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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October 09

1st - Dry and bright with some cloud appearing, somewhat cool with N winds.  Early this morning saw very good numbers of flyovers, including 200+ Skylarks and 12 Siskin.  4+ Blackcaps and 18+ Chiffchaff were noted for the bush areas, with many of these near the lower end of the carpark.  The virtually dry scrape held only 1 Ruff and 2 Snipe to count, whilst 7 Curlew flew across it.  A Sparrowhawk was seen, as was a Little Owl. JBS.  Coming out briefly from the reed bed in front of the hide, the Bittern proved that it was still around. JK.  This afternoon into the evening saw the trees and bushes much quieter, although the scrape had additions of 2 Dunlin, 4 Blk T Godwits, 8 Wigeon, 2 Teal and Snipe were up at 6+.  Off-shore, 2 Gannets headed N. MR/JBSThe pump was turned back on early afternoon

2nd - Another dry and bright day, relatively warm to start with a light W breeze, becoming overcast and chilly later.  A brief visit to the hide at mid-day gave views across the scrape of 5 Blk T Godwits, 2 Dunlin, 7+ Snipe, 13 Wigeon and 1 Yellow Wagtail.  200+ Lapwings were on the fields and scrape area. KA.  Late afternoon into early evening, checking the trees and bushes from the mounds down to the lower carpark, saw 10+ Chiffchaffs among two very good sized mixed Tit flocks, whilst 2+ Blackcaps and 1 Lesser Whitethroat were also noted. KA/JBS.

3rd - Blustery SW winds made viewing on site difficult today.  Two short seawatches were undertaken, the first of which 08.10-09.40hrs produced 1 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Skua and a G N Diver all going N, while the second session 13.10-14.00hrs, yielded a further single Bonxie and a juv Gannet both headed S.  On the scrape were 3 Dunlin, 6 Blk T Godwits, 8+ Snipe and a 2y male Marsh Harrier. GG.  Also noted were 2 Yellow Wagtails and 30+ Skylarks. JBS(The pump was turned off again due to salt water polluting the brook, hence this was also entering the scrape.  Later during this month, the sluice gate will undergo repairs to halt the entrance of seawater).  

4th - A dry, bright day with occasional cloud and variable W winds.  Site coverage from early morning through to evening couldn't change the fact of a distinct lack of birds.  On the scrape were 7 Blk T Godwits, 6+ Snipe, 2 Dunlin, 3 Curlew, 12 Wigeon and 26 Teal.  2 Siskins were fly-overs S, while other species today were 10 Redwings, 1 Stonechat, 8+ Wheatears, 1 Yellow and 2 Grey Wagtails, 1 Marsh Harrier and a Sparrowhawk.  As for seawatching, the grand total of 3 Gannets and a Brent Goose!!  PRD/PNt/GG/MR/JBS/KA/AD.  

5th - Cold to start but mostly very wet, grey and SE through S winds all day.  Seawatching took place this morning and this afternoon, both sessions yielding some good results.  Heading NE today were a juv Pomarine Skua (14.40hrs), 1 Bonxie (also p.m), 1 ad pale phase Arctic Skua, 40+ Gannets, 1 Common Scoter, 1 Oystercatcher and a probable Razorbill which was flushed from the water by the afternoon Bonxie.  Those going SW, were 1 Bonxie amongst 40+ Gannets (c10.50hrs), 12 Common Scoter, 1 ad Sandwich Tern and 17 Brent Geese.  3 Med Gulls (1adW+2x2W) were noted, also 2 Turnstones on the beach.  The Bittern and 2 Little Egrets were on site, with the scrape holding 3 Blk T Godwits, 1 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 25 Wigeon, 10 Teal and 300 Greylag Geese.  Trees, bushes, fields, fences and fly-overs included 1 Rock Pipit, 3 Wheatears, 6 Stonechats, 3 Reed Buntings, 1 Reed Warbler, 5 Blackcaps, 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldfinch, 6 Song Thrush, 20+ Blackbirds, 6+ Robins and 6 SwallowsPRD/MR.

