Holland Haven Birding

Official Site Of The Holland Haven Birding Group ©

Recent Sightings

Key: Plain Text- Resident/Regular VisitorGreen -Likely to be AnnualAmber -Less than AnnualRed -Rarity. CAPITALS -New bird for site.

(The above "Colour Coding" changed for several species in 2013 due to some being now a more regular species at the Haven - which has got to be good, whilst others are unfortunately not seen/recorded here as much as they used to be. This coding is purely defined by ourselves for the Haven site). 

Archive:  Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   June   July   Aug   Sept   Oct   Nov   Dec 

Site Year Tick*


1st - Several birders were on and around the site today and a Ringing Session also took place.  The latter involved 11 birds of six species and included both Long-tailed and Blue Tits.  During this time, additional sightings were of a Marsh Harrier and 3 Common Buzzards, several Chiffchaffs and at least 8 BlackcapsSC/PC.  A site Haven 2016 Year Tick was in the form of a Brambling* that was located near to the Memorials and then flew off in a NE direction. PRD.  A Yellow-legged Gull was viewed on the sluice rocks during today. PNt.   

2nd - Of particular note, a Brambling was again located on the site during the morning. PNs.  Singles of Sparrowhawk,  Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier were noted today, as were a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Redwing, 1 Firecrest, 4 Goldcrests, 4 Blackcaps and 15+ Chiffchaffs of note. IM/PL.  Mid-afternoon over the carpark, a Hobby was "being pursued by a very unhappy Carrion Crow". IM/MR.  

3rd - There were quite alot of Chiffchaffs around today but not much else of any note on the bird-front, although amongst the many Gulls, there were six colour-ringed birds for which the readings were taken.  Four of these were 'NTGG' gulls and two were from Suffolk.  The Wildlife side gave a nice find for the surveyor, when a Willow Emerald Damselfly was located at the Dipping Pond (carpark entrance).  A Water Vole was also in the Dipping Pond. MR

4th - During a long day of seawatching (06.55 to 17.00hrs) some of the highlights included a Sooty Shearwater*  flying N at 12.05hrs and 3 Pomarine Skuas* (single birds: 1x 07.10hrs S + 1x 15.10hrs N + 1 shortly after 15.10hrs N).  A Great Skua (Bonxie) flew N, a Guillemot went S and 3 Eider (2 drakes) also flew N.  Per reported "there was a good passage of Brent Geese and many Scoter". DS.  Additional counts (10.30 to 12.30hrs) were of 57 Brent Geese  (45+12) S and also 2 Swallows S. MLn.

5th - Another long day of seawatching for one observer but one with some excellent results.  A Leach's Petrel*flying N at 11.00hrs and a juvenile Sabine's Gull* N at 12.40hrs were both located from the Haven by Darrell Stile today - Superb, Well Done!  (With fone-calls to Paul, both birds were then subsequently picked up & confirmed by PBr at Frinton Obs).  Also on Darrell's report, were singles of Red-Throated Diver (N), Great Northern Diver* (N), 1 adult Little Gull (N 13.42hrs), a Guillemot N, 3 Gannets, 5 Sandwich Terns, 5 Velvet Scoter (2 drakes) N at 13.50hrs, 19 Common Scoter, 11 Shelduck, 30 Wigeon and 80 Teal.  The total count for Brent Geese during the day's session was 2652 with the majority (99%) flying S. DS.  

6th - Of particular note this morning, a Firecrest was seen behind Tariq's tree at 10.09hrs. MR.  This afternoon, a Ring Ouzel* was located at 14.33hrs on the north edge of the Approach Road woods. PRD

7th - A Ringing Session took place from 06.45 to 12.45hrs and involved 62 birds and twelve species, including  SparrowhawkSong Thrush and Goldcrest.  Additional sightings during this time were of 2 Purple Sandpipers and 4 TurnstonesSC.  Several other birders were around the site and a probable Yellow-browed Warbler was heard (GB)  along the Approach Road, while several Goldcrests were also in the vicinity. MR/PRD/IM/GB.

