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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Site Year Tick: *


1st - Cool, damp and a tad on the breezy side for the first morning of this month!  SSW winds were predominant at 07.00hrs with speeds varying 21mph through 29+mph, along with some extra blasts of 33mph.  Rain - drizzle and some heavier - was intermittent early on, together with alot of grey cloud-cover.  The wind direction turned to WSW by the evening but strengths remained the same, the on/off rain however became decidedly worse through the day.  The Wryneck was still on site as at 11.20hrs, for it's third day, once again located in the Dell, in bushes near to the toilet block.  Unfortunately with all the rain, the site was generally very quiet and even a short seawatching session only gave 2 Wigeon and 27 Brent Geese heading S.  The notables of today in and around the bushes and hedgerows of the carpark and vicinity thereof, were singles of Goldcrest and Blackcap, 8+ Chiffchaffs, 1 Little Owl and a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker. MR/IM.

2nd - Cloud-cover again this morning but the sun did have it's moments!  In fact the sun when out, was exceptionally bright against the dull cloud.  Initial winds were SW with speeds that varied c19mph through 24+mph and gusting of up to 29mph.  By dusk, the winds were SW through SSW and had increased somewhat to 33+mph and 40+mph respectively.  The evening also brought some rain.  The Wryneck was on site this morning - situated back in the bushes by the Sailing Club's boat compound as at c08.30hrs and was still viewable at 15.45hrs.  Early morning saw at least 1 Sand Martin along with 30+ House Martins, 80+ Swallows and in excess of 100 Goldfinches all moving over/through the site on migration.  A S E Owl, during this survey, was viewable from the hide, whilst 2 Little Owls, 2 Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk were around the site, as were 2 Goldcrests, 3 Blackcaps and 8+ Chiffchaffs.  Across the scrape and the surrounding area were 3 Snipe, 4 Blk T Godwits and 62 Lapwings, 4 Shoveler, 18 Wigeon and 132 Teal of note. MR/IM.  Singles of Whinchat, Stonechat and Wheatear were added to the list for today further to a walk to the Frinton end of the site. IM.

3rd - Generally quite a bright dry morning with patches of blue sky between the clouds and some sun.  Some strong WSW winds prevailing for the morning (20mph through 31+mph) with gusting of up to 36mph.  The latter part of the morning and into the afternoon, not only saw some heavy rain for a while but the winds increased to 35+mph and 42mph respectively.  The Wryneck (see Gallery) on it's fifth day on the site, was once more in/on the bushes by the Sailing Club's boat compound. MR/PBr.  An early visit to the site coming 'in from and returning to' the Frinton end, provided a Purple Sandpiper with 12 Turnstones on the beach and a total of 2 Wheatears and 12 Meadow Pipits along the seawall. PBr.  Species in and around the Ringing Compound (07.15-12.15hrs) included a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker (1Y male), Blackcap and Chiffchaff with sightings also had of at least 50 of each Swallows and House Martins over/through site, 160 Goldfinches (mostly moving through), 10+ Meadow Pipits and "repeated Grey Wagtail flyovers" - probably 2 birds but a possibility of 5.  Late morning saw a Wheatear (+/- earlier birds) on the seawall. SC.  The Wryneck was still in the vicinity as at 14.40hrs and whilst viewing this bird, a flock of 30 Golden Plovers flew onto the field beyond the Dipping Pond. IM.  Off-shore viewing by a site visitor, gave Arctic and Great (Bonxie) Skuas heading S past the Haven and also a distant Petrel sp., possibly that of a Leach's. FT

4th - Some Westerly winds prevailed today with speeds that varied 12mph through 23+mph and occasional gusting of up to 29mph.  Mostly blue skies and bright for the early afternoon and temperature readings for the coastline were at +15 degrees.  No Wryneck reports by 17.00hrs.  Observations through the morning provided 2 Common Buzzards, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk, 1 Gt. Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Little Owls, with the trees, bushes and hedgerows around the site giving 1 Common and 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 1 Goldcrest, 10+ Chiffchaffs, 14+ Blackcaps and 2 Whinchat, whilst c40 Goldfinches were feeding on thistles near to the hide.  Species across the scrape area during this survey were 1 Snipe, 4 Blk T Godwits, 130 Lapwings, 6 Shoveler, 18 Wigeon and a noticeable increase of Teal to 220.  Migrating birds and their totals were 1 Siskin, 30+ Meadow Pipits and 300+ Goldfinches.  Also noted on the report was that the movement of both House Martins and Swallows was a "steady stream". MR/IM.  

