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 2011  

1st October - A very bright, hot day to start the new month and with temperatures of +27+ degrees on our coastline and areas of the UK reaching +30 degrees, today was the hottest recorded UK October day in the last 100 years.  A light SSE breeze and blue skies throughout.  It was reasonably quiet on the site today with little sign of migration. Despite this, there was a surprise find in the Ringing Team's nets, that of a female Brambling.  Noted around the sluice were both a Cetti's and a Reed Warbler, while the scrape held 1 Common Sandpiper and 8 Blk T Godwits.  A female Marsh Harrier, several Sparrowhawks and a single Kestrel drifted through.  The bushes held just 2 each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff. PL/GG.

2nd - And another hot one!  SW light winds, very bright and temperatures still in up there in the high 20's.  Ringing was in session today - updates on Recent Activities.  Looking across the fields (adjacent to the scrape/carpark) from the marshes road this morning, gave 7 Redwing, 126 Linnets, 1 Gt. Spotted Woodpecker and 9 Red-Legged Partridges, while across the road, were 7 CurlewsAD.  2 Green Woodpeckers were near to Tariq, with other species noted around the site being 1 Little Owl, 4+ Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcaps and 2 Sparrowhawks, a Kingfisher was near the sluice and numerous Goldfinches were close to the main hide.  A single Common Sandpiper was viewed on the scrape alongside 4 Blk T Godwits and seen as it flew over the area and straight through the site, was a S E Owl. AD/MR/IM.  Additional sightings for the morning were those of 1 Lesser Redpoll and 1 Yellow Wagtail, also a Common Swift that was in with a mixed flock of 25-30 Swallows and House Martins.  Thrush numbers had increased overnight with several of each Song Thrush, Blackbird and Redwing being seen early on. GG.  Early afternoon provided views of a Peregrine that successfully put up the many Starlings on the fields beyond the scrape. KA/AD  

3rd - There were light SW winds again this morning but the skies, after quite a delicate and colourful dawn, proved to hold alot of cloud-cover through to at least mid-morning, the sun did however, persist!  The day was not as hot as the previous few days but still a very warm one.  In anticipation of the S-Crane moving down the coast from Suffolk, this morning's observers were viewing around the site from early til lunch time and another survey was undertaken from 14.00hrs to 16.00hrs.  Trees, bushes and common ground this morning, supplied the resident Little Owl, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcaps, 1 Gt. Spotted and 2 Green Woodpeckers, also a single Wheatear, while across the grazing marsh areas were some 30+ Skylarks, 40+ Meadow Pipits, 40+ Linnets and 12 Goldfinch.  2 Rock Pipits were located along the seawall, 13 Common Terns and 2 Brent Geese were viewed heading S off-shore, an adult Med Gull was in the vicinity as were 250+ Swallows and fly-overs S included 50 House Martins.  The scrape held 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 Curlews, 12 Blk T Godwits and 30 Teal, while over on the arable were 4 Golden Plovers of note. PRD/MR.  By the afternoon visit, views across the scrape saw that the Blk T Godwits were down to 4 and the Curlews to just 1, while over on the fields beyond, were 1750+ Starlings and a Med Gull (ad).  A Wheatear was along the seawall - the latter two species +/- the earlier birds. SC.

4th - A bit of a gloomy dawn today, followed by cloud-covered skies and although the sun broke through, the clouds were still many as the day wore on.  The light WSW winds/breeze of the early morning, strengthened as predicted but fluctuated on/off and were at moderate SW by late evening.  A morning survey around the site, gave 1 Goldcrest, 6 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcaps and a Common Whitethroat, 2 Song Thrush and singles of Redwing, Little Owl and Grey Wagtail.  On the mounds were 5+ Wheatears, fly-overs were 40+ Linnets, while birds of prey totalled 1 Common Buzzard, 3 Sparrowhawks and 1 Kestrel.  Seen heading N off-shore during this visit, was a single juvenile Gannet.  Viewable from the hide at this time were 7 Golden Plover on the arable, a Common Sandpiper, 6 Blk T Godwits, 20+ Teal and 7 Greylag Geese on and around the scrape and it's immediate vicinity, with 4 Curlews, 2 G.B.B, 3 L.B.B and 92 Black Headed Gulls also counted and subsequently noted. MR

