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 - The combined reports for the first day of this 2018 year, provided a total count of some 62 'viewed' species per the linked list.  Observers on site to which the count refers, numbered eight.  Detailed update on this page will follow.     

2nd - Visits by five observers during the day, added another four species to the Year List.  Views 10.00-12.00hrs gave an adult Yellow-legged Gull* (scrape), a colour-ringed Herring Gull (LH/MR NTGG ref: G2TT), 4 Blk-T Godwits, c300 Lapwings and a single Stonechat of particular note. LH.  The Carpark bushes and trees added a Greenfinch*. ML.  A short seawatch by four birders, yielded 4 Pintails* (S) and 20+ Red-throated Divers, while a single Sanderling* was on the shore below Clacton Sailing Club (top of Greensward). IM/ML/DW/MR.

3rd - In some very windy conditions indeed, two observers incorporated into their visit, a short seawatching session from the Sluice area that provided a few Cormorants and 2 Red-throated Divers (S).  Viewing from the Main Hide gave a single Haven 2018 Year List addition of Sparrowhawk*, while the counts across the scrape and grazing marsh of species already on the Haven 2018 Year list from 1st and 2nd January, were of 2 Blk-T Godwits, c80 Lapwings, 1 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 6 Shelducks, c250 Wigeon and c400 Teal, 13 Cormorants plus 1 Canada, c150 Brent and c150 Greylag Geese.  Due to very high winds, the bushes were not forthcoming with feathered friends.  (NB: Storm Eleanor being the reason for havoc in many parts of the UK)PNt/MR

4th - No reports returned.

5th - A short visit to site today gave the report that 'much was the same' apart from the noted locating of the Little Owl* once again in his hawthorn - along the Approach Road. MR.

6th - At least four observers visited the site and two species were added to the Haven 2018 Year List.  A flock of some 100+ Golden Plovers* overhead were of particular note during a brief look this morning. AD.  The second addition was an adult Med Gull* viewed as it flew over the Sluice and out to sea.  Offshore provided very little today, apart from 2 Wigeon, 2 Mallards, 4 Shelducks, 6 Brent Geese and 12+ Red-throated Divers.  The Sluice area held singles of Rock Pipit and Purple Sandpiper, while the scrape held 6 Gadwall, 7 Shoveler, still c300/c400 of both Wigeon and Teal, with c250+ Brent Geese also making the notes.  The Golden Plovers (probably most or all of the flock previously seen in flight) were during this sighting, over on the arable and at this time numbered 150+.  The arable - over the other side of the main road - yielded 30 Curlew.  Counts of 1 Little Grebe, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Common Gull and 2 L B B Gulls rounded up the day's species. PL/MR/JH.

7th - Seawatching was the order of the day for one observer, with the session lasting 07.40-15.00hrs.  A total of fourteen species of particular note and these included seven additional ticks for the Haven 2018 Year List.  The Ducks consisted 3 Eider* (all drakes), 3 Pintails, 3 Mallards, 4 Shoveler, 8 Common Scoters*, 20 Wigeon and 21 Teal.  A single Gannet*, 5 Great Crested Grebes*, 17 Kittiwakes*49 Brent Geese and 92 Red-throated Divers were off-shore counts, while a Fieldfare* flew in/off, as did a Ringtail Hen Harrier*. DS

8th - A few observers on and around the site during the morning and three more Year Ticks.  An initial wander was from the carpark to the Raised Platform (Memorials area) - where the pools beyond are now full of water - yielding for the observer, a total count of 11 Barnacle Geese* which at first sighting gave 'two heads' located on the second pool, then 'within seconds a further nine lifted off' heading in an apparent direction of Gt. Holland, along with some c200 Greylag Geese - the latter dropping onto the scrape.  During the observer's walk from the Platform to the Main Hide, the Barnacles had re-located themselves to the marsh, right of the scrape. MR.  Viewing the skyline and across both the scrape and grazing marsh from the hide, provided singles of Sparrowhawk, Peregrine* and Marsh Harrier*, also 1 Blk-T Godwit, c200 Lapwings, 3 Shoveler, 6 Shelducks, c400 Teal and c400 Wigeon, plus 2 Mute Swans and 11 Cormorants.  The return journey to the carpark gave the addition of 3 Turnstones seen on the beach. TS/JH/MR.         

9th - Site visits and surveys today, yielded of note a single Med Gull which was on the beach, 1 Blk-T Godwit, 6 Turnstones and 480 Lapwings, 3 Shoveler, 8 Shelducks (inc. 2 S offshore), the Teal numbered at least 200 (probably more), 550+ Wigeon and 225 Greylag Geese.  Two flocks of Brent Geese totalled c1,050 and included amongst them, was a probable 'Black Brant/Brent hybrid'.  A single Rock Pipit and 2 Stonechats were also recorded. SC/PC/D/MR.  Further additions for the day were a Little Owl and 2 Snipe*. MR.