5th - After a night of high winds and virtually constant rain - the early morning faired little better.  Strong SW winds were in excess of 37mph and gusting in excess of 40mph along the coast before dawn.  By 08.30hrs, the winds were at NNW and c6mph, whilst the sky was by then blue with some white cloud!  Wind direction changed again later, to leave Westerly winds prevailing and a very changeable speed thereof.  A few attempts of rain also later in the day.  'Quiet on site around the trees, bushes and hedgerows' would be the understatement for today with notables being just 1 Blackcap, 3+ Chiffchaffs and a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker.  Fly-over totals of Goldfinches proved to be the best of today's numbers with 250+ moving through.  Migrating Swallows and House Martins were viewed but in much lower counts than in recent days. IM

6th - Following another night of heavy rain, the morning dried up and brightened to give a cool but pleasant outlook for the day.  Winds from light to moderate through the morning and by mid-afternoon they were at ENE and still variable from barely a breeze to 16+mph, whilst occasional gusting varied up to 21mph.  No reports returned.

7th - A bright, dry and generally sunny day that saw initial NNW light to moderate winds, turn to Easterlies of much the same speeds.  Occasional gusting of up to c14mph and temperatures that did eventually warm up to reach +13 degrees - although as the dusk drew in, the temperature dropped very quickly!  Further to the recent heavy rains (mostly through night-times) the scrape is subsequently rather flooded and therefore the Lapwings, Greylag Geese and the usual Ducks were spread far and wide across the grass and grazing areas.  Apart from 2 Redwing that were notable flyovers, the site throughout, held 1 S E Owl, 2 Little Owls, 1 Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrels.  Also noted, were 1 Common and 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 10+ Goldcrests, 18+ Blackcaps, 25+ Chiffchaffs and 2 Song Thrushes. MR/SC/PNt.

8th - After a dawn that looked as if the sky was on fire, the day progressed to be generally bright although some light rain did occur several times from c12.30hrs on/off through the afternoon.  SE winds were the order of the day, varying 7mph through 22+mph and gusting that varied 16mph through 26+mph - the lighter speeds of both being mostly during the afternoon.  Two seawatching sessions took place on site today and although neither had quite the numbers and birds that flew past the much earlier Frinton watch, there was still a bit of variety including six Skuas.  From 07.30hrs to 10.00hrs, Gannets (15) and Brent Geese (16) were the only species heading N, whilst ten species were all flying S.  Noted Southbound birds were 396 Brent Geese, 47 Gannets, 2 Pomarine, 1 Great (Bonxie) and 3 Arctic Skuas, 2 Gt. Crested Grebes, 6 Common Scoters, 13 Wigeon, 15 Teal and 4 Curlews.  Observations of the bush and hedgerow areas this morning, gave that these were quiet but did note 3 Goldcrests amongst the Tit flock. MR.  The second seawatch (12.10-14.20hrs) consisted of all Southbound birds with just the exception of an adult Med Gull that was feeding off-shore.  A Merlin was recorded along with 1 Pintail, 14 Wigeon, 1 juvenile Gannet and 221 Brent Geese in this latter watch. SC.  

9th - A bit of a chilly start - but then that's really to be expected most days now - with the temperature by mid-day reaching +12 degrees.  Generally very bright and sunny with NE through ENE winds of variable speeds 7mph through 13+mph and occasional gusting of up to 18mph.  Two observers were on site this morning and the surveyed areas included those of the scrape, grazing marsh and off-shore, also the trees, bushes and hedgerows across the site and ringing compounds.  Seawatching for 45 minutes supplied counts of 1 Common Scoter (S), 22 Brent Geese (S12+N10) and fishing closely just off-shore was a Red-T Diver.  Four species of Wader and three of Duck were noted on the scrape, being 1 Blk T Godwit, 2 Redshanks, 14 Snipe and 80+ Lapwings, 5 Shoveler, 40+ Wigeon and 200+ Teal.  Singles of S E Owl, Barn Owl (box), KestrelSparrowhawkJay (in the hand), Redwing and Reed Bunting were viewed, as were 2 of each Little Owls, Song Thrush and House Sparrow, 3 Goldcrests and 6 Chiffchaffs, whilst some 30+ Goldfinches flew over in a Northerly direction. MR/SC.  Additional sightings were of 1 Sparrowhawk, 1+ Grey Wagtails and 4 Swallows. SC.

