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.

(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 - Starting off a new month, there were surveys and a Ringing Session taking place on the site today.  The Ringing Session (06.45-09.15hrs) involved four species and some seventeen birds, one of these being a Reed Warbler that had previously been recorded by the Team in both 2015 and 2016.  A juvenile Willow Warbler was also involved in today's session and now sports a shiny new ring.  Early observations gave that c150 Swifts flew through the site by 07.00hrs, while 100+ Swallows plus the odd Sand and House Martins were also noted.  A juvenile Wheatear, a Green Woodpecker and 3 Kestrels made the report, as did a Little Grebe and a Green Sandpiper - the latter two species being located by the Second Hide. SC/PC.  The main scrape yielded 1 LRP, 4 Wood Sandpipers and 9 Dunlin. (There was no sign of the Little Stint). SC/PC/MR.  Very likely to be a 'different bird' to that involved in the Ringing Session, was the report of another juvenile Willow Warbler. MR

2nd - An evening visit (17.00-18.30hrs) gave today's report which included a juvenile Willow Warbler, 1 Lesser and 2 Common Whitethroats in and around the carpark bushes.  Over on the scrape, there were notably a single LRP (adult), 2 Common and 4 Wood Sandpipers, 6 Dunlin and 6 Golden Plovers - the latter 6 Plovers being in summer plumage.  The scrape area also held 2 Yellow Wagtails, while during the time on site, some 30+ each of Sand Martins and Swifts were seen to trickle South. PL.

3rd - Reported on the pager at c09.55hrs this morning, was a Spotted Redshank along with 7 Wood Sandpipers on the scrape. RBA.

4th - An evening run (in from the Frinton end of site) produced of note, 3 Turnstones on the beach near to the Sluice, 4 Med Gulls on the Golf Course and 8 Wheatears - the latter of which were a juvenile on the seawall and a count of 7 that were on the Golf Course. PBr

5th - No reports returned.

6th - Both a Ringing Session and a site survey were carried out during this morning.  The Ringing Session involved three species, a total of eight birds and included a Garden Warbler.  Some 2+ Willow Warblers in this vicinity played wise to the nets and evaded the Team! SC/PC.  During the overall site observations, the bushes proved to hold more interesting and notable counts this morning, including 8+ Lesser and 10+ Common Whitethroats, as well as 10+ Willow Warblers.  The scrape however, during this particular survey, showed a downturn in numbers to just singles of Dunlin, Wood and Common Sandpipers, 2 Snipe and 2 Blk-T Godwits alongside 1 Shoveler.  A Marsh Harrier was viewed across the fields and a juvenile Wheatear along the seawall.  The Wildlife front yielded 4 Clouded Yellow Butterflies (between Second Hide and seawall) with another notable Butterfly on site, being that of Brown Argus.  Both Common and Ruddy Darters, Emperor and 2 Migrant Hawker Dragonflies were all seen this morning. PL.    