10th/11th/12th - No reports returned.

13th - Site visits and a joint report from two observers, gave that the Scrape and surrounding area was much as in recent days and included noted counts of 1 Snipe, 1 Blk-T Godwit, 4 Turnstones, 4 Shelducks, 7 Shoveler and 1 Canada Goose.  Both Teal and Wigeon were 'plenty' and the 'usual large group' of Greylag Geese were also present.  A late morning seawatch - a half-hour from the small hide above beach/pathway - yielded singles of Oystercatcher*, Great Crested Grebe and Black-throated Diver as well as 15+ Red-throated Divers.  The grazing marsh beyond the Memorials/brook provided sight of a Little Egret* which also brought the Haven 2018 Year List total to 83. PL/MR

14th - A day that rewarded the observers with up to four new Haven 2018 Year Ticks, including that of a 'fine Water Rail* that showed very briefly in front of the Main Hide.  Also viewed from the Main Hide were counts of 1 Common Buzzard, 3 Blk-T Godwits, 1 Gadwall, 4 Shelducks, 6 Shoveler and 230 Greylag Geese, along with (still) good numbers of both Wigeon and Teal.  The wander along to the Second Hide (reedbeds) and the subsequent return to the Sluice area, gave notables of 1 Grey Wagtail* (appeared to be flying from the Sewage Farm/thereabouts, headed towards Frinton), 1 Rock Pipit and 2 Stonechats.  A drake Red-breasted Merganser* (MR) had been viewed on the sea (from the Sluice) and a half-hour actual seawatch from here, added just a few Cormorants and at least 30 Red-throated Divers. PL/IM/ML/MR.  Early afternoon saw a visit to the Farm, where the first set of Paddocks provided 3 Fieldfares and the trees behind the Farmhouse yielded a Great Spotted Woodpecker*. PL/IMDuring any visits to the Farm for birding &/or wildlife surveys or for walking/hiking, please remember that via the Golf Course or otherwise, to only use the official Public Footpaths and Bridleways at any time, thank you.  

15th - No reports returned.

16th - Of particular note this morning, a visit and survey of the Farm areas (c10.17hrs), yielded a count of 2 Redwings and 5 Fieldfares in the first Paddocks. IM

17th - Fieldfares, Mistle and Song Thrushes were around and about the site areas today with the former two species being seen at/near the Farm (Gt. Holland) by observers at the Farm and observing towards that area from the Main Hide.  A minimum count of 2 and maximum of 4 Mistle Thrushes were noted, while with the addition of 6 Fieldfares seen at the Dipping Pond (SC), there was a minimum count of 8 Fieldfares and a maximum of 10.  There were 2 Song Thrushes seen in the Farm Paddocks. Main site: SC/PNt. Farm: IM/TS/DW/JH.  Surveying from the Main Hide was carried out by two observers today - during which, a WeBS count also took place.  This proved to consist of 1 Grey Heron and 19 Cormorants, 1 Blk-T Godwit, 175 Lapwings and 250 Golden Plovers.  The Ducks within the WeBS were 2 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler, 5 Shelducks, 9 Mallard, 145 Teal and 625 Wigeon, while the Geese numbered 1 Canada, 2 Brent and 195 Greylags (possibly more of the latter being hidden at the time of count). SC/PNt.    

18th - Just a brief report in for today but a very notable one as far as records go for the site.  The edge of the scrape gave the highlight of a 1W Yellow-legged Gull.  "Sub-adults are unusual at the Haven (see more Caspo's) and '1st years' are the rarest of all.  Virtually all Y-L Gulls reported for this site are adults or near adults". PRD

19th - No reports returned. 

20th - On a very rainy day indeed, observations were during a short visit this morning.  Viewing from the Main Hide yielded noted counts of 1 Blk-T Godwit, 5 Shelducks, 10 Shoveler, 40 Mallards and 15 Cormorants across the scrape and grazing marsh areas, along with some c300/c400 of both Wigeon and Teal.  The arable beyond the main scrape,  provided 70 Lapwings, 80 Golden Plovers and some 200 Brent Geese. PL.   

21st - Before the rain set in again this morning (and a little bit of snowfall in the local areas too), a couple of hours were spent by one observer on and around a few areas of the site.  The marsh beyond the Carpark gave sightings of a Green Woodpecker as well as a single Curlew and 2 Blk-T Godwits, while in the opposite direction, a Red-throated Diver was seen offshore.  The main scrape and surrounding grazing marsh again held similar counts of the Wigeon and Teal with these being alongside 2 Shelducks, 7 Shoveler and 70+ Greylag Geese.  The arable land yielded some 60+ Golden Plovers and a vast increase of Lapwings from yesterday's views, with "a nice flock of 500+". PL.    