10th - Light N through NNE winds of c5mph up to 8mph for prior to 06.00hrs and occasional extra blasts of up to 11mph, along with at the time a clear but still dark sky.  The day progressed to be generally bright but cool, the wind direction turned to become ESE with an increase of strength up to 13mph and gusting of up to 16mph.  A "presumed escape" Emperor Goose was located on the scrape mid-afternoon. TJ.  Noted on and around the site trees, bushes and hedgerows were 1 Blackcap, 2 Goldcrests, 2 House Sparrows, 6+ Chiffchaffs with singles of both Sparrowhawk and Kestrel also being viewed, along with notable increases of both Blackbirds and Chaffinch.  A total of 50 Goldfinches were seen moving N in small flocks.  12 Snipe, 157 Lapwings, 6 Shoveler, 52 Wigeon and 200+ Teal were on the scrape, while the "presumed escapee" was reported as being with the Greylags in the morning too. MR.  A site visit over mid-afternoon, included counts of 150 Brent Geese (heading S), 1 Common Buzzard and a S E Owl. SG.  A brief evening visit provided views of 1 Grey Wagtail (with a shiny new ring) that was feeding in the area 'land/brook side' of the sluice and also seen was a Fulmar. PNt.   

11th - Stronger winds to start the morning with some pre-dawn SE winds of 12mph through 20+mph along with some gusting of 24+mph.  Slightly warmer (+12+ degrees) in the earlier hours - this changed considerably after dawn when the wind-chill factor was helped by even more gusting, this in turn reached 30+mph.  The Emperor Goose (presumed to be an escape) (See Gallery) was once again on the scrape area with species and numbers much as per those of yesterday.  Noted during this visit were 3 Goldcrests.  The main time (by two observers) on site this morning was spent seawatching.  From 07.15hrs to 09.45hrs, this provided 1 Guillemot that was on the sea (close in), 5 Red-T Divers, 4 Common Scoters and 4 Brent Geese all flying N, while heading S were 1 Turnstone, 9 Common Scoters, 20 Wigeon and 226 Brent Geese. MR/SC.  A visit and observations - also during the morning and up to mid-day - supplied 1+ Grey Wagtails and 2 Chiffchaffs near to the Sewage Farm, a male Stonechat along the route to the Golf Course, also 2 Rock Pipits and a Water Rail - the latter heard "squealing from the reedbeds near the hide".  Off-shore species were of 1 juvenile Kittiwake that was seen just off the sluice before it flew S (08.35hrs), 2 Gannets (ads) heading N, also 3 Common Scoters (S) that at 09.00hrs could be +/- the Scoters listed above. MP.  An afternoon survey (12.30-14.30hrs) gave additions for today of 1 Great (Bonxie) Skua (N then sat on sea), 1 drake Common Scoter (S), whilst a Firecrest was located in the Approach Road wood. GB

12th - After some heavy rain last night the morning remained dull and overcast with Westerly winds of 18mph through 24+mph and gusting of 31+mph.  The winds increased later in the day to 29+mph and 34+mph respectively.  A seawatching session that took place over a two hour period gave 90 Dunlin (50+20+20), 15 Common Scoters, 20 Wigeon and 250+ Brent Geese that were all heading S.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh during this visit, were counts of 4 Snipe, 1 Little Egret, 10 Shoveler, 50+ Wigeon, 120+ Teal and the Emperor Goose was still around.  Also noted were c500 Starlings that were viewed from the hide.  Singles of both Knot and Ringed Plover were on the sluice, whilst the bushes provided just 1 Chiffchaff of any particular note. IM.  An evening wander down to the Golf Course from the Farm (18.00-19.00hrs) saw very little bird-wise, mainly on account of it being after sunset!  A Green Woodpecker was seen as was a S E Owl.  The latter gave superb views over the fields at the rear of the Course and also sat watching the two observers from c25metres away - the S E Owl was still sitting there when our youngest member called "Bye bye Owl" to go home. PBr/KBr.  

13th - A mixed day of weather although generally very pleasant.  Sun, blue skies, grey clouds, some on/off drizzle and rain and a few rainbows too!  By the early evening the wind direction was at NW and the speeds had varied through the day from 4mph through 23+mph and gusting had reached up to 26mph.  An early afternoon wander around some of the site provided views of a female Goosander that was sitting on the sea and drifting with the tide, a Ringed Plover was on the sluice, a single Grey Wagtail flew over the area of the Sewage Farm, a Kestrel sat for some time upon the vane of the water turbine and amongst the many Teal, Wigeon, Lapwings and Gulls on the scrape area, were 5+ Snipe and 1+ Blk T Godwits of note. AD/KA.  Reports from earlier in the day for species in and around the trees and bushes, gave 3 Firecrests of which 2 were located in the area opposite the Approach Road, the other at the lower end of the carpark, 9 Siskins were viewed in tree-tops (2 lay-by near main entrance + 7 Dipping Pond), 6+ Goldcrests, 3+ Chiffchaffs, 1 Gt. Spotted Woodpecker and 3 Redwings.  3 Sparrowhawks were noted, 2 Common Buzzards were seen soaring over Sluice Cottages, whilst a sight to be had was the one of 3 S E Owls as they 'sat on three posts in a line down the fence to the left-hand side of the hide'.  Goldfinch movement was evident throughout the day with a joint count of 500+ from two observers.  A Turnstone was also on the sluice. PL/IM.  Proffered by two visitors (via IM) were additional reports of 3 R-T Divers and 7 Common Scoters heading S and that of a juvenile Gannet flying N.