6th - Another damp miserable morning that turned slightly brighter for the afternoon, with winds changeable W to SE ending again with Westerlies.  The scrape was exceptionally quiet, showing only 2 Blk T Godwits, a juv Cormorant, 13 Wigeon and 64 Teal.  Around the trees and bushes were 4 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaff and a single Whitethroat, while a brief look off-shore at c10.30hrs produced just 2 Gannets N. MR.  A late afternoon seawatch 17.00 - 18.30hrs gave all of 11 Brent Geese S. KA/JBS

7th - The day began dry with light NNW winds, rain for the afternoon and NE winds.  At 12.10hrs a Glossy Ibis flew S just off-shore, seen by just two lucky observers.  This being the site's second ever recorded Glossy Ibis and within 3 weeks of the first record.  The scrape this morning held 1 Blk T Godwit, 5+ Snipe, 24 Wigeon, 61 Teal and 201 Lapwings.  A Marsh Harrier was noted as were 2 Stonechats and 9 Goldfinch.  2 Blackcaps and 1 Little Owl were seen amongst the trees and bushes. MR/BS

8th - A mainly bright day with light NNW winds.  The trees and bushes provided 1+ Blackcap and 1 Little Owl, with good numbers showing of Thrush, Blackbird, Robin and mixed Tit flocks.  Fences and posts on the way to Frinton and back, gave 10+ Stonechat and 2 Wheatears, while c200 Goldfinch were fly-overs, all heading N. MR/BS.  2 Common Buzzards were viewed from the hide during the morning, as were 5 Snipe and 7 CurlewJK.  A late afternoon look at the scrape saw only 2 Blk T Godwits of note.  A single Chiffchaff was seen in the greensward bushes alongside many Greenfinch, Chaffinch and again a good sized Tit flock. KA/JBS.   

9th - A cool but bright day, until late afternoon brought drizzle then heavy rain, winds gaining strength E through SE.  A mid-afternoon to evening visit, saw 3 Blk T Godwits, 4 Snipe and 67+ Wigeon on the scrape, while the only notable species in the trees was a single Chiffchaff.  Nearly two hours of seawatching leading into dusk, yielded only Brent Geese going S, numbers of which totalled 600+. JBS.

10th - Cool to start but warmer by mid-day, generally bright with changeable winds becoming NW for the afternoon.  Visits today covered most, if not all of the site and seawatching was included.  The scrape area provided 1 Blk T Godwit, 1 Dunlin, 5+ Snipe, 8+ Curlew and 33 Wigeon.  A Kingfisher was briefly seen in front of the hide and a 2w male Marsh Harrier was also viewed.  2 Common Buzzards flew W to E through the site early afternoon, while 4 Swallows and 2+ House Martins were morning fly-overs.  Thrush movement was very evident today with many on and  flying over the site, Robins were again also prominent.  3+ Blackcaps were seen and both a Cetti's Warbler and a Brambling were heard.  Off-shore was very quiet, with only 18 Brent Geese and a distant Skua sp. being noted, from morning into late afternoon, however leading into the evening a Bonxie was seen and a Hen Harrier headed N.  The very "rare on site" Grey Partridge, is unfortunately another one less today, as it was observed as one of the "game" claimed on a local shoot.  PNt/TP/GG/SC/KA/IM/JK/JBS

11th - Overall mainly overcast, some drizzle and W winds of variable strengths.  Another day of good site coverage and a few seawatches.  The scrape itself was quiet with 3 Snipe, 2 Shoveler, 46 Wigeon and 100+ Teal, an evening  addition was of 1 Green Sandpiper.  The Bittern was seen in flight, going across to the grazing area far left of the scrape, a Peregrine was feeding in the field beyond and both male and fem/imm Marsh Harriers were quartering various fields.  Fly-overs today included 500+ Goldfinch, 5+ Grey Wagtails, 1 Yellow Wagtail (Blue-headed), 1 Brambling, 1 House Martin and 30+ Swallows.  9+ Stonechats and 1 Wheatear were on fences and posts and 1 Chiffchaff amongst the trees, while 2 Rock Pipits were located on and near the sluice, as was a 1w Med Gull.  Off-shore movements, all heading S, included 20+ Wigeon, 10+ Teal and 170+ Brent Geese. 1 Auk sp. was also seen.  GG/IM/AEC/KA/JBS/GS.    

12th - Definitely into the colder mornings now.  A dry day with some cloud and winds that were mostly NNW.  The day grew slightly warmer as the winds eased.  Not much around the trees and bushes this morning, namely 1 Little Owl and 1 Chiffchaff to speak of.  Viewing from the hide was not too impressive either, with 4 Snipe, 2 Shoveler, 53 Wigeon and 82 Teal although 4 Common Gulls were noted as were 2 Stonechats. MR.  Late afternoon visits, provided fly-overs of 1 Little Egret, 2 Grey Wagtails and 100+ Goldfinches while on the sluice was a single Ringed Plover.  In the area of the memorials, were 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcaps and the Cetti's Warbler was again in good voice. KA/JBS.    (Machinery/portacabins arrived at the sluice today, to begin repair work to the sluice gate). 