5th - Generally quite a cloudy day today with initial WSW moderate to strong winds that were SW by mid-afternoon.  Gusting was on/off throughout reaching c31mph, these speeds by the latter part of the evening had increased to c36mph.  Hopefully, the strong winds will work the pump to enable some water to filter onto the scrape, after the recent dry spells and soaring temperatures have left the scrape very sparse of the wet stuff.  At least three observers were on site this morning and over-lapped each other from 07.15hrs through to 12.00hrs (highest counts used - NOT combined totals).  Several species were around the trees, bushes and hedgerows including a Brambling and seen at mid-day a Firecrest was in the first of the carpark bushes. MR.  Singles of Goldcrest, Lesser Whitethroat, Little Owl and Green Woodpecker were noted, as were 4 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcaps, 2 Song Thrushes and 3 Jays.  Birds on and around the common ground, seawall and fly-overs, were 1 of each Grey Wagtail and Siskin, 2 Stonechats, 5 Wheatears, 3 Lesser Redpolls, 110+ Linnets, 40 Goldfinches and 40 Meadow Pipits (small flocks of Mipits were seen heading out to sea (AlfM) which may have been over/above the count used herein).  A steady stream of Swallows and House Martins were seen to head straight through with a minimum count for Swallows being 80, while a total of 10 Sand Martins were also over the site.  Viewing along the Haven coastline and off-shore, provided a single Turnstone, 1 Grey Plover, an Oystercatcher that flew NE and 4 Little Egrets that were flying SW and of which, 3 detoured slightly, viewed the scrape but decided to continue their original flight plan!  An adult female Peregrine, 3 Common Buzzards, 1 Kestrel and at least 1 possibly 2 Merlins were in the vicinity/seen from the site (ad male +/- another S over the sea. AM/SC).  The scrape held just 6 Blk T Godwits, 2 Snipe and 16 Teal of any particular note. SC/AM/MR

6th - After a night of gale force winds and quite a bit of rain, the day brought some strong Westerly winds and gusting of c40mph.  Observations on the site from 11.15hrs to 12.15hrs gave that Gulls were plenty and were everywhere across the area and of particular note, amongst them all were an adult Yellow-Legged Gull and 2 Med Gulls (ad+2W) and also included 40+ L.B.B. and 160+ Herring Gulls.  A few Swallows were over the site and further notes included 2 Wheatears, a Grey Wagtail and a distant Marsh Harrier. SC.    

7th - Again there were gale force winds overnight - the morning consisted of WNW moderate to strong winds, along with gusting of c25+mph.  The temperature much cooler than the start of the month, sitting at +11 degrees today.  The dawn was full of colour but the ensuing day became and remained mostly cloudy.  A morning watch from the Frinton end of site (by the end of the beach huts) and a subsequent cycle ride to the Haven sluice, noted a good passage of passerines, a couple of Harriers and a few waders.  A Ringtail Hen Harrier put everything up across the fields towards the Church before soaring North over Frinton, whilst a Merlin (fem/imm) flew S over the sea and an imm male Marsh Harrier headed likewise the Hen Harrier, North.  Along the seawall were 2 Turnstones, a single Snipe flew in/off over the sluice to the scrape and a further "wader" that also came in/off, looked to be very interesting and appeared to land on the scrape......... the joys of fatherhood, complete with sleeping baby in tow, unfortunately scuppered any further investigation!!  Over the seawall and Golf Course, c100 Swallows and a single House Martin were literally just around in the area but not actually going anywhere, 3 Wheatears were seen and a single Stonechat was near to the turret above the main hide.  Southerly movement of the finch flocks were "tight & low" and these, Lark, Pipit and Wagtail numbers, comprised of 4+ Chaffinch, 26 Green and 232 Goldfinches, 95 Linnets, 6+ Siskin (Siskins - heard not seen), 1+ Brambling, 20 Skylarks, 2 Grey Wagtails and c60 Meadow Pipits - some of the Mipits stopped briefly on the Golf Course before continuing as per all of the latter eight species noted. PBr.     