14th - A bright sunny day with blue skies and mostly white clouds, along with NW through NNW winds of c9mph through 17mph and gusting of up to 22mph.  A coastline temperature of +11 degrees but it definitely felt much colder on the site in the chilly NW winds.  And a Haven Year Bird appeared for today's reports when 9 Bearded Tits* flew into view in front of the hide at 12.30hrs before all too quickly heading directly up the line of the main reed-bed to the far end of the scrape/Owl box vicinity.  There had been no further reported sign of these birds by 14.30hrs.  A single Med Gull and 3 Little Egrets were seen during this visit, as were 2 of each Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Green Woodpeckers and a single Swallow. AM.  A WeBS count carried out 09.00-11.00hrs provided counts of 1 Blk T Godwit, 1 Snipe, 117 Lapwings, 1 Little Grebe (at rear of scrape), 8 Cormorants, 4 Shoveler, 75 Wigeon, 220 Teal, 156 Greylag Geese and of course Mallards of which these numbered 21 (inc. 5 'domestic' type). SC/PC.  Around the site in general through the day were notables of 2 S E Owls, 3 Stonechats (2 in the afternoon near the hide, possibly from the morning count), 4 Lesser Redpolls, 2 Gt. Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Redwing (latter 3 species Sewage Farm area), 2 Chiffchaffs and 1 Blackcap also 3 TurnstonesSC/PC/AM/AD/GG/PNt.  A second Year Bird for the day was that of a Brambling*PNs

15th - A very chilly start to the morning at +5 degrees with Westerly winds of c12mph and occasional gusting of up to 17mph.  Early cloud-cover was eventually broken by an intermittent sun but the day although quite bright, remained 'cool' with the wind speeds increasing throughout - up to 30mph/gusting up to 33mph - and at times giving wind-chill factors down to +1.2 degrees.  Two observers surveyed the site through the morning and found the carpark bushes to be hosting 3 Goldcrests, 4 Chiffchaffs and 2 Redwings, whilst the areas from the sluice heading along the route to the third turret (towards Frinton) supplied 3 of each Reed Buntings and Stonechats, 50+ Meadow Pipits, 1 Rock Pipit and 6 Pied Wagtails.  Also noted along this stretch were 12 Swallows, 1 Grey Wagtail and 150+ Goldfinches (in small flocks) that were all flying S, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Turnstones and seen on the pool below the second turret was a Little Grebe.  Viewing from the hide across the scrape and surrounding area gave singles of Little Egret, Blk T Godwit, Turnstone and Common Gull, 10 Shoveler, 80+ Wigeon, 200+ Teal and firm favourites, 2 S E Owls.  Off-shore movement from a 'quick look out' was that of a Red-T Diver heading N and 10 Brent Geese moving S. IM/MR.

16th - A bit of a damp beginning today but thereafter dry, mostly bright and very windy!  WSW winds became W before turning again in the evening to SW.  Variable speeds from 13mph through 36mph and gusting up to 45mph - the gusting being at it's highest through the morning and down to c20+mph for the evening.  Two observers were on site for the morning where their initial survey (shelter near Sailing Club) was of the off-shore movement which supplied 1 Grey Plover, 1 Oystercatcher, 5 Wigeon and 22 Brent Geese that were all flying S.  Later views from the sluice provided a Red-T Diver also heading S off-shore and on the rocks were 3 Turnstones.  A single Blackcap was the only bird of any note in the carpark bushes during a brief look, whilst the bushes by the hide held 2 Stonechats.  Across the scrape and grazing marsh areas - viewable from the hide - counts were made of 1 Blk T Godwit, 1 Curlew, 6 Snipe, 36 Lapwings, 10 Shoveler, 88 Wigeon and with a noticeable increase in numbers, were 300+ Teal.  Also noted from the hide 1 Sparrowhawk and a Grey Wagtail was seen from the sluice as it flew over towards the Sewage Farm. IM/MR.  