13th - Dry and fairly calm today, the light winds began NW, by late morning N and turned WSW into the evening.  This morning saw 2 Common Buzzards moving through and an imm male Marsh Harrier over the site, while on the scrape were just 3 Snipe, 1 Curlew, 60+ Wigeon and 30+ Teal. BS.  The Bittern was noted as it was mobbed by Crows across the road. PB.  Mid-morning to mid-afternoon saw 3 Siskin over N, 2 Bearded Tits (1m+1) were heard and located in the reed beds near to the 2nd turret, also 8 Corn Buntings, a Black Redstart was around the "purple sand" rocks and singles of both Brambling and Wheatear were noted. GG.  10+ Stonechats were seen. MR.  Early evening and a Dartford Warbler was a surprise find in brambles near to the turret.  An increase of Corn Buntings to 14 at this time - possibly suggesting a roosting site here, as opposed to across the field at the farm. RP/JBS

14th - Spectacular dawn colours this morning and for a while on the horizon but overcast on site with rain in the air and good strength winds moving E through SE.  Reports from early until 10.00hrs included a flock of c800 Starlings in/off the sea, 600+ Brent Geese heading S, 43+ Wigeon, 12 Teal and 1 Curlew these also going S, while heading N were a single Gannet, 8 Shelduck (4+4) and 12 Brent Geese.  Unfortunately wind strength did not help the search for yesterday's Dartford Warbler and Bearded Tits, of which none could be relocated.  6+ Stonechats were evident along the posts and reedbeds and Meadow Pipits were in good numbers. The Bittern was again seen across the road and a Cetti's Warbler was heard in the toilet block vicinity.  Late morning updates included 1 Brambling over and a single Grey Wagtail, with additions for off-shore of a Manx Shearwater 10.25hrs going N, also 12 further Brent Geese N with another 400+ of these headed S.  The scrape held 1 Curlew, 1 Snipe, 2 Cormorants, 69 Wigeon and 80 Teal.  2 Swallows were on the wires, whilst trees and bushes gave 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Goldcrest amongst a Tit flock and 2 Song Thrush were noted.  This afternoon saw a single Redwing atop the bushes and this evening a S E Owl flew in/off and headed beyond the greensward. SC/PC/KA/MR/PB/JBS.   

15th - A dry but cool first light, became a warmer, bright day with N winds turning E going into the evening.  Apart from a Kingfisher, morning species around the scrape were dismal again with 3 Snipe, 63 Wigeon, 38 Teal and 265 Greylag Geese.  The walk to Frinton and back only provided 5+ Stonechats and although a Cetti's Warbler and a Brambling were both heard, these could not be located amongst the trees or bushes.  A one hour seawatch from 11.30hrs gave 5 Commic Terns N while just 7 Brent Geese and 1 Teal headed S. GG/MR.  An early evening visit saw that 2 Bearded Tits, including a "cracking male", were again in the reedbeds opposite the slope/2nd turret. JBS.  

16th - Mainly overcast, on/off morning rain, some bright periods with winds beginning ESE turning and strengthening through N to NNW.  The 2 Bearded Tits were still in the reedbeds close to the 2nd turret as at early afternoon. BS.

17th - Cloud cover but fairly bright, cool with NW winds to start, turning strong N over high tide, later becoming NE.  A morning visit through to 12.30hrs took in the top carpark area through to Frinton and back, including the hide.  A Snow Bunting in/off at 11am was the highlight, unfortunately this was flushed and then lost to view.  A Peregrine was sitting in the field beyond the hay bales and 310+ Greylag Geese in the field below.  10+ Stonechats and 3 Redwings were noted, while Goldfinch movement was in excess of 500 N.  2 Turnstones were on the seawall, whilst off-shore only 2 Gannets and 2 Brent Geese were seen, all heading N.  The scrape held only 66 Wigeon, 50+ Teal and 8 Cormorants.  2+ Goldcrests and still good numbers of Robins were around the trees and bushes. KA.

18th - Bright and although very cold to start, by early afternoon it was quite warm and winds that had been NW turned through W to SW.  The scrape had additions today of 3 Blk T Godwits and 1 Snipe, while Wigeon numbers were up at 100+ with Teal still at c50. JK/IM/KA.  A search of trees, bushes, fields, fences and reedbeds from the carpark to the golf course, provided only 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Corn Bunting, 1 Wheatear, 4+ Stonechats and 3 Curlew of note.  A Sparrowhawk was seen, as were a flock of 30+ Goldfinch heading N and a single Swallow going S. Along the seawall were again 2 Turnstones.  Off-shore - not even a Cormorant to watch! KA.  