8th - Generally a cloudy day with some rain, winds varied back and forth WNW thru W and WSW and also slightly chilly.  Sea-watching inbetween net rounds (0730-1400hrs) proved to be a lively affair with the following of note, 1 juv Long-Tailed Skua that gave superb close views as it drifted through, while other skuas seen were 2 Pomarine, 4 Bonxies and one unidentified.  Also moving through were 1 G.N. Diver, 1 Guillemot, 81 Gannet, 205 Brents, 18 Wigeon, 12 Common Scoter, 2 Shelduck and 4 Sandwich Terns.  Passerines of note were 11 Redpolls, 15 Siskin and 5 Grey Wagtails.  Some 200+ House Martins were on site for most of the day. GG/PNt.  A two hour survey during the afternoon included views of a very quiet scrape, just 4 Snipe and 70 Teal of any note, then took in a sea-watch from 14.15hrs to 15.45hrs.  The sea-watch proved fruitful, giving 1 Long-Tailed*, 1 Arctic and 4 Great (Bonxies) Skuas, also 30 Gannets (10ad+9imm+11juv) all of which were heading NE, while heading SW were 5 Turnstones and 55+ Brent Geese.  In/off came 3 Grey Herons, that were picked up as they came through the "wind farm" area, continued in over the seawall and then across to land on the marsh. MR.

9th - Rain was virtually non-stop right through the night and continued more or less through to c11.00hrs this morning!  The sun appeared for a while, winds were mostly moderate to strong (very strong at times) WSW but it was not a cold day, in fact the temperature was very mild.  Several observers have been on the site today, most of their time was spent seawatching and there was definitely plenty of off-shore movement to watch!  The sea-watching was split into two sessions and although some observers came and went at different times, all were watching from the same point and subsequently, there are no duplications of totals in this report.  The counts for the first sea-watching session from 07.30hrs to 10.00hrs consisted of 23 species of which all barring 24 Gannets and 22 Brents were heading South.  The waders during this first session, were 9 Avocets, 3 Grey Plover, 50 Dunlin and 2 Curlew, there were singles of Great Skua, Manx Shearwater, Merlin and an Auk sp., Sandwich Terns and Med Gulls (adx3) numbered 3 of each, Brent Geese (N+S) totalled 1166 on this first watch and Gannets (N+S) at 34, while noted as they flew in/off were 4 Skylarks.  The passing ducks gave a few site ticks during both of today's sessions, the earlier watch including singles of Long-Tailed Duck*, Pintail and Shoveler, 2 R-B Mergansers, 5 Scaup, 6 Gadwall, 20 Shelducks, 45 Teal, 121 Common Scoter and 466 Wigeon.  The second session from 10.00hrs to 13.15hrs provided 20 species and the counts were 2 Pomarine (N) and 2 Great Skuas, 1 Scaup*(m), 7 R-B Mergansers* (5+2), 4 Goldeneyes*, 87+ Common Scoter, 262+ Wigeon, 59+ Teal and 16+ Shelduck, 1 G.N. Diver (S), 18+ Gannets and 1 Cormorant.  Waders included 10 Dunlin (3+7), 2 Curlew (S) and a single Turnstone, while a single Common Tern was seen and a further 6 Tern sp. were noted.  46 Skylarks flew through, as did 9 Goldfinch and sneaking through - the rear end of an Auk sp was viewed as it disappeared North.  Brent Geese were continually passing the Haven with 2818+ counted on the second watch but there were many over and above this, not counted due to watching other species. PL/GG/SC/MR/AD. 

10th - A dull break of dawn was followed by bright sun before 07.30hrs with some strong WSW winds.  The winds remained WSW through the day and although they increased somewhat in strength, there were a few occasions of "light to moderate".  Gusts locally were reported as being c35mph - however, standing in them during the afternoon, they certainly appeared much stronger than that!  Two observers were on site during the morning and incorporated was also a ringing session (07.15to 10.15hrs).  The reports gave totals of 2 of each Goldcrests and Song Thrushes, 1 Blackcap and a Chaffinch (these 6 birds were netted & rung), 2 Chiffchaff were amongst the L-T Tit flock and the Little Owl was noted.  12+ Meadow and 3 Rock Pipits (latter on the seawall), 40+ Linnets, a Skylark and 60+ Goldfinches (60+/-20) also made the counts.  15+ House Martins and a few Swallows were seen during the morning, as were 34 Golden Plover and 100+ Lapwings both of which were on the arable.  The scrape and it's surrounding area held 6 Blk T Godwits, 16 Teal and 26 Wigeon, while other species on and/or heading past the Haven were a single Turnstone, 1 Red-T Diver and c60 Brent Geese. SC/MR.  Additional counts, further to walking from the Frinton end along to the mast and back, were of a single Wheatear and also of 22 Brent Geese that headed S. PBr.  A late afternoon (c16.15hrs) half hour's viewing across the fields and skyline, provided counts of 1 Common Buzzard (towards the church), 2 Marsh Harriers (imm/fem), one hunting the field beyond the scrape, while the other - beyond the carpark - gave more the "impression of playing", also 200+ Lapwings, 15 Red-L Partridges and several hundred Gulls on both the fields and grazing marsh, while of note overhead and/or flying straight through, were 80+ Swallows, 60+ House Martins and a single Sand Martin. KA.