17th - After rain through the night, this continued on/off to c08.00hrs along with SSW strong winds of 23mph through 41+mph and variable strength gusting of up to 46mph.  Bright and sunny by 09.00hrs and mostly blue skies with some grey clouds during the day, the wind changed it's direction to SSE, whilst the rain was back again for the evening.  Reported for around and over the site (09.30-15.00hrs) were 2 Goldcrests, 3 Blackcaps, 4 Siskin, 2+ Redwings, 8 Swallows and heading over SW were 7 Redpoll sp. (10.58hrs).  Singles of Little Grebe, Grey Heron and Sparrowhawk were also listed. GB

18th - Generally a pleasant and slightly warmer day today (+14+ degrees) with some occasional drizzle - although a few clouds did look like something much heavier was going to hit the deck!  Wind speeds were very variable with a maximum of 26mph recorded along the coastline, along with gusting of up to 32mph.  The highlight of the day had to be the FIVE S E Owls that were seen from the hide at 12.45hrs and were still around later on.  Four of these superb birds were sitting on posts around the scrape, whilst the fifth was quartering the field beyond - all S E Owls viewable at the same time.  Other noted birds on and around the scrape area were 1 Blk T Godwit, 3 Turnstones, 6 Snipe, 10 Shoveler, 80+ Wigeon and 310 Teal.  A colour-ringed Herring Gull, last reported at the Haven almost exactly a year ago in October 2011, was seen in this vicinity.  Another 9 Turnstones were seen to land briefly on the seawall slightly later, these 9 then flew S.  Moving S off-shore (a.m.) were 9 Dunlin and 18 Brent Geese of note and a 2W Med Gull was located also off-shore.  Some of the 30+ count of Meadow Pipits were heading S, as were 200+ Goldfinches and 2 Swallows and of 2 Lesser Redpolls on route initially together, 1 perched for a while on the hedgerow.  The bushes in general held 6 Goldcrests, 3 Reed Buntings (2 Dell area + 1 further on-site) and 1 resident Little Owl.  The wander to the Golf Course also provided - along with the Mipits, 4 Skylarks, 1 Kestrel, views of a Sparrowhawk chasing the Starlings on the back fields and on the pool (Frinton end) a Little Grebe. SC/MR/IM/RWf.   

19th - Temperature-wise quite pleasant (a.m.) at +13+ degrees but the on/off rain and corresponding cloud-cover making it somewhat dismal - more so with the afternoon drizzle/rain being more on than off!  SE through ESE winds of barely a breeze through to 12mph with just a few extra blasts for the morning, changed as the day wore on with slightly stronger winds and gusting of up to 16mph.  Observations from 07.15-12.00hrs gave 3 Goldcrests in the ringing compound area and views of 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 of each BlackcapChiffchaff and Song Thrush, 1 Redwing, 1 Green Woodpecker and 9 Redpoll sp. (8 over early on and then a single bird). SC.  Also surveying through the morning and then continuing into the afternoon, a further report gave 6+ Goldcrests and 2 Reed Buntings around the carpark bushes whilst a Firecrest was showing well by the five-bar gate near Sluice Cottages.  A Stonechat was seen from the hide, as was a Reed Warbler and both S E Owls and Barn Owl were represented by counts of 3 and 1 respectively.  A Grey Wagtail may/may not have been the same bird as previously mentioned.  Across the scrape and grazing marsh were totals of 1 Blk T Godwit, 5 Snipe, 8 Shoveler, 100+ Wigeon and 300+ TealIM.

20th - A pleasant day but virtually constant cloud-cover with not too many views of the sun!  The temperature sat at +14 degrees for the majority of the day and the winds pretty much remained Westerlies of speeds 3mph through 15+mph and occasional gusting of up to 18mph.  Two observers surveying throughout the majority of the site today, found that the bushes and hedgerows were fairly quiet of bird-life with 1 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Little Owl and 1 Gt. Spotted Woodpecker being the only notable species between the Approach Road and the sluice area.  Over head movement of 6+ Swallows was noted during this time.  From the sluice to the Golf Course, a total of 3 Stonechats (2m+fem) were viewed, a Peregrine was seen to fly across the fields towards the Golf Course, whilst briefly in the reedbed between the 2nd & 3rd turrets, 5 Bearded Tits (3m+2fem) could be seen before they flew off in the direction of the second hide.  Seawatching during this survey, provided 3 Great Skuas (Bonxies), 6 Dunlin and 3 Brent Geese that were all heading S and a drake Eider (PL) that flew N.  On the sluice rocks were 4 Med Gulls.  Species viewable from the main hide included 3 Snipe and 4 Blk T Godwits, 12 Shoveler, 150+ Wigeon (an expected but notable increase of this duck) and 300+ Teal.  2 S E Owls were in the vicinity of the scrape and surrounding area.  A particular note on this report was that "a steady flow of Starlings coming in/off during the walk back". IM/PL. An addition to the main report was that of a Merlin, seen as it flew across the pools beyond the memorials, putting everything up as it went through. MR/IM