8th - During a Ringing Session this morning, there were a total of 18 birds and six species involved, including  Goldcrest and ChiffchaffSC.  Surveying the bushes this morning, yielded a Yellow-browed Warbler at 10.02hrs along the Approach Road - the end near to the carpark, while shortly afterwards, a Redstart was located in the bushes to the right of the path down to the Memorials. MR.  Observations from 14.00 to 17.30hrs gave 1 Ring Ouzel (male), 1 Stonechat (male), 8 Wheatears and 10+ Redwings, also 1 S E Owl, 1 Common Buzzard and 2 Kestrels, 2 Purple Sandpipers (one with a damaged leg but actively feeding) and 2 Brent GeeseDLS.  Of particular interest today, an "Amazingly totally WHITE Swallow flew NE with 6 normal Swallows.  The same bird had been seen earlier  in the day at Brightlingsea by DS and was subsequently seen by someone else at the Naze later on". PRD.

9th - Yellow-Browed Warblers were at a count of 3 today on the site - the carpark end of the Approach Road, the Dipping Pond and just across the way from the carpark entrance. MR/ML/PRD.  Around the site there was a small variety of species including the Redstart (still on site), several Goldcrests, 6 Blackcaps, 6 Chiffchaffs, 4 Wheatears, 1 Ring Ouzel (imm/probable female), 5+ Redwings and 6+ Song Thrushes.  Also noted were 3+ Grey Wagtails, 4 fly-over  Lesser Redpolls*, 3 House Martins, 2 Med Gulls (ad+2w), 2 Purple Sandpipers, a S E Owl that flew in/off and 42 Canada GeesePRD.  Additional sightings included 4 Stonechats, 40+ Swallows and 100+ GoldfinchesPL/ML.  A Ringing Session today involved 8 birds and five species that included Goldcrest. PNt/LW.  By the Sluice Rocks at 15.00hrs, an NTGG colour-ringed Herring Gull was viewed. MJ.    

10th - Another Haven 2016 Year Tick was located this morning (10.09hrs) when 2 Yellowhammers* were seen, albeit briefly, in the Dell - literally within a few minutes, the birds were up and off and heading SW. MR.

11th - A Ringing Session from 06.30 to 11.30hrs (interrupted by a heavy rain-shower) involved 51 birds and six  species that included Cetti's Warbler and Meadow Pipit.  Additional sightings within the close vicinity were 2 StonechatsSC/PC.    

12th - A Yellow-browed Warbler was again at the carpark end of the Approach Road at 10.26hrs. MR.  An hour or so for a Ringing Session within the Compound today, involved 4 birds and three species including Song Thrush.  In very close proximity there was a Sparrowhawk and there were also a couple of ChiffchaffsSC

13th - While a Yellow-browed Warbler was still at the carpark entrance within the willow tree, number 174 on the Haven Year List was on the scrape area.  Amongst c350 Greylag Geese, there were at least 4 White-fronted Geese* at 11.05hrs in front of the main hide. SC

14th - A morning visit to site found that the White-fronted Geese had increased from 4 yesterday up to a count of 27 and they were still across the scrape/surrounding area. MR.  A survey of the site yielded noted counts of 1 Grey Wagtail (Sewage Farm), 1 probable Yellow-browed Warbler (heard only by carpark entrance), 5 Goldcrests, 1 Skylark, 1 Swallow, 1 Kestrel, 1 Snipe, 20 Lapwings, 6 Teal and c100 Wigeon.  The White-fronts included some 15 juvenile birds and were amongst c100 Greylag Geese on the pool to the right of the hide at this time. LH.       