11th - A colourful dawn and some early bright sun, gave way to a mixed grey cloud-cover by 09.00hrs but this broke up after a while and the skies generally were blue with alternating cloud.  There were some very brisk c18mph WSW winds initially, these varied strength-wise throughout the day and just slightly in direction to W.  Gusting was intermittent.  A fleeting visit to the scrape today gave 2 Blk T Godwits, 30 Wigeon and 108 Teal on and around this vicinity, whilst a Merlin (fem) was seen along the rear hedgerows. MR.

12th - Dull and dreary to start the day with some light to moderate Westerly winds.  A considerable improvement to the day ensued, as it became warm and very bright, along with mostly blue skies until much later in the afternoon.  Surveying around the tree and bush areas, provided singles of Goldcrest, Blackcap, RedwingMistle Thrush and the resident Little Owl, also 5 Chiffchaff and 4 Song Thrushes.  Just a few Gulls on and around the scrape and a alot of noise from the grass cutter - working around the hide and in the adjacent fields (still as at 13.30hrs).  60+ Goldfinches, 10 House Martins and 100+ Swallows were fly-overs during this survey, all of which were heading SW. MR.  Time spent up at the Farm from 12.15-13.30hrs provided nothing exceptional but gave 1 Marsh Harrier, 3 Kestrels and 2 Green Woodpeckers, on the lower fields were 4 Curlew, while some 30+ Skylarks were in the immediate area and a total of 45+ Meadow Pipits headed through.  A single Chiffchaff was near to the pond as were 23+ Chaffinch and 1 Greenfinch, moving back and forth along the hedgerows near the paddocks were c35 House Sparrows and very noticeable were numerous Blackbirds.  2 House Martins were also noted as they flew over SW. KA

13th - It was a cloudy start and slightly cool but not cold and this changed little through the day.  A change of wind direction for this morning, giving winds of ESE and these remained mostly of moderate strength with the occasional lighter winds for the duration.  The scrape was still quiet as at today's viewing, with 4 Blk T Godwits and a single Snipe being the waders, while the ducks were 34 Wigeon and 70+ Teal.  2 Rock Pipits were on the breakwater rocks and generally around the site were 4 of each Wheatear and Fieldfare, 1 Mistle and 3 Song Thrushes, 3 Chiffchaff and a Blackcap.  Off-shore sightings provided 900+ Brent Geese (09.30-10.30hrs) and at c13.00hrs, a Pomarine Skua headed SW, as had the Brents. MR.     

14th - Again some ESE winds to begin the day, these being of a moderate strength.  The temperature first thing -definitely more chilly than yesterday!  The day became generally very pleasant and warm.  From 07.00-10.00hrs, a ringing session along with seawatching provided singles of Wren, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Blackbird and Song Thrush, 2 Goldcrests and 2 Robins - all now adorning new rings, while a juv Gannet flew N, 2 Tern sp. were distant on the horizon, a party of 5 Grey Herons came in/off and c30 Common Scoter were viewed, as were 2 Lesser Redpolls and 60+ Goldfinch.  A Yellow-Legged Gull was also on the site. SC.  A separate seawatch from 07.15-08.10hrs gave a single R-B Merganser (fem) flying S, 12 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 497 Brent Geese (435 S + 62 N), 1 Fieldfare, 14 Common Scoter and 113 Goldfinch - the latter two species +/- the previous totals.  Located in the area near to Tariq, were a male Blackcap, 3 Fieldfares and 2 Reed Buntings. AD.  A brief look from the Sailing Club area mid-afternoon, gave 20 Brent Geese heading S off-shore, while heading S over the site were a flock of some 600+ StarlingsBlackbirds were noted coming in/off during the earlier watch and also mid-afternoon. KA/AD.