21st - The rain that began yesterday evening carried on through the night and into this morning - very heavy at times!  A slight let-up in the rain c12.00hrs.  Wind direction of NE through ENE of moderate to strong (10mph - 22+mph) along with gusting of up to 27+mph.  Grey, damp and dismal - So what surprises were passing off-shore today or hiding quietly and attempting to stay dry in the hedgerows?  Unfortunately no major species during observations this morning but seawatching from 08.00-09.30hrs provided some movement both N and S.  A Common Scoter, 1 Oystercatcher and 4 Teal flew N, 10 Brent Geese flew S.  Sitting out on the sea were c50 Wigeon and a further 10 Brent Geese, whilst 2 Med Gulls were quite close in to the shore.  Across the scrape, it's surrounding areas and skyline, viewed from the hide, were 4 Blk T Godwits, 4 Curlews, 14 Snipe and 14 Shoveler, also singles of both S E Owl and Sparrowhawk, moving through were 2 Swallows.  The route back to the carpark supplied a Stonechat (male) showing well on the mounds and rounding up this report, 1 Chiffchaff and 7+ Goldcrests were located in/around the carpark bushes/hedgerows. PL/MR/IM.  An afternoon seawatch from 13.00hrs to 14.45hrs and dubbed "The Brent Watch" gave 500 Brent Geese heading S and 12 Brent Geese flying N. IM.

22nd - Visibility definitely not good today - on account of the fog that was there from morning til night!  Initial light Easterly winds turned to NE later, although there was little variation in the speed (up to 11mph) nor in the extra gusts of up to 14mph.  A coastline temperature by 07.45hrs of +13 degrees also remained fairly static throughout.  The report received for this morning was stated/listed as follows: "Conservative totals from 'over the road' to the sluice were 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Redstart (fem/imm), 3 Blackcap, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Owl sp.(prob. L -Eared, flushed from bush by steps out of Dell), 100+ Redwing, 50+ Blackbird, 6 Song Thrush, 35+ Robin, 30+ Chaffinch, 15+ Goldcrest, 7 Chiffs, 2+ Brambling, 2 Grey Wagtails". PRD/IM/MR.    

23rd - And the fog continues to be across the whole of the local area but not quite so thick as yesterday!  NE winds of 3mph through 12mph with the occasional gust of little extra strength, at c13mph.  The temperature for the coastline at +13 degrees.  Through this murky morning and the early afternoon, the bushes around the site held of note 4 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps, 10+ Goldcrests and some 25+ Robins, along with counts of 2 Fieldfares, 10+ Song Thrush, 40+ Blackbirds and 60+ Redwings.  Seen on the sluice were 7 Turnstones and continuing the wander to the Frinton end of site, were 10 Meadow Pipits, 2 Rock Pipits (around the second turret), 1 Little Grebe that was on the pool below the second turret and fly-overs were of 2 Swallows and 2 Grey Wagtails. MR/PRD/IM.  Several observers were able to view a L E Owl* (see Gallery) that was seen early afternoon and viewed as they quartered the adjacent field, were 2 S E Owls.  A Kestrel was also very much on view at this time, as were Redwings, Fieldfare and the localised Tit flock. PRD/IM/MR/LR/PR/KA/AD/GB.  A fly-over 13.50hrs was of a Woodlark* calling as it flew over the upper end of the service road/wood, while briefly in the Dell, some 30mins or so later, was a Ring Ouzel.  A Kingfisher was seen on a fence by the main road. GB.  Late afternoon observations found a fem/imm Black Redstart by the toilet block. PL.  After several years' absence from the Haven site of L E Owls, a second bird was seen on site at 16.30hrs.  

24th - Still a tad misty this morning along with NE through ENE winds of up to 13mph and occasional gusting recorded locally at up to 16mph.  The wind speeds increased later to 21+ and 24+ respectively.  The temperature was much as per yesterday so reasonably pleasant, just that damp foggy atmosphere for a while - brighter and clearer skies did make an appearance but then so did some rain!  A report from two observers for the morning, gave that 1 L E Owl was around, whilst in and around the site bushes generally were counts of 8+ Song Thrush, 40+ Redwings and 40+ Blackbirds, also 2 of each Reed Buntings and House Sparrows, singles of Green and Gt. Spotted Woodpeckers (latter birds located in the bush areas by the Sailing Club Compound and the Dell) and 2 Goldcrests were near the five-bar gate (by Sluice Cottages).  At the lower end of the site, a Sparrowhawk flew over the Approach Road.  The overhead movement during this survey was of 3 Brambling, 20 Siskins, 50+ Goldfinches, 55 Chaffinches and a total of 9 Swallows. MR/PRD.  A House Martin and 10+ Redpoll sp. were viewed as they flew in a Northerly direction. PRD.  Observations from 13.15-15.15hrs provided 2 S E Owls that were out hunting, one of which flushed 5 Snipe, there were 6 Turnstones along the sluice/beach areas and an adult Med Gull (Winter Plumaged) was also off the sluice.  Singles of Rock Pipit, Wheatear (fem), Grey Wagtail (Sewage Farm) and Fieldfare were noted, as were 14 Redwings, 2 pairs of Stonechats (pr by hide/pr Frinton end) and rounding up the day's reports, were a further 14 Swallows (4 + 10) that headed S. MP.  