15th - A run along the seawall from the Frinton end of the site this morning (10.00-11.00hrs) found there were 25 (probably still all 27) White-fronted Geese including the 15 juveniles still amongst the Greylag Geese.  A Purple Sandpiper was on the sluice, while also noted were 4 Swallows, 6 Song Thrushes, 33 Meadow Pipits and 68  GoldfinchesPBr.  

16th - No reports returned.

17th - A Ringing Session took place from 06.45-10.00hrs which involved 12 birds of seven species and included Cetti's Warbler and Reed Bunting.  Although looking into bright sun, "quite a bit of passage was evident" during this session with fly-overs of c250 mixed Goldfinches and Linnets, also 20+ Skylarks, 30+ Meadow Pipits, 2 House Martins and c10 Swallows noted. SC.

18th/19th - No reports returned.

20th - A Ringing Session during the morning - that took place within the compound - involved 27 birds of nine species.  The species included GoldcrestL-T Tit and Redwing.  A Cetti's Warbler and Chiffchaffs were heard in the close vicinity. SC 

21st - A Ringing Session took place this morning, involving 13 birds of six species - including both Stonechat and Reed Bunting.  During this time, there were also sightings of a Marsh Harrier, 24 Curlew and at least 3 Stonechats, while heard only but loudly, were "at least 2 Bearded Tits but possibly more" beyond the second hide reedbed areas. SC.

22nd - Early evening saw another species added to the 2016 Year List when one observer accidentally flushed a Jack Snipe* from the ditch edge where the footpath heads inland from the seawall to go across the Golf Course.  The bird was seen to fly into the ditch adjacent to the seawall to the N. PBr.

23rd - Reports of Twite at the Haven are few and far between these days but today - and after a twenty year wait for one Haven observer for this site tick, nice one Pete! - a single Twite* (with a pink colour-ring) was located on the seawall by the raised Golf Tee at 13.00hrs and a short time later, another 4 Twite were noted in the close vicinity. Unfortunately, the birds were seen to fly S very promptly.  Near to this same area were 2+ Bearded Tits in the reedbed. PRD.

24th - A Sea-watching session took place from 07.30-09.00hrs this morning (varying 1 to 3 observers inc. IM/RA+dog) and provided of particular note, a single Guillemot (close inshore being hassled by Herring Gulls), 1 Gt. Crested Grebe, 10 Common Scoter and 29 Brent Geese flying S. SC.  Seen this morning from within the Haven boundaries - from the main marshes road - a Great White Egret* was seen to fly over towards Lodge Farm/reservoir beyond and was lost to view. MR.  A visit to the site from 12.30-15.00hrs, yielded notable counts of 9 Snipe on the scrape, an adult Med Gull offshore, 1 Sparrowhawk (juv female), 2 Lesser Redpoll (flew N), 3 Stonechats, 5 Goldcrests and 3 RedwingsSG.  NB: Most likely, the GWE was that which was reported on 21-10-16 by a well-known local farmer as being seen to fly towards the Haven area with a Grey Heron c15.00hrs. PG.  On 23-10-16, reports came in from a private residence of a GWE being seen in Pickers Ditch, Holland-on-Sea c14.00hrs and the bird appeared restless as if ready to move on. NP. After being lost to view this morning (24-10-16), the GWE was eventually re-located much further across the local marshes towards Little Clacton at c10.15hrs. SC.

25th - A site visit from 07.15-08.30hrs, provided of note KingfisherReed Bunting and 2 Stonechats, 1 Turnstone, 1 Kestrel and a PeregrineBHz.  The Great White Egret was still in the vicinity this afternoon, having been seen (from the raised platform by the Memorials) to fly across and land to the left of the main scrape at c13.50hrs. ML.  As at 15.50hrs, there was no sign of the GWE as viewed from the turret but there were 2 S E Owls on the site. PRD.  Some five colour-ringed Herring Gulls were noted today - four being NTGG and one a Suffolk bird. MR.