15th - Bright sun this morning alongside some light to moderate SE winds and a fairly clear sky.  The day progressed to being very warm in the sun, winds became stronger and the evening definitely drew quickly from dusk at 18.30hrs to dark before 19.00hrs.  No reports were returned for the site in general today, however, a ringing session (PNt) took place for which the updates are available on Recent Activities.        

16th - Another very bright day and again warm in the sun, although it was a very chilly start.  The winds began as light Westerlies, moving slightly through the day to WSW and after some stronger sessions, the winds were back to light by the time a gentle pink glow dictated dusk.  A morning visit to site (08.30-10.30hrs), took in a search of the bushes and hedgerows from the carpark going to and including, a brief viewing from the main hide.  Apart from the sighting of PRD (back from the Scilly Isles), the highlights were of 10 Fieldfares that flew over the carpark, 2+ Stonechats on and around the mounds and another Stonechat by the stile (main hide).  Still very low of water, a very quiet scrape held just 5 Grey Herons, 50+ Wigeon and 15+ Teal of any note.  During an afternoon survey of the Farm area, both Linnets and Skylarks were seen in good numbers as they fed amongst the stubble.  A single Swallow flew over. IM

17th - Bright, blue skies and some cloud for this morning, along with some moderate SW winds.  During the day the winds increased to strong and gusting locally reached c40mph.  By early evening the wind direction had turned slightly to SSW.  A cycle ride in from the Frinton end of site to the sluice and back (09.00-09.45hrs) provided reports of at least 3 Wheatears (prob Greenland), a Purple Sandpiper on the rocks at the Frinton end and 2 Turnstones on the sluice.  There was a good finch movement noted with c150 Gold and 28 Greenfinches, 8 Siskins and 4 Lesser Redpolls, also 38 Meadow Pipits, 23 Skylarks and 2 Reed Buntings heading South along the seawall areas.  The highlight of this visit, was that of a Ringtail Hen Harrier that gave superb views at extremely close range.  This bird was quartering the area immediately inland of the seawall in front of the second hide and during observations "it dropped to the ground on a couple of occasions, only to be disturbed by walkers/dog before disappearing in the bramble/scrub just inland from the pill box".  It is presumed to be the same bird that slightly earlier, was seen to fly in/off from Frinton. (Of note: Viewed from literally just outside of the boundary, a passing S E Owl flew over the sea in a Southerly direction, hence past the Haven). PBr

18th - Rain began play today but this had eased and then stopped by 08.00hrs, giving way to mostly blue skies with some cloud and a very bright sun.  Winds were moderate to strong WSW initially, along with gusting of c31mph.  Both the direction and strong gusting remained constant throughout the day.  Initial reports (09.00hrs) gave that a pair of Bearded Tits* were just North of the mound adjacent to the Golf Course. The birds were not showing particularly well from this reeded area due to the high winds.  3 Purple Sandpipers were on the seawall, in the vicinity of the turret opposite the slopes/rocks, whilst a Wheatear was also along the seawall.  Heading S at this time, were c100 Goldfinch, 3 Siskins and 20 Skylarks. PBr.  Surveying the site from 09.40 - 11.20hrs provided additional birds for on and around the rest of the site, including five of the Gull species, Med, L.B.B., G.B.B., Herring and Black Headed for which the respective totals were 1, 40, 3, 60 and 250.  Ducks were 133 Wigeon and 82 Teal, while a single Turnstone was located, Golden Plovers numbered 45 and Lapwings were at 34.  A single Chiffchaff was noted as were 15 L-T Tits, 13 Goldfinch and 1 Wheatear. SC