25th - NE through NNE winds for the duration of moderate to strong through the morning and mostly strong for the afternoon and evening.  Speeds were up to 22mph before increasing up to 26+mph, while gusting reached up to 31+mph.  Visibility was much better today and not so much of that 'misty-damp' but an 'attempt' or two of drizzle.  With several observers on and around the site, the clearer coastline allowed for a couple of seawatching sessions from 08.00-10.00hrs and also from 11.30-12.30hrs.  The off-shore species included singles of Little Gull (1W), Med Gull (ad) and Kittiwake (ad), also a Curlew that flew N. SC.  The combined seawatches supplied 1 Gt. Skua (Bonxie), 1 Gannet, 2 Eiders (drakes), 8 Wigeon and 17 Brent Geese all flying N, while the Southbound birds consisted of 4 Turnstones, 1 Gannet, 1 Common Scoter, 42 Wigeon and 117 Brent Geese. (NB. latter session Wigeon 8S/3N&Brents 30S/5N).  Moving through overhead today were counts of 15+ Redpoll sp., 20+ Siskins and 300+ Goldfinches, 32 Swallows (22N+10S) and 5 Fieldfares also moving N.  The Dell was hosting a single Goldcrest while a second of these birds was again near the five-bar gate located near Sluice Cottages.  2 Redwings and 20+ Blackbirds were in and around the bushes, a Peregrine was viewed across the marsh, a single L E Owl was noted, as was a S E Owl that was viewed from the hide.  1 Curlew, 2 Ruff, 4 Blk T Godwits and 138 Lapwings were in the vicinity of the scrape and 12 Snipe came up from the marsh, flew around then disappeared from sight once again, back into the grass.  In this area during these surveys were 1 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, 130 Wigeon and 300+ Teal, there were also 4 Brent Geese and "lots of" Greylag GeeseIM/MR/SC/AEC.  A different L E Owl was seen to fly in/off the sea, across the Frinton end of site over the Golf Course and onwards across the site. PBr.  

26th - A blustery day of strong NE through ENE winds of up to 30+mph along with gusting of 35mph.  Much colder out there today, generally overcast and several occasions of rain (some heavy).  Seawatching this morning was initially from both the Shelter on the Greensward and from the nearby Sailing Club.  The totals for the off-shore passage being 2000 Brent Geese (1930S+70N), 48 Wigeon (44S+4N), 2 Teal, 57+ Common Scoters (of which 14N), c20 Dunlin, 2 Sanderlings, 2 Turnstones and a single Curlew. SC/IM/GG.  Viewing across the scrape gave 1 Snipe, 2 Spotted Redshanks, 4 Ruff and 7 Blk T Godwits of note, whilst the walk to the Frinton end of site provided 1 Bearded Tit that was heard and seen in the reedbed by the second turret.  Generally across and through/over the site during this survey, were singles of Siskin, Brambling, Wheatear and Stonechat, 3 Grey Wagtails (Sewage Farm area), 3 Chiffchaffs (1 Ringing Compound+2 toilet block), 8 Lesser Redpolls, 20+ Goldcrests, 20+ Robins, 2 Fieldfares, 3 Redwings and 50+ Blackbirds. GG.  A single L E Owl was seen today. GG/SC/IM/MP.  Additional information was of an adult Med Gull off the sluice, 30 Redwings were seen to come in/off and a Sparrowhawk was near the Sewage Farm.  5 Lesser Redpolls may be +/- the aforementioned birds. MP.  Additional seawatching gave further totals of 720 Brent Geese (620S+100N), 75 Common Scoters (50S+25N), also 1 Guillemot, 5 Gannets and 2 Manx Shearwaters. IM.  There was a report of a juv Sabine's Gull that flew N past the Haven at 16.40hrs(RBA) - this report at the moment is still unconfirmed.   