19th - Overcast, cold, afternoon drizzle and the winds were due SSW all day.  A visit during the morning and others later in the afternoon, all proved it to be very quiet on site.  The Bittern (IM) appeared for a short time this morning, while a Kingfisher (MR) gave some brilliant views later on.  Wigeon numbers were once more at 100+, Teal also the same again at c50 and for the second day on the somewhat deserted scrape, there were 3 Blk T Godwits. IM/MR.  A count of 30 Skylarks were noted and over on the arable were 150 Golden Plover. PRD.

20th - With SSE winds from early morning into evening, it was overall another cool, grey day - and another quiet one at that!!  3 Curlew, 100 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 2 Stonechats and a late moving Swallow were the only notable birds, on and over the site during today's visits.  A few Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits were about near the golf course, while  yet again, a seawatch session yielded absolutely nothing. MR/PRD

21st - Rain virtually all day with winds of variable strength, SE through S from morning into evening.  A visit prior to mid-day, saw that the scrape held 4 Curlew, 5 Cormorant, 100+ Wigeon, 40+ Teal and there was another sighting of the Kingfisher.  Seen across the grazing marsh were 3 Corn Buntings and 2 Stonechats.  Trees and bushes from upper to lower carparks, appeared to be holding many birds but the only species of any note, were a single Redwing and 20+ Blackbirds near to the Sailing Club's compound/approach road.  A short seawatch 11.00-11.30hrs gave 1juv Gannet, 7 Brent Geese and 2 Teal all headed S. MR.

22nd - Very mild, dry and bright with mainly light SSE winds.  Viewing from near to the Sailing Club 08.20-09.25hrs failed to produce anything passing off-shore, however, fly-overs were 2 Swallows, 1 Grey Wagtail and 30+ Goldfinch all headed S.  Good numbers of Finches - Gold, Green and Chaffs - were around the toilet block area, 2 Turnstones were on the shoreline rocks and 1 Little Owl was noted across the grazing marsh. KA.  Further searching this morning proved that there were still 2 Bearded Tits on site among the reedbeds. PRD.  A brief visit this evening saw 3 Blk T Godwits on the scrape. KA

23rd - Again a mild, bright, dry day with light winds fluctuating SSW, SSE and back through to SW.  No reports returned today. 

24th - Generally grey and overcast with occasional drizzle.  Winds SW to start but moving to SSE on the upcoming afternoon tide, then reverting to SW.  A short morning seawatch gave 10 Brent Geese and 17 Knot (GG), while an early walk along the fields saw little of note apart from 4 Stonechats (IM).  A search of the approach road found 1 of each Firecrest, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff and Blackcap, also a single Redwing.  A Cetti's Warbler was heard near the memorials and the carpark trees and bushes were again holding good numbers of Robins, Blackbirds etc.  A late morning search along the seawall encountered 4 Rock Pipits - these were all in one area together and is a good record for the Haven.  A single Turnstone was seen along the beach, a further 3 Redwings were noted into early afternoon and 2+ Goldcrests were near the sewage farm. GG/PRD.  (B.S.T ends).

25th - Mild, dry and bright with W winds throughtout.  Site coverage today from 06.50-12.30hrs saw many south bound fly-overs and a reasonable variety of species.  2 Wheatears were flushed from the mound area early this morning, while a single Tree Sparrow was seen going straight through the lower carpark.  A Bearded Tit was heard, then seen twice briefly, as it flicked across the reeds and back down out of the wind near the 3rd turret.  2 Redwing and 3 Stonechats were noted upon bushes, a Rock Pipit was on the path and a Grey Wagtail further along.  The various sized 'fly-over' flocks, gave totals of 156+ Goldfinch, 44+ Lesser Redpoll, 24 Skylarks, 11 Greenfinch, 34+ Linnets, 50+ Meadow Pipits, also some late moving Swallows and House Martins, 8+ and 2 respectively.  Amongst two good sized Tit flocks along the approach road were 2 Firecrests and a Goldcrest.  Over and above the Wigeon and Teal, only 5 Blk T Godwits graced the scrape this morning, a Brent Goose was however, seen heading in that direction!  5 Brent Geese  heading S, were the only notables for off-shore. KA/GG