7th - A Ringing Session, morning and evening surveys were all reported for today.  The Ringing Session lasted for several hours but despite many birds being in the nearby vicinity, 'tweeting' must have been the order of the morning to steer clear of the compound!  It may have also had something to do with a couple of Sparrowhawks that were, after all this time, the only two birds to be trapped in the nets.  The first a 2CY female (almost certainly Mum) 'deposited a dead bird' - her prey - prior to landing in the net, the second Sparrowhawk was a juvenile.  During the session, there were some 99 Greylag Geese, 1 Blk-T Godwit, 1 Wood and 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Snipe and 35 Lapwings across the scrape. PNt.  Further viewing from the Main Hide found increases of Blk-T Godwits and Wood Sandpipers to now 2 of each and the addition of 3 Dunlin.  Also noted were a Grey Heron, 6 Cormorants, 3 Teal, 5 Shelducks and 7 Canada Geese.  A wander along to the third turret during this observer's survey, gave just 1 Wheatear on the seawall.  Generally around the site's trees and bushes, numbers were reported as lower than those of yesterday but included the species of Cetti's, Willow and Reed Warblers, Common and Lesser Whitethroats, Goldfinches and Linnets.  The Wildlife front yielded a good variety of Butterflies today, including Clouded Yellow, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, GatekeeperSmall Tortoiseshell, Small White and Common Blue. MR.  Garden Warbler was again viewed. ML.  Additional noted species for the area by the Five-Bar Gate, so not too far from the aforementioned compound, were several Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Greenfinch, a variety of Tits, the odd Blackbird and Dunnock for good measure, as well as the Garden Warbler. PRD.  An evening walk (17.15-19.15hrs) taken along the rear hedgerows to the Memorials gave 1 Lesser and 2 Common Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Garden Warblers (the latter G-Wblrs being together in a Alder tree by Tariq), 3 Chiffchaffs and some 20 Willow Warblers.  A single Wheatear was again on the seawall, while 2 juvenile Stonechats and a flock of 40+ Linnets were by/in the area of the Second Hide.  Changes had occurred again on the scrape by this evening, with Wood and Common Sandpipers, Snipe and Blk-T Godwits down to just one of each.  Scrape additions proved to be of 2 Yellow Wagtails and flyovers of 7 CurlewPL.

8th - No reports returned.

9th - Several observers were on the site today and a Ringing Session too.  The scrape during the morning held a single Wood Sandpiper that only showed itself occasionally, also 2 Green and 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Snipe, 10+ Dunlin and 10+ Blk-T Godwits, while 2 Greenshanks and 3 Redshanks flew in then out again.  Prior to the rain, there was a noted movement of some 100 Sand and 300 House Martins along with 200 Swallows. PRD/ML/MR.  Members of the Ringing Team (after a very quiet session on 7th) were a little bit more impressed with their variety of birds along the rear hedgerows this morning.  A total of twelve species and some 41 birds were involved, including Blue, Great and L-T Tits, Chaffinch, Willow and Reed Warblers and a count of 13 Common Whitethroats.  As well as the previously mentioned passage of House Martins, additional birds viewed were 1 Grey Wagtail and a Golden Plover. PNt/LW.  An evening visit and the scrape yielded 3 Wood Sandpipers and of further note, 2 Common Gulls (juv + adult). DS.

10th - A seawatch from 07.15-09.15hrs this morning, supplied counts of 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Blk-T Godwits, 3 Grey Plovers, 39 Gannets and c55 Common Scoter, along with a few of each Common and Sandwich Terns. SC/DS.  Further additional note to seawatching this morning, was a juvenile Kittiwake that was seen to fly N. DS.  A visit late afternoon into the early evening (16.00-18.30hrs at least) again gave a bit of variety across various areas the site.  The first hour spent around the Dell, yielded 1 Redstart, 1 Reed and 3 Willow Warblers, 4 Lesser and 6 Common Whitethroats.  A Hobby flew over during this time and either this same bird or a second Hobby was seen two hours later (distantly) over the rear of the scrape.  Singles of Blackcap and Chiffchaff, along with 2 Willow Warblers were noted by the Memorials.  Viewing across the scrape and surrounding marsh (17.30-18.30hrs) provided counts of 1 Ruff, 1 Dunlin, 1 Green and 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 juvenile Blk-T Godwits and 16 Teal.  Along the seafront, a Wheatear was on the seawall and 4 Sandwich Terns were seen to be feeding off the Sluice. PL.

11th - A morning Ringing Session (06.45-10.15hrs) supplied some seven species and an overall total of thirty-three birds - all of which proved to be juveniles.  The species of Reed BuntingSedge Warbler and Sand Martin were included within this report. SC/PC/HE.  A mid-afternoon seawatch (14.30-16.00hrs) gave five species of particular note, being 1 Grey Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Common and 2 Sandwich Terns (all 6 aforementioned birds flying S) and at one point, c40 Common Scoter that were all heading N together. IM/PL.