27th - A day of high winds, plenty of heavy downpours and subsequent bitterly cold temperatures!  Initial wind direction was of NE, this turned through the morning to NW through NNW with speeds reaching 29+mph.  Gusting reached speeds of 41+mph, whilst the wind-chill temperature was down at times to -3.4 degrees............. A comment made by one observer made a few of us chuckle........... "it's three coats warmer in there (shelter) than out here" and that it most definitely was!  Many observers were on and around the site at various times through the day but seawatching appeared fairly continuous, being covered by one or more at any one time.  Very little was reported for the tree and bush areas and no reports were received for the scrape.  3 Lesser Redpolls (AK) were seen from the carpark, a Ring Ouzel was in an area off the Approach Road but there were no sightings of any L E Owls at all today.  There were counts for nineteen "off-shore" species and the given totals are for the full duration from 07.30hrs:  15 Gannets (3S), 38 Common Scoter (1N), 26 Teal (7N), 4 Wigeon, 10 Eider, c70 Brent Geese, 3 R-B Mergansers (N) were fairly close in, 2 Avocets (N) were before 10.00hrs, 20+ Knot, 1 Oystercatcher, 2 Redshanks, 2 Turnstones and a Curlew.  A summer plumaged Great Northern Diver (LD) was a morning viewing, as was a Sparrowhawk heading N and 12 Siskins.  A total of 10 Fieldfares were seen to fly in/off, whilst a pretty much constant "in/off" through the day, were the flocks of Starlings.  These Starling flocks were scrutinised by all observers watching at any given time but it was a single observer late in the day who got to view the flock that came in complete with a Little Auk* (IM).  The Little Auk continued inland with it's flight companions. SC/IM/GG/SB/LD/KA/PNt/et al.  

28th - For those who remembered to put the clocks back last night, you would have found a few hours this morning of reasonable weather but it didn't last!!  The rain - including a few heavy showers - came in and continued to be on/off through the day, along with alot of overcast skies, little sun and mostly WSW winds of speeds up to 22+mph and gusting of up to 28mph.  A Long Tailed Duck*, quite a rarity off the Haven coastline, was viewed as a single female flew South, close in at c14.30hrs.  This L-T Duck is only the ninth of this species to be recorded over the many years of Haven Records. (see B of H & Bird Rep '11).  Also of note during this survey, were singles of Sparrowhawk and Swallow, whilst the scrape held 1 Dunlin and 5 Snipe.  A few Redwings were seen and Blackbirds were plenty. AlfM.

29th - A slightly warmer day temperature-wise but still mostly cloudy, some on/off rain and a wind direction that varied back and forth through WSW, W, WNW.  General wind speeds and gusting of up to 22+mph and up to 26mph respectively.  No reports returned. 

30th - Some chilly WNW through NW winds through the morning of speeds up to 17+mph with gusting of up to 20+mph. Initial conditions were cloudy but this changed to quite bright with blue sky showing amongst the then off-white clouds.  A few hours on and around the site this morning also included a short seawatch which provided 1 Gt. C Grebe that was fishing close in, 6 Brent Geese that flew S and also 2 Fieldfares and a single Sparrowhawk that flew in/off. The trees, bushes and hedgerows were certainly holding the Blackbirds during this survey with c120 noted, whilst Redwings and Song Thrushes were at 10 and 6 respectively and a further 2 Fieldfares flew through heading S.  A Goldcrest was viewed amongst the Tit flock that was 'between the two sets of carpark bushes', Goldfinch numbers were at 100+, 5 Redpoll sp. were also seen (some in the trees by the Dipping Pond) and 2 Little Owls were in the vicinity. IM/MR.  A visit to the hide supplied counts of 1 Ruff, 7 of each Blk T Godwits and Snipe, 130 Lapwings, 4 Shelduck, 20 Shoveler, 116 Wigeon and 330+ Teal.  Rounding up the species for the morning were 2 Turnstones that were located on the sluice. MR.   

31st - A mostly overcast morning with SSW winds of up to 31+mph along with gusting of up to 37+mph and also some drizzle too!  Early afternoon saw little difference to the weather but a few patches of blue sky seemed a bit more prominent.  Surveying this morning found that movement off-shore "wasn't" and the trees/bushes were none too busy either.  Blackbirds were at 55+/- with Redwings and Song Thrushes today at 6 and 2 respectively.  Singles of Little Owl and Kestrel were noted, as were 2 Sparrowhawks, whilst heading over/through in a Southerly direction were 50+ Goldfinches.  The visit to the hide provided a Water Rail (heard only in front of the hide), 2 Ruff, 8 Blk T Godwits, 150 Lapwings, also an initial count of 11 Snipe which increased to 30+ when two flocks dropped into the rear of the scrape and did their disappearing act.  Ducks on and around the scrape vicinity were 2 Gadwall, 4 Shelduck, 34 Shoveler (a notable increase of these now), 200+ Wigeon and finalising this report, some 280+ Teal. MR.

As at 31st October, the Haven 2012 Year List stands at 175.