on the sea and may have been the bird that earlier got reported as drifting on the tide from the Clacton side towards the Haven (10.40hrs DP), a Rock Pipit was on the seawall, a Water Rail was in front of the main hide, the Rough-Legged Buzzard was over the fields beyond the Golf Course, 2 Common Buzzards were noted and a Barn Owl was in the vicinity. BL

25th - A two hour survey (09.15-11.15hrs) gave of note, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Stonechats, 3 Rock Pipits (2 being at the Frinton end/Golf Course), c50 Stock Doves, 1 Common Buzzard, 3 Kestrels and 3 Purple Sandpipers. MP.

26th - A short walk and survey today gave particular notes of the Rough-Legged Buzzard and 2 S E Owls. MR.

27th - Observations today found that there were alot of Blackbirds around the bushes and also a single Redwing.  A Stonechat, 2 Common Buzzards and 3 Kestrels were viewed from the main hide, as were 5 Snipe, 7 Golden Plovers (fly-overs), 19 Blk T Godwits and 180 Lapwings, 2 Gadwall, 2 Shelducks, 10 Shoveler, 200 Teal, c420 Wigeon and c100 Greylag Geese.  A Water Rail was again heard.  No sign of the RLB at this time. MR.

28th - With their youngest choosing the bike option, a run through the site 08.30-09.30hrs in from the Frinton end, yielded notables of a Stonechat (fem. type) by the Golf Course, 2 Rock Pipits, 1 Little Egret, a S E Owl and the Rough-Legged Buzzard. PBr/S&KBr

29th - Another run through the site (no cyclist today) from 08.00-09.00hrs, provided brief views of a Bittern* as it flew between the second hide and the Golf Course, as well as the Rough-legged Buzzard, 8 Siskin (S), a male Stonechat (above scrape), 3 Rock Pipits, 2 Purple Sandpipers and 6 Turnstones - the latter two species both on the Sluice area. PBr/SBr

30th - No reports returned. 

As at 30th November 2015 the Haven 2015 Year List stands at: 188.

ALL photos remain the copyright of the photographer and/or the particular websites or publications they may appear within.  From top of page downwards, the photos are by: Mick Rodwell 1 & 2.