19th - A bright morning but definitely a chilly one early on!  Winds were of a moderate strength (occasional variation up and down from this) and remained in a direction of WNW for the duration.  First reports in this morning (09.10hrs) were of a good Finch passage once again and also a Black Redstart (imm type) that was located at the Southern end of the Beach Huts, while a single Wheatear was on the seawall and a Med Gull (ad) was on the beach.  Seen heading over the Golf Course and then to land in the hedges beyond the grazing marsh, was a Common BuzzardPBr.  Initially concurrent with the earlier survey but continuing around the rest of the site through the morning, the second report for today gave the counts of 38+ Crossbills over, plus a single Yellowhammer, 265 Goldfinches, 12 Siskin and 12 Lesser Redpolls.  Also viewed were singles of Purple SandpiperWheatear (+/- earlier bird) and Stonechat. PRD

(NB: Finch passage South 19/10/11 - A morning Goldfinch count from the Frinton side of the boundary, gave 2,000+. PBr).

20th - A cloudy and very cold start to the day gave way to bright sun and alot of blue sky.  Winds were at WNW and light during the morning with temperatures remaining very cool.  On the scrape at 14.00hrs, were 3 Spoonbills (JK) one of which was a colour ringed juvenile (see gallery).  History of this bird to be updated as yet but it gained these rings in Germany.  A Marsh Harrier was viewed as it flew by, whilst a Rock Pipit was located at the Sluice. JK/SC. A visitor to the Haven site, reported 10 Redwings had flown in and that a Stonechat was in the vicinity. 

21st - Early morning and there was ice on the vehicles etc for the second day running!  Quite a bright and colourful dawn that was followed by fairly clear skies and that big bright yellow ball was up there too!  Cloud moved in later and was intermittent through the day, while the winds remained SW - varying light to moderate.  Viewing across the scrape this morning saw that 2 of yesterday's Spoonbills were still on site.  Singles of both Marsh Harrier and Sparrowhawk were noted. JK.  

22nd - A bright morning with some moderate to strong SSE winds that increased in strength during the day and included gusting of c32mph.  No reports returned. 

23rd - Another day of strong winds and c30mph gusting, although at +14 degrees and along with some sun, it was not exactly cold if one was sheltered from the wind.  Wind direction remained at a SSE direction.  A brief visit to the site this morning found the bushes to be pretty quiet with just a couple of Redwings and a Song Thrush prior to the area and hedges down by the hide, where a single addition was that of a Stonechat.  Viewing across the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and arable, supplied 2 Dunlin, 1 Blk T Godwit, 100+ Wigeon and 150+ Teal, while 2 Golden Plovers were amongst the Lapwings on the arable.  Singles of Merlin and Sparrowhawk were in the vicinity. MR/PL.   

24th - Some pretty good gale force SE winds this morning, with wind speeds at c26mph and gusting recorded locally of c38mph.  These speeds and the gusting increased as the day progressed and continued into the evening.  Mostly bright and sunny today but alot of cloud across the blue skies above.  A few visits were made to the hide today but two sea-watching sessions were the order of the morning beginning at 07.30hrs and going through to 12.00hrs.  The views across the scrape gave 2 Turnstones, 1 Blk T Godwit, 12 Brent Geese, 70+ Wigeon and 90+ Teal, whilst of 45 Dunlin that flew over the scrape, 8 of these decided to land on it. PRD/MR.  At 11.50hrs, 2 Spoonbills re-appeared on the scrape, of which one was the colour-ringed bird of 20th October. JK/MR/PRD.  The first sea-watch from 07.30hrs to 10.00hrs provided 2 R-B Mergansers, 1 Arctic Skua, 2 Curlews, 10 Dunlin, 280 Brent Geese and 30+ Skylarks all heading SW.  A single Wheatear was also located. SC.  The second watch (10.00 - 12.00hrs), noted 2 Pomarine and 1+ Great (Bonxie) Skuas, 1 Red T Diver, singles of Kittiwake, Gannet and Cormorant, 4 Eider (drakes), 19 Wigeon, 199 Brent Geese and 2 Sanderling - again all these species were flying SW. SC/PRD/MR/GB

