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 - The Red-breasted Flycatcher was still on site this morning and again (delighting many observers) it remained throughout the day. RBA/et al.  Seawatching took place at different locations on/from the Haven today with highlights of 3 Sooty Shearwaters* flying N past the site, notably at 08.10hrs, 08.23hrs and 10.10hrs.  With a probable overlap of the morning birds within the counts (07.00-18.00hrs & 07.45-09.45hrs), the highest overall figure has been used from the two reports, yielding 1 Curlew, 1 Med Gull (1W), 1 Little Gull (ad. S), 1 Black Tern (S), 2 Sandwich Terns, 4 Red-throated Divers, 40 Gannets, 2 Pintails, 8 Common Scoters, 12 Wigeon and 68 Brent Geese, as well as a   Pomarine Skua (Pom) that flew S at 14.11hrs.  A Grey Wagtail (1+) was also noted. PL/DS.  The scrape still held the 3   Blk-T Godwits, alongside 20 Wigeon and 90 Teal.  The bushes notably held 3 GoldcrestsPL.  A Firecrest was located along the Approach Road at 16.00hrs. ML.  Additional notes for the day's species included singles of Jay and Blackcap, 5 Pied Wagtails and 2 Kestrels (m+fem). KK.  (Today, Sunday 1st October, was day 2 of the 2017 Triathlon).

2nd - Arriving on site at dawn this morning, the Red-Breasted Flycatcher was relocated (SC) and two very early visiting birders, followed by more, continued to watch the bird on/off and through into the late afternoon.  A Ringing Session of one hour, took place within the actual compound and yielded six birds of three species, including Goldcrest  (the latter being re-traps of recent days). SC.  Additional birds across the site were of 1 Chiffchaff and 2   Goldcrests in the same vicinity as the R-B Fly, 1 Stonechat (male atop bushes), 1 House Martin and 2 Swallows, 1 Marsh Harrier and on the scrape a single Little Stint and 6 Blk-T GodwitsPT/BL.  

3rd - A few birders around the site today and of note, 2 Whooper Swans* were seen to drop onto the scrape at 12.00hrs and remained there-on until c15.00hrs.  A Purple Sandpiper was located on the Sluice. MR/TS/DW.  Near the Five-bar Gate (before Sluice Cottages) a Firecrest was seen and the waterfront (near Sluice) added a WheatearMR.

4th - At least six observers were around the site and the joint reports noted that there were 'lots of' BlueGreat   and Long-Tailed Tits, only a few Swallows but a 'large movement of' House Martins.  Trees, bushes and hedgerows gave 3 Blackcaps, 10+ Chiffchaffs and 10+ Goldcrests, while flyovers included 3 Lesser Redpolls* (calling) and 40+   GoldfinchesPNt/PRD/MR.  A Peregrine (PRD) was located over on the arable, while the viewing across the scrape, the surrounding grazing marsh and skyline, yielded counts of 1 Snipe, 2 Ringed Plovers (in/out), 3 Little Stints, 4 Blk-T Godwits and c50 Lapwings, alongside 24 Wigeon, c80 Teal, 36 Canada and c100 Greylag Geese.  Additional Birds of Prey were singles of KestrelSparrowhawk and Common BuzzardJH/DW/TS/PRD/MR.

5th - No reports returned.

6th - During a morning Ringing Session, a total of sixteen birds and seven species were involved - these included Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch and Dunnock. SC/PC.

7th - At least four observers were around the site today and their joint report supplied noted counts of 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Kingfisher and 1 Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, also a "few small groups of" Goldfinches heading S, 2 House Martins and 25 Swallows, while the bushes and hedgerows held 1 Blackcap, 4 Goldcrests and 10+ Chiffchaffs.  Of further note, a few Dunlin and Brent Geese were moving S off-shore during the surveys.  Across the scrape and grazing marsh were singles of Little Stint and Snipe, 3 Curlew, 6 Blk-T Godwits, 32 Wigeon and 90+ Teal.  Viewing the rear arable yielded a total of 5 Pink-footed GeesePL/IM/MR/ML.