12th - Several observers were on and around the site during the course of the day and into the evening.  Species information for 08.00hrs onward through the whole morning was on a joint report from three observers.  Both the Dell and the Dipping Pond (lower carpark) were very quiet at 08.00hrs with notes of 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Lesser and 2 Common Whitethroats, as well as a fly-over Sparrowhawk, while heading up towards the Sewage Farm, the Five-Bar gate area gave 2 Blackcaps.  Viewed from the Main Hide, the scrape and surrounding area, held a small variety that included 2 Little Egrets, singles of Ruff, Wood and Common Sandpipers, 5 Blk-T Godwits, 8 Dunlin, 50+ Lapwings and 14+ Teal.  The observers took a route along to the Second Hide before heading back to the Sluice area and picked up a Haven 2017 Year Tick in the process.  At c11.30hrs, 2 Whinchats* were located between the Main and Second Hides.  Added to this particular day's listing were also 2 Stonechats (juvs), 5 Wheatear, another Willow Warbler and 2 more Common Whitethroats.  A single Swift was seen to be milling around while it slowly moved S, numbers of Sand and House Martins were of 30+ and 200+ respectively and there were 'lots' of Swallows.  Feeding off of the Sluice area were 3 Common Terns. PL/IM/MR.  A Yellow Wagtail was an evening addition. MR.  A further evening survey - being mainly concentrated just prior to the Second Hide, across to the seawall and to the start of the Golf Course - added another Lesser Whitethroat, the Whinchats were at a count of 3 this evening, while 2 Wheatears may have been +/- the morning count.  Meadow Pipits were numerous, some 30+ Linnets were constantly back/forth over the area, while the Sand and House Martins per the Swallows were still in good numbers.  The Wildlife front yielded a Wasp Spider, Emperor Dragonfly and 2 Blue-Tailed Damselflies, Latticed Heath Moth, Small White Butterflies (lots) and in one 'very small patch' in the concentrated area, there were 8+ Common Blue Butterflies (male+fem). AD/KA.

13th - Located in the Dell at c09.33hrs this morning, were both a male Redstart and a Spotted Flycatcher. PL. Across the site generally this morning, a combined report from four observers, supplied counts of 2 Reed Warblers, 5 of each Blackcap and Chiffchaff, 6 Common and 8 Lesser Whitethroats along with some 10+ Willow Warblers around the trees and hedgerows.  Surveying the scrape and viewable skyline from the main Hide, produced totals of 1 Ruff, 1 Wood and 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Blk-T Godwits, 7 Dunlin and 74 Lapwings alongside 2 Shoveler, while a single Marsh Harrier was also in the vicinity.  Additions to this report came from time spent by the Sluice and gave a Kingfisher, 2 Wheatears and 2 Hobby, also Terns in the form of 4 Sandwich and 9 Common. PL/IM/ML/TS.  Located near to the Second Hide today was a single Whinchat. PR/LR.

14th - Two Ringing Sessions (three areas) took place this morning, during which time, other observations were also noted. The first of these (two areas) saw a total of five species and twenty-six birds involved, including both Sedge Warbler and Whinchat.  Observations gave that in the vicinity of the Second Hide/thereabouts, there were at least 3 Whinchats at the time, also 20+ Linnets, c35 Goldfinches, while Swallows 'maybe 40+ in all' were trickling through. A Greenshank was heard and a Marsh Harrier was also noted. SC.  The second Ringing Session (area at the rear of the main site) involved eleven species and 39 birds, including Willow, Reed and Cetti's Warblers - the latter presumed to be a 'Haven bred' youngster, also Dunnock, Lesser and Common Whitethroats.  A Corn Bunting was singing in the vicinity and the Wildlife front yielded a Hummingbird Hawk Moth. PNt/LW.  Surveying from 10.00-12.15hrs on the site gave particular additional notes, being singles of Ruff and both Wood and Common Sandpipers, also Sparrowhawk and 1+ Kestrel.  Some 16 Pied Wagtails were counted and the Wildlife front gave notables of a Clouded Yellow Butterfly and 3 Water Voles. LH.   