25th - A bit of a dreary start to the day but it was just slightly warmer.  Moderate Southerly winds held for the duration and the temperature increased through the morning and with a bright sun, it made for a glorious afternoon.  An interesting day at the Haven with many observers on and around the site from morning until early evening.  Located at 09.25hrs, a Yellow Browed Warbler* (PRD) was seen in the sycamores in the rear of the sluice cottage gardens, viewed from the area next to Tariq (memorials at top end of carpark).  This bird and several others including 2 Firecrests and a Chiffchaff in and around this area, were all being slightly elusive at the time.  At 11.50hrs, along the hedgerows of the upper carpark (beyond the picnic tables), a Pallas's Warbler* (PL) was also located, this bird only showed briefly to two observers.  Despite searching by many, this Pallas's could not be relocated.  Later in the afternoon however (c15.00-16.00hrs), the Yellow Browed showed again in the gardens and while watching this bird, the observers were treated to views of a Pallas's Warbler also in the sycamore.  This was deemed to be the second of this species on site today, further to the relative observations of the earlier bird.  Through the day and across the site generally, there was an obvious movement of all birds and species, some of this quite possibly following the weather of yesterday - gale force winds that mostly varied upwards of force 7.  A S E Owl flew in/off and over, a Ring-tail Hen Harrier and a female Merlin were viewed, 2 Mistle Thrushes came in/off, 4 Grey Wagtails were also fly-overs, 60+ Golden Plovers were noted as they flew over the scrape and 100+ Brent Geese headed S.  Other noted movement included 30+ Siskin, 60+ Lesser Redpolls, 60+ Goldfinches, 15+ Linnets and some 20+ Chaffinch.  On and around the site were 2 Spoonbills (on the scrape once again), 3 Firecrests and 2 Chiffchaff (both the latter inc. those with the Y-BW), 1 Goldcrest, 1 Willow Warbler, 2+ Blackcaps, a Kingfisher was in front of the hide, a Purple Sandpiper was amongst the Turnstones (on the scrape), 3 Jays were along the approach road, Redwings were around and also moving through in one's, two's and small parties, while the Blackbirds were literally everywhere! PRD/PL/MR/KA/JBS/GS/AEC et al.       

26th - After some heavy rain and storms last night, the morning was once again not overly cold but it was very dull to begin with.  Bright sun did follow and apart from a few grey clouds and a little bit of rain, it remained quite pleasant right through to late afternoon.......then it went awry..... heavy rain, hailstones, thunder and lightening!  Winds increased in strength from earlier moderate SSW to being strong with additional gusting of c35mph.  By evening, the direction was Southerly.  The Pallas's Warbler proved to be still on site, when it finally decided to show very well for just a few minutes 12.00 - 12.05hrs.  A single Firecrest was noted and around the site generally (07.30-11.50hrs), were 2 Song Thrushes, 6 Redwings, the Little Owl and numerous Robins and Blackbirds.  6 Turnstones were located along the coastline, an adult Med Gull was seen and probably wondering where his mates have gone - was a single southbound Swallow!  Other S and SW movement included 500+ Goldfinches, 30+ Siskins, 30+ Skylarks, 10+ Linnets and 2 Lesser Redpolls, also 35 Knot and 50+ Brent Geese.  Over on the scrape, 2 Spoonbills were still in residence, alongside 1 Blk T Godwit, 100+ Teal and 200+ Wigeon.  A Sparrowhawk was also viewable from the hide. PRD/MRDuring another observation of the scrape, additional birds noted were those of 2 Turnstones, 20 Stock Doves and 8 Red-L Partridges. JK

27th - It was slightly damp underfoot at times during the morning with some moderate to strong SSE winds, along with gusting of c27mph.  Although the sun tried and succeeded a few times, the day remained basically very overcast and the afternoon saw alot of rain.   The Pallas's Warbler along with a Firecrest was again seen in the sycamore behind sluice cottages - this was not until 13.15hrs and this was the only confirmed sighting of the Pallas's today. SR.  Various observers were on and around the site today and the reports included those of the 2 Spoonbills being still on the scrape (these were seen to take flight very late afternoon/just prior to dusk), also a Common Buzzard, 2 Merlins of which one flew straight through and the other was on the arable, 2+ Sparrowhawks, a Firecrest was also seen in the bushes in the main area of the carpark, 3 Swallows flew over S and a movement was noted early this morning of c40 Goldfinches.  A sea-watch during the morning supplied four species heading S, consisting of 35 Dunlin, 8 Common Gulls, 8 Common Scoters and 25 Brent Geese, while heading N was a probable Blk-T Diver.  The arable held 180+ Lapwings and 50+ Golden Plovers - these were very flightly during the afternoon.  Of note on the scrape, were at least 80 Wigeon, 176 Teal and 8 Cormorants, the Greylag Geese numbered 55 on there this morning but these +/- a few, relocated to the grazing marsh later on.  Late in the day, a few observers watching from near to Tariq, were given a good laugh, at the expense of both a Green Woodpecker and a Sparrowhawk.  These two birds were chasing one another along the brook towards and literally around the Green Wood's telegraph pole....... and they certainly made sure that all those around could hear the fiasco! PRD/MR/KA/AD/IM/CMG/AF.