8th - A Ringing Session took place this morning and with the "wind staying fairly light throughout" there were some fifty-nine birds involved (2 being re-traps) and a total of nine species.  A Coal Tit, 1 Stonechat, 3 Wrens and 9 Lesser Redpolls were all party to the session, as were the species of Reed BuntingMeadow PipitGoldfinchBlue and Great Tits.  Finch movement over/through the site was noted as "quite a few" with "a conservative estimate of 25+   Redpolls being involved" within this passage.  Also viewed during the morning were Stonechats, 4 Swallows, a   Kestrel and a male SparrowhawkSC/PC.  Another Haven 2017 Year List tick came in the form of a Merlin* (PL) today - a distant bird but viewed, noted and is species number 163 for the year.  A male Peregrine was seen "hunting just off-shore", while a seawatch from 14.30-15.30hrs supplied notables of 1 Red-throated Diver, 3 Gannets, 3 Med Gulls (Ads), 2 Pintails, 12 Wigeon and 100 Brent Geese.  A few groups of mainly Goldfinches (again moving S) were noted, as were 4 House Martins and 10 Swallows (the latter +/- the previous report).  The bushes and general areas yielded 7 Blackcaps, 8 Goldcrests and 15+ Chiffchaffs, also 5 Stonechats (+/- previous report), 5 Redwings, the Coal Tit was seen on the feeders and a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker was in the vicinity.  Still in-situ on the scrape was the   Little Stint which was alongside 5 Blk-T Godwits, 36 Wigeon and 100+ Teal of note. PL/IM/PRD/ML.  The feeders also gave the additions of 2 Brambling for the day's counts. LR/PR/JH.

9th - Seawatching was the preferred choice for two observers (10.00hrs-12.00hrs) and yielded the delight of a Red-necked Grebe* flying S at c11.30hrs.  Also noted were counts of Great Skua (Bonxie), 1 Great Crested Grebe, 24   Common Scoter, 25 Wigeon and some 87 Brent GeeseMR/IM.

10th - Just prior to mid-day, a juvenile Red-necked Phalarope* was located on the scrape.  The bird seemed to like the rear of the 'island' and while some views were quite brief at times, very good views were had at others - possibly more so when it was at the island's left-hand end.  Previous records being September 2003 and then in May 2015, today's Red-necked Phalarope remained visible on/off until at least 14.40hrs - when it again returned to beyond the island.  A Little Stint remained on the scrape along with 4 Snipe, Blk-T Godwits, 96 Lapwings, 43 Wigeon, 134   Teal, 7 Herring and 36 Black-headed Gulls and 140 Greylag Geese of note with Pink-footed Geese (PRD) also being visible for a time.  The rear hedgerows held 2 Common BuzzardsPRD/SC/PC/IM/MR/KA/AD.  (Pager reports showed the R-N Phal still on site at 17.20hrs. RBA). 

11th - Surveying the site prior to lunchtime, found that the Red-necked Phalarope was still on the scrape and was alongside the Little Stint, a Snipe, 7 Blk-T Godwits and 30+ Wigeon of note.  By the Golf Course Dump there were 2   Stonechats, while the bushes held notables of 3+ Goldcrests and 3+Chiffchaffs.  Fly overs/through were 3 Swallows  and the Sluice hosted 2 TurnstonesPRD.  Having also viewed the R-N Phal mid-morning during a different survey, a reedbed near to the Golf Course Dump provided 2 Coal Tits (Continental type). PBr.  A visit 12.30-12.45hrs further added 3 Bar-T Godwits to the day's reports. DD.

12th - The Red-necked Phalarope - into a third day on site - was viewed on the scrape this morning. MR.  A short   Ringing Session today involved nine birds of five species, being of Chaffinch (a re-trap from 2014), Great TitRobin,   Chiffchaff and Goldcrest (3 no.). SC.

13th - Into day four of the juvenile Red-necked Phalarope being on the scrape.  Initial reports as at 09.06hrs today, gave that both the R-N Phal and the Little Stint were still in-situ, alongside 1 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 6 Blk-T Godwits and the now regular Autumn/Winter culprits of WigeonTeal etc. MR 

14th - Both the Red-necked Phalarope (juvenile) along with the Little Stint were on the scrape again today.  Located further along the site in the reedbeds near to the Golf Course Dump (11.15hrs) were 4 Bearded Tits which increased later to a definite 5, while another 2 Bearded Tits during another survey, may have been +/- the former. PRD/MR/S.  A Coal Tit was seen on the feeders and given both fairly recent sightings and Ringing Sessions, this bird appeared  un-ringed.  The walk along the seawall and viewing from, provided a Rock Pipit, 4 Stonechats and 10+ Reed Buntings, while overhead passage yielded Lesser Redpoll, 10+ Linnets, 25+ Meadow Pipits, 30+ Skylarks, 150+ Goldfinches and some 20+ Swallows.  The bushes and hedgerows held a couple of Chiffchaffs and several Goldcrests of note. PRD.  (This was day five on site for the R-N Phal)