26th - A Ringing Session involved 8 birds today, being of four species and included GoldcrestSC.  Mid-morning viewing gave of note, a single Turnstone with 2 Purple SandpipersPH.  A Little Owl was located on site. DS.  A cycle ride into the site from the Frinton end and playtime on the beach for the youngsters from Frinton Obs, gave dad a chance to note a single Grey Wagtail flying S, singles of KestrelCommon Buzzard and Marsh Harrier, 3 Stonechats (Golf Course edge) and 5 Rock Pipits along the seawall.  The birding highlight for all, were views of an S E Owl 'circling high over the grazing marsh and scrape before heading directly overhead and out to sea at 11.30hrs'.  This was possibly the same SEO that had been circling over Frinton just a short time earlier. PBr/EBr/KBr.      

27th - Of particular note today during one survey, the site held 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 female Pintails (from the main hide), a Wheatear, a Fieldfare and a S E Owl.  Flyovers included 2 Lesser Redpolls and 2 SwallowsPRD

28th - No reports returned.

29th - The Great White Egret was seen at 13.10hrs from the 'Y-hammer/gravel layby'.  The GWE, flushed by a walker near the ditch (part of Picker's Ditch), circled in flight a couple of times before dropping back into the ditch and out of sight. From the layby, view slightly to the left and across to the far edges of the marsh/field where the ditch runs along the rear of the housing. AD.  A mid-afternoon visit (from the Frinton end) heard 4 Cetti's Warblers that were between the seawall and the Golf Course - 'lots song but not seen'.  Moving through to view the scrape area, a single Bean Goose* (Tundra) was located amongst the Greylag Geese at the rear of the scrape.  Also noted were some 4 S E Owls (on view all at once over grazing marsh and Golf Course), 1 Common Buzzard (a very dark individual), 1 Med Gull (ad winter plumage), 1 Grey Wagtail (S), 9 Stonechats (2 by raised Tee/3 by GC dump/2 by main hide/2 by first turret) and 38 Curlew, while 13 Common Scoter flew S close offshore.  Additional, was a notable count of 600 StarlingsPBr.  NB: Re GWE, this bird was again reported near Pickers Ditch, Holland-on-Sea, yesterday (28-10-16) as viewable from Sladbury's Lane & looking towards the rear of Fleetwood Ave. NP.  After the lunchtime sighting today from within the Haven boundary, the GWE was noted as still being near Picker's Ditch as at 17.20hrs. RBA.

30th - Hopefully everybody remembered to put their clocks and watches back by one hour in readiness for this morning!  At 09.20hrs, there were 4 White-fronted Geese on the pond but no sign of yesterday's Bean Goose. MR.  A few observers were around the site during the day and a Ringing Session also took place which itself involved some 40 birds of nine species including StonechatWren and Reed Bunting.  The White-fronts were seen to fly off towards Great Holland during this time. PNt/LW.  Of note amongst the Herring Gulls today, both on the scrape and on the Sluice, there were several colour-ringed birds. MR/AD.  A Yellowhammer flew over at the layby today and a Grey Wagtail was a fly-over on the main site. AD.  An evening run - slightly prior to dusk - found that the White-fronted Geese were back on the scrape and a S E Owl was also viewed. PBr.

31st - Viewing from the main hide c11.08hrs located the Tundra Bean Goose back on the scrape with c200 Greylag GeeseMR An early Ringing Session was undertaken today and involved 19 birds of six species, including Meadow Pipitand Robin. A return visit to the site was then undertaken upon the news of the re-appearance of the Tundra Bean GooseSC.  Rounding up the month of October and being alongside the Geese on the scrape and the surrounding grazing marsh, there were of note 9 Snipe, 15 CurlewWigeonTeal and amongst the Gulls, 2 NTGG colour-ringed   Herring Gulls.  Stonechats numbered 2, a single Goldcrest was seen around the Feeding Station and in front of the Viewing Platform (Memorials) there was a Little OwlMR

As at 31st October 2016 the Haven 2016 Year List stands at 178.

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