28th - Today began with some light N winds and a dull drizzly sky.  By 09.30hrs, the skies were still quite grey but the sun had made an appearance and generally the morning became much brighter.  Late morning, the winds turned slightly to NE, then to ENE by mid-afternoon, by which time the skies were once again very overcast.  Observers and members of the ringing team were on site today and reports for the ringing session are on "Recent Activities".

29th - A misty start to what became quite a pleasant day.  Winds were initially light to moderate SW, varying little in direction to end the day as SSW but the strength increased late in the day and had some added gusting during the evening.  A very nice find, by Ian Minton, on the pond at Great Holland Hall (farm) was that of a Mandarin Duck* (fem).  Viewed by several observers during the afternoon, the Mandarin (see gallery) spent alot of it's time under the bare overhanging branches but did show nicely a few times. IM/KA/AD/PRD.  Members of the ringing team were again on site and their netted birds included 2 female Bullfinches and 6 Lesser Redpolls - their full listings have been updated on Recent Activities.  2 Swallows and a single House Martin were seen as they flew over S, while including those trapped, some 50+ Lesser Redpolls were also noted. PRD/GG.  Generally around the site and reported by various observers, the rest of today's species included 6 Whooper Swans* that appeared from beyond the grazing marsh and continued in a SW direction, low and out along the coast (these had already been seen over Kirby), the 2 Spoonbills were again on the scrape, a Wheatear was on the first turret and a Grey Wagtail flew over the sewage farm area.  3+ Goldcrests were located, while 30+ Siskin, 20+ Goldfinch and a single Reed Bunting were Southbound birds, as were 1 Knot and 20+ Brent Geese. (various obs).  

30th - Generally a grey day, although there was brief spell of brighter weather during the morning.  Winds during the morning were mainly light to moderate and of SSW direction with some occasional gusting.  By mid-afternoon the winds were more of a "moderate-plus" and gusting was at c25mph, however, it could not be classed as a cold day.  A ringing session went ahead today, albeit a quiet one for GG (Recent Activities).  Seen from the sluice area at 10.35hrs, 2 Swallows heading S, were reported for the site. LJ.  Mid-afternoon on the field next to the marshes road, were some 10+ Golden Plovers with c30 LapwingsKA

31st - A colourful dawn this morning, along with and followed by, some Southerly light to moderate winds and some cool temperatures but not cold.  Apart from a little bit of morning drizzle, the forecasts pretty much came through and it was a fairly pleasant day, just a bit grey at times.  Winds turned to SSE and were of moderate to strong by the evening.  Surveying the site today, found that the 2 Spoonbills were residing once more on the scrape, while viewing from the hide across this area and the surrounding grazing marsh/arable, also gave 2 Common Buzzards, a juvenile Yellow-Legged Gull, 2 Snipe, 20 Golden Plovers and 60+ Lapwing, 2 Shelducks, 100+ Wigeon and 190+ Teal, while Brent and Greylag Geese numbered 17 and 67 respectively.  Located along the seawall and the immediate areas thereof, supplied singles of Wheatear and Rock Pipit, 10 Skylarks, 4 Reed Buntings and 3 Turnstones.  Walking the approach road and also observing across the Sailing Club compound, gave 2 of each Redwing and Song Thrush, 15+ Blackbirds (the latter just on the approach road), 6 House Sparrows, 2 Reed Buntings (6 total today) and a Chiffchaff (in the compound).  10 Siskins were noted as they flew over these areas and rounding up today's birds, a Grey Wagtail was at the Sewage Farm. PRD/MR

As at 31st October, the Haven 2011 Year List stands at 185.

 

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