15th - Surveying by two observers - walking through the site to the Frinton end of the boundary (i.e. stopping where the Frinton beach huts start) - found overall, that the site was a bit quiet of bird-life this morning.  By 11.00hrs, there was no sign of the Phalarope and no report of the Stint either.  Noted counts for the scrape were of 3 Snipe, 6 Blk-T Godwits, 35 Wigeon and 145 Teal.  The 'highlights' of species located around the trees, bushes and hedgerows included 1 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrests, 1 Redwing and a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, while in the opposite direction, a Gt. Crested Grebe was seen to be sitting on the sea.  The wander also yielded 2 Stonechats, 1 Grey Wagtail (over), 2 House Martins and 12 Swallows heading S, Goldfinches and Meadow Pipits (both also moving S - a few small groups of each) and rounding up this report, a noted Chaffinch total of 40, being the sum of two groups flying in/off. PL/MR.  An early evening wander, added just a Rock Pipit of any note, along the seawall and rocks opposite the second hide. KA.

16th - A few observers were on and around the site this morning and a Ringing Session took place too.  Prior to an increase in the winds, the Ringing Session involved some fourteen birds of three species - being 4 Reed Buntings, 4 Lesser Redpolls and 6 Meadow Pipits.  From/in the reedbed area 1+ Bearded Tit/s were 'heard only, while there were 2 Cetti's Warblers on site (1 x reedbeds + 1 near Memorials) and sightings/passage of 4 Swallows, 5 Skylarks, 15+ Lesser Redpolls, 50+ Meadow Pipits and 350+ GoldfinchesSC/PC.  An afternoon visit (15.00-16.30hrs) yielded additional species of a Brambling (male) on the track by the second hide and between this location and the raised Golf Tee (seawall) a count of 3 pairs Stonechats, with further note of 3 Med Gulls (ads). PLThe highlights of a seawatch today (07.00-14.00hrs) provided 1 Pomarine Skua (13.28hrs) and 5 Arctic Skuas all heading S, 2 Sooty Shearwaters flying N (07.35hrs & 12.06hrs), also a S E Owl that was seen to flew S over the sea and a count of 27 Gannets. DS.  

17th - The seawatching proved quiet early this morning but the visible migration over the site provided of note, 2 Siskin, 20 Linnets and c200 Goldfinches, as well as numbers of both Greenfinch and Chaffinch.  A Kingfisher was seen, as were 2 Stonechats (1pr), 2 Corn Buntings (on scrape) and c25 Meadow Pipits, while a Cetti's Warbler was heard in front of the hide.  A Common Buzzard and 2 Sparrowhawks (1pr) were in the vicinity, as was the Kestrel with the jesses rings/anklets.  A count of 5 Pink-footed Geese were seen to drop onto the marsh area beyond the Sewage Farm and 5 Red-legged Partridges were noted.  The reported wader species were of 1 Ringed Plover, 2 Snipe, 2 Turnstones and 4 Blk-T Godwits.  A Great White Egret* (TS) landed on the scrape for a brief time before it flew towards Frinton - some c20 minutes later the bird flew back "along the rear (Haven) hedge and dropped in somewhere E of the B1032 between the brook and the Approach Road".  The GWE could not be relocated. PRD/TS/ML/MR/MT.  

18th - No reports returned.

19th - Several birders were on and around the site today and a Ringing Session also took place (07.30-10.30hrs).  Both Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers were viewed on the site, while the Ringing Session itself, involved a total of twenty-eight birds that were of nine species.  The said species included Firecrest (x1), Goldcrest (x9) and House Sparrow (x1). SC.  Of particular note around the bushes there were a few Redwings and 20+ Blackbirds, while a Little Owl* (ML) put in an appearance along the Approach Road, as did 12+ Goldcrests (ML).  A Water Rail (ML) and 2 Bearded Tits (ML) were located near to the boardwalk and a Honey Buzzard* flew over the site c10.45hrs before heading SW along the coast.  Seawatching from 10.00-12.00hrs gave further species for the day, with 1 S E Owl, 1 Oystercatcher, 3 Gannets, 8 Cormorants, 8 Shelducks, 28 Wigeon and 271 Brent Geese all heading S and a count of 38 Gannets that flew N. DP/ML/DW/MR.  Another seawatching session took place from 12.00-18.00hrs and proved to add the superb highlight of a Leach's Petrel* (DS) that flew S at 16.12hrs.  This was probably the same bird seen earlier at the Naze and at Frinton.  Another addition for the Haven 2017 Year List was that of a Manx Shearwater* (N at 16.06hrs) and a Red-breasted Merganser* was also added.  Southbound also, were 3 Arctic Skuas - including 2 pale phase adults - while the noted Guillemot flew N.  This seawatch also reported 4 more Shelducks, 8 Common Scoters, another 28 Gannets and a further 1204 Brent Geese for the day's totals. IM/DS.  