26th - Slightly cooler again today, somewhat grey at times but dry.  Winds began W, turned WNW through the day, ending back W this evening.  Visits from 08.30-12.30hrs noted further passage south, with morning totals of 69 Goldfinch, 50 Lesser Redpoll, 35 Linnet, 23 Siskin, 4 Chaffinch, 15 Greenfinch and 134 Meadow Pipits.  Off-shore was again noticeably quiet, yielding only 2 Shelduck headed N and 1 Brent Goose going S.  Across the fields, bushes and posts were 6+ Stonechats and 1 Little Egret, while both a Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were viewed.  The scrape is still lacking in anything of particular interest although Wigeon numbers are now holding, with a count of 110 as at today.  Teal were also at 110, alongside 5 Blk T Godwits, 2 Snipe, 3 Cormorants and 215 Greylag Geese. PRD/MR/IM.

27th - Mild, mostly bright and dry, with the exception of limited drizzle this morning.  SSE winds to start but S from mid-morning through to and including the evening.  A 7am visit noted 34 Blackbirds around the toilet block and approach road, with 2 Lesser Redpolls over, while 4 Blk T Godwits were on the scrape. JBS.  Coverage 08.30-1230hrs gave totals for the carpark areas of 2 Song Thrush, 84 Redwing, a further 12 Blackbirds and a Brambling was heard but not located.  Along the seawall towards Frinton were 7 Corn Buntings, 6+ Stonechats, 1 Bearded Tit and seen as it was flushed from the golf course, was a Woodcock.  Fly-overs S were 3 Siskin, 4 Reed Buntings, 30+ Meadow Pipits, 3 Greenfinch, 2 Goldfinch and 16 Skylarks, while a single Brent Goose headed N.  Additional on the scrape during the morning were a single Med Gull and 2 Snipe, with counts of 118 Wigeon and 60 Teal.  Also noted was a Brent Goose over the scrape and 1 Little Owl.  A Cetti's Warbler was heard in the area between the hide and sluice gates. MR/IM/PRD.  Located early afternoon, was a Firecrest along the approach road. PRD.  A brief late afternoon visit, added flocks of 20+ Goldfinch and 15 Chaffinch going S, while 30+ Greenfinch, 10 Goldfinch and 8+ Chaffinch were chasing around the toilet block trees and bushes. KA.    

28th - Early morning began bright with SSE winds.  By mid-morning wind direction had changed through S to WSW, the sky became grey and remained so throughout.  Evening winds were NW.  Late afternoon and an hour searching the trees and bushes, around and including the approach road, gave a single Brambling alongside many Chaffinch, a small 15+ L T Tit flock and a Goldcrest.  1 Lesser Redpoll flew over heading S. PRD.  A Blackcap was also reported for earlier in the day. MR.

29th - Patchy fog through to early afternoon, though mild and bright with a very light SW breeze turning through S to ESE and back to SE as the day went on.  The highlight of today, has to be a Yellowhammer that was calling as it flew over.  The bird appeared to come from over the seawall and went straight through, being lost to view as it headed towards Gt. Holland Hall c13.40hrs.  A very good record indeed for the site, as the last one recorded at the Haven was over seven years ago on 26th March 2002.  Little else apart from a fly-over Siskin, was either moving or showing this afternoon. PRD.  The scrape area was viewed during the morning and yielded 1 Little Grebe, 5 Blk T Godwits, 72 Teal, 5 Cormorants and an increase of Wigeon to 150.  Greylag Geese numbered 223, 1 Sparrowhawk was noted as were 2 Barn Owls at the end of the main reed bed and 6+ Stonechats across the grazing marshes. The bushes again proved to be full of both Robins and Blackbirds earlier in the day. MR/IM.

30th - Another dry, mild morning, becoming cooler early afternoon with a slight patchy mist across the scrape. Winds mainly SE, though variable ESE and back again.  No reports returned today.   

31st - Overcast and on/off rain during the morning with winds beginning as S, turning SW going into the afternoon and remaining so into the evening.  Site coverage during the morning was from the carpark, along to the golf course, across to the farm and back again.  It was generally quiet amongst the trees, bushes and reedbeds but fly-overs gave 34 Siskin, 1 Lesser Redpoll and 50+ Skylarks all heading S.  4 Fieldfares were near the farm and 4 Stonechat were noted.  A R B Merganser was located on the sea, while a single Turnstone was along the front.  The scrape held 5 Blk T Godwits, 90+ Teal and Wigeon numbers were up at 240+.  A return visit this afternoon, only saw additions of a single Grey Wagtail and a further 3 Lesser Redpoll over. GG.  A late report for today was of 7 Fieldfares seen together on site. PL/IM

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