15th - A site visit and survey during late afternoon (15.30-16.45hrs), gave noted counts of 1 Ruff, 1 Common and 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Little Stints (adults), 4 Blk-T Godwits, 11 Dunlin and c60 Lapwings, alongside 2 Grey Herons, 12+ Teal and 120+ Greylag Geese.  Also viewed were singles of Kestrel and Marsh Harrier (fem), 2 Whinchats and some 18 Goldfinches. LH.  Reported on the pager service, a Wood Sandpiper and a juvenile Caspian Gull were on the scrape c10.56hrs. RBA.

16th - During a site visit (11.45-13.25hrs) - in from our neighbouring county of Suffolk - the scrape provided the observer with counts of 1 Curlew, 1 LRP (juv), 1 Wood and 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Ruff, 2 Snipe, 6 Blk-T Godwits and 7 Dunlin of note.  A Lesser Whitethroat was located near to the viewing platform (Memorials). RH.

17th - A couple of hours spent viewing across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh this morning (Main Hide), provided counts of 1 Snipe, 1 Ruff, 1 Wood and 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Little Stints, 8 Blk T Godwits and 15+ Dunlin, while 2 Whimbrel were flyovers.  Also 14+ Teal, c140 Greylag Geese, a 1W Med Gull and a Marsh Harrier (sub-ad fem).  Views offshore gave 2 Sandwich Terns and 5 'Comic Terns' flying N - the latter almost certainly Arctic Terns due to flight action and the very brief views of 'evenly pale and fully winged' plumage but unfortunately too brief to confirm this species, which, while seen annually from the site (with a noted exception of 2012), they are few and far between. PRD.  (Of interest but of no benefit to the Haven observer, there were high counts in excess of 120 Arctic Terns past Rainham today).

18th - A late afternoon/early evening visit (16.30-18.00hrs) to the Main Hide, yielded counts of (still) singles of Wood Sandpiper, Ruff and Snipe, also located were singles of LRP (juv), Dunlin and Redshank, alongside 8 Blk T Godwits and 25 Teal.  Birds of Prey viewed across the vicinity from this hide were 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard.  A single Goldcrest was noted at the Sewage Farm. PL.

19th - A visit to site during this morning, gave five noted species around the main bushes and hedgerows, being 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps, 5 Willow Warblers, 5 Common and 6 Lesser Whitethroats, while near to the scrape was a Whinchat.  The scrape area held a Wader count of 1 LRP, 1 Ruff, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Snipe, 4 Blk-T Godwits, 7 Dunlin and 7 Redshanks.  Also in this vicinity was a juvenile Med Gull.  The wander towards the Second Hide (by reed-beds) and observed near to here, were a further 3+ Whinchat, as well as a single Stonechat and 3 Wheatears. PL 




For information: The England Coast Path (Natural England) - Jaywick to Harwich - Proposals have now been updated and published and this information can be found for reading/downloading (several PDFs) at the Government website address of:  www.gov.uk/government/collections/england-coast-path-jaywick-to-harwich     




As at 31st August 2017 the Haven 2017 Year List stands at ---. 



NB: Anyone/clubs/groups looking to visit Holland Haven on either Thursday 24th and/or Friday 25th August, please bear in mind that these are the Clacton Airshow days.  Apart from the obvious traffic congestion for Clacton and surrounding areas, the Haven Carpark will be 'in use as a park & ride' to/from town for the Airshow.



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NB: Whilst it is endeavoured to update this & other associated pages on a daily basis, please bear in mind that work & other commitments may & do at times delay these updates.  At all times & wherever you are birding, should you know you are viewing a good bird for the site, area or even country, please try to inform other birders asap by whatever means available - including if the bird takes flight from where you have been observing it. (The latter can save unnecessary journeys for many).  If you do not have a contact for any of the area's local birders then the likes of the Pager services will assist & if deemed, they will release the news.