20th - Reported from a seawatch session that took place from this morning and continued through into the afternoon (07.35-14.35hrs), the observers viewed totals of 2 Grey Plovers, 3 Turnstones, 32 Lapwings, 130 Knot and c1200 Dunlin, along with 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 12 Teal, 26 Shelducks and 130 Wigeon, 1 Red-throated Diver, 7 Gannets and 1498 Brent Geese. IM/MR/TS

21st - At least a couple of observers on and around the 'slightly breezy' site today.  Totally surprising one birder - and most definitely not the norm for the Haven scrape - a Red-breasted Merganser made a very brief landing before quickly taking flight again and heading SE over the carpark!  These are 'fly-by' during seawatching sessions at this site! PRD.  A seawatch session proved somewhat disappointing for the observer (especially given the species and counts seen in recent days), providing just 5 Common Scoters, 8 Gannets and 30+ Brent Geese of any particular note.  Proving more fruitful was the visible migration "with plenty of finches moving S".  The reported species counts were of 1 Siskin, 20+ Chaffinches, 30+ Linnets, 300+ Goldfinches and also 3 Swallows.  The bushes by the memorials held a Chiffchaff and 2 Redwings. PL.    

22nd - The finch movement continued today with the report showing counts of 4 Siskin, at least 6 Lesser Redpolls and 250+ Goldfinches, along with a few of each Linnet, Greenfinch and Chaffinch too.  A Little Owl was again seen along the Approach Road, a single Redwing made the notes and a Rock Pipit was on the rock-breakwater.  Off-shore passage was of just 6 Wigeon and 10 Brent Geese. IM/PL

23rd - A Ringing Session that began at dawn and continued through until 10.45hrs, involved some thirty-three birds, a total of seven species and included Robin, Wren, Chiffchaff (x2) and Lesser Redpoll (x10).  Overhead passage was seen to be of 200+ finches - these were mostly Goldfinches along with a few Linnets and of course Lesser RedpollsSkylarks were noted at a count of 8 and Meadow Pipits at c20. SC/PC.  Singles of Chiffchaff and Wheatear were part of the report for an afternoon survey (13.00-16.30hrs), with the wander along the seawall to the Frinton end of site, adding 2 Stonechats, 2 Grey Wagtails and 3 Rock Pipits, as well as 15 Skylarks that flew in/off.  A handful of Meadow Pipits were seen to be on the move, Goldfinches were into double figures and the odd Chaffinch was noted too.  The scrape held little of interest other than a single Redshank, 2 Dunlin and 2 Snipe. PRD.   

24th - A wander and survey during this morning provided highlights of 3 Bearded Tits (including at least one fine male) amongst the reeds by the Second Hide and 5 Tree Sparrows (4+1) that flew over SW.  Passage birds included the odd Chaffinch, 3+ Siskin, 20+ Meadow Pipits, 30+ Skylarks, 30+ Linnets and c200 Goldfinches with additional counts being of 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 House Martin, 8 Swallows and a probable Lapland Bunting (the latter appearing to land at the rear of the grazing marsh).  The bushes and hedgerows held 2 Chiffchaffs, several Goldcrests, Blackbirds into double figures and the odd Song Thrush.  Viewing across the scrape and surrounding area, from the Main Hide, supplied 2 Common Gulls and c35 Golden Plovers (both species being on the arable), 1 Dunlin and 7 Blk-T Godwits on the scrape itself, a Kingfisher and 2 Stonechats (1pr), also singles of Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard.  The Sluice yielded a single TurnstonePRD

25th - Distant and towards the middle of the field with the Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Linnets, a Lapland Bunting* was being very elusive on the arable - just below Great Holland Hall (farm).  Flyovers proved to include a calling Yellowhammer*, 3+ Siskin, 8+ Lesser Redpolls and 30+ Goldfinch, while a Mistle Thrush made the report too. PRD.  The areas around the Farm Pond and the nearby Church, provided singles of Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker and Kestrel, along with c20 Linnets of particular note.  On the Wildlife front, a Clouded Yellow Butterfly was located. LH.

26th - This morning's "excellent" Ringing Session (dawn until 12.00hrs) yielded the highlight of 2 Common Redpolls (Mealy)* amongst the sixty birds of the session's duration.  Of the eight species involved, Stonechat (adult male) and Bearded Tit both featured, while a total of 21 Lesser Redpolls were ringed - these out of an estimated 30+ that were seen to fly through this morning. SC/PC.  Additional species for the day's reports, seen by the various observers, included 1 Lapland Bunting over on the arable (probably yesterday's bird), 1 Brambling (fly-over), 4 Stonechats, c20 Bearded Tits scattered throughout the site's reedbeds (including 8 in/off), 25+ Meadow Pipits and over on the arable, numbers of Skylarks with further Meadow Pipits. SC/PC/ML/PRD. 

27th - A visit and survey from 10.00-14.00hrs, provided views across the scrape of a 1W Caspian Gull (near to the raft), also a 1W Med Gull which was among the Black-headed Gulls, 1 Dunlin, 1 Snipe, a few Blk-T Godwits and likewise the Gulls, there were a lot of Teal.  A Kingfisher flew past the front of the Main Hide during this time.  The carpark trees and bushes held of note 4+ Goldcrests, 4+ Redwings and c4 Song Thrushes, while a Lesser Redpoll was a flyover (calling) and c8 Siskins were also noted (the latter being some as fly-overs and some situated in the trees).  Initially heard calling near the Second Hide and then seen to fly over the reedbed was a single Bearded Tit and 2 Cetti's Warblers were today, singing on the site.  Off-shore, a Brent Goose flew N.  The Wildlife front yielded 3 Red Admiral Butterflies and 5 Common Darter Dragonflies. GB.  

28th - A three hour seawatch this afternoon (14.00-17.00hrs) yielded a variety of ten notable species for the two observers - with their counts consisting of 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Common Scoters and 3 Shelducks, 1 Curlew and 60 Dunlin, 1 Guillemot, 1 Red-throated Diver, 3 Great Skuas (Bonxies), 15 Gannets and 25 Brent Geese. IM/PL

29th - Clocks went 'back' by one hour over-night/end of BST.  Several observers were on the site and seawatching was the order of the day - with the overall watch time being from 06.30-17.00hrs (observers joining/leaving the site at different times).  The species' totals are the highest counts from the received/combined reports.  The off-shore passage consisted of 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Peregrine, 1 Little Auk* (unfortunately this little one was taken by a G B B Gull who saw to the Auk's demise!), 45 Guillemots, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Red-throated Divers and c250   Gannetsalso 3 Little Gulls, 48 Kittiwakes (16+7+23+2 all N), 2 Arctic Skuas and 7 Great Skuas (Bonxies) There were singles of Little Egret and Grey Plover, 2 Turnstones and 30 Dunlin, 6 Whooper Swans (2 ad+4 juvs) and c50 Brent Geese, while the duck species included 1 Long-tailed Duck* (fem), 2 Goldeneye* (S), 2 Shoveler, 12 Common Scoters and rounding up the day's seawatch totals, some 70 Shelducks. DS/PRD/LD/ML/IM/PL.  A late afternoon into early evening wander - along the seawall through to the Frinton end of site and back - gave of note, a Grey Wagtail with 2 Pied Wagtails on the rocks (then all flew S along the coast) and while several Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits were in the nearby vicinity, the reedbeds near to the third turret held at least 2 Bearded TitsKA/AD

30th - Seawatching, site surveying and a Ringing Session were all on the go today.  The Ringing Session ran from dawn to 10.00hrs and involved twenty birds being of six species.  Bearded Tit, Lesser Redpoll and Reed Bunting featured among the birds now adorning new rings.  During the session, views were also had of 1 Little Egret and 24 Curlew with the Lesser Redpoll count at c25. SC/PC.  Additional species across the site were of 1 Cetti's Warbler (heard), 1 Stonechat (male), 1 Kestrel seen taking its prey to the Mast, a single Purple Sandpiper with 4 Turnstones on the Sluice Rocks and 7 Blk-T Godwits. MT.  A seawatching session from 06.30-16.00hrs provided 2 Little Auks (N) of which one met its fate with the Gulls, 30 Guillemots, 1 Snipe sp., 2 Woodcocks (in/off), 3 Great Skuas (Bonxies), 5 Red-throated Divers, 6 Red-breasted Mergansers, 12 Eider (N 6+6) and 70+ Common Scoters.  Also seen were 12 Fieldfares and 1000+ Starlings (with many more of the latter in/off). DS.    

31st - Rounding up the month of October and being of particular note, a Purple Sandpiper was located on the outfall during today and a single Brambling was also viewed. PT.

As at 31st October 2017 the Haven 2017 Year List stands at 177. 


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