22nd - A survey this afternoon - from Gt. Holland Hall (Farm) down to the seawall - found that the Farm Pond still had a Mute Swan upon it, while the Paddocks held 2 Song Thrushes, there were 2 Linnets in amongst the flock of Skylarks (these being on the arable) and 2 Common Buzzards were in the vicinity.  The seawall areas viewed, provided 2 Rock Pipits and up to 7 Pied Wagtails. PRD.

23rd/24th/25th/26th - No reports returned.

27th - A site visit and survey this morning, located of particular note around the bushes, a single Goldcrest near to the Boating Club compound (top of the service road).  The viewing from the Main Hide - across the scrape, grazing marsh, arable and skyline - yielded counts of 1 Cormorant1 Blk-T Godwit, 38 Curlew and 400+ Lapwings, along with 1 Shoveler, 7 Shelducks, c400 Teal, c400 Wigeon, 1 Canada and 92 Greylag Geese.  Singles of both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were in the vicinity, while there were a 'good number' of Gulls, consisting of L B B, G B B, Herring and Black-headed. MR.

28th - No reports returned.

29th - No reports returned - although a Ringing Session took place (TBA by PNt). 

30th - A Ringing Session was the order of the morning and this involved some 38 birds, of which 12 were new to the team and 26 were re-traps.  The species consisted of Robin, Dunnock and Goldcrest, along with L-T, Blue and Great Tits with the Blue Tits numbering 18 birds.  The count of 11 Robins during this ringing session was probably less than the total of this species in the area - "they were in song and much in evidence".   Of further particular note, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a 'regular' NTGG colour-ringed Herring Gulls were seen to be at the Sewage Farm. SC/PC.

31st - The last day of the month saw a Peregrine on the arable fields beyond the scrape, while of note the scrape held 14 Canada Geese. JH/MR.  Of further note, earlier this month, in the blackthorn (Shrike bush) towards the Frinton end of the site, a Reed Bunting* was located. PRD.  

As at 31st January 2018 the Haven 2018 Year List stands at 88.



1st - The 14 Canada Geese from yesterday (31/01/18) were again noted for the main scrape. MR.

2nd - Today provided a Haven 2018 Year Tick in the form of a Barn Owl* - the bird being beyond the scrape at the time, while on a post in front of the Main Hide was a Kingfisher. JH.

3rd - No reports returned as yet. 

4th - A site visit and survey this morning reported that it was "much the same as of late" (see January info).  The numbers of Wigeon and Teal on the scrape appear to be decreasing but "still plenty" currently remain with noted counts today of 5 Shelducks, 6 Shoveler and 15 Canada Geese in the vicinity and some 15 Curlew that were located on the marsh.  The brook beyond the Sluice yielded both a Little Grebe and a Kingfisher, while further site additions were singles of Goldcrest, Rock Pipit and Sparrowhawk. PL.

5th - A site visit in very cold conditions today, did add another Haven 2018 Year Tick to the list - this one being that of a Pink-footed Goose* which was amongst some c80 Greylag GeeseCanada Geese numbered 16, being the 15 of yesterday and another single bird that has been in with the Greylags since at least 27th January.  During this survey, c300 Brent Geese including a Black Brant, dropped in for a wash and brush up.  The scrape area generally, held counts of 2 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler, c300 Teal and c450 Wigeon, while 30+ Curlew were noted and the over on the arable, there were c300 Lapwings.  Singles of both Kestrel and Common Buzzard were in the vicinity. MR.

6th - No reports returned.

7th - Snow covered most of the County first thing but nothing too drastic for the immediate local areas - a few snow flurries occurred during the morning and into early afternoon.  Hence it was another very cold site visit this morning which found that the Pink-footed Goose was still amongst the Greylag Geese and that the number of Canada Geese had increased to 29.  All else appeared much the same as per the previous count. MR.  A late afternoon survey (15.00-16.00hrs) again noted the Pink-foot with the Greylags and at the time they were at the rear of the main scrape.  To the right of the Main Hide and "performing nicely" was a Barn Owl over the marsh.  A single Sanderling flew towards Holland-on-Sea along the beach and a count of 5 Turnstones were on the Sluice. PL.

8th - No reports returned.

9th - In still very cold and wet weather, this morning's survey was a during a short visit.  The Sluice - on the way to the Main Hide and on the way back again - yielded for the observer, a Ringed Plover* that became number 91 on the Haven 2018 Year List.  There were no sightings during this visit of either Canada's or Brent but the Pink-footed Goose was once more in-situ, as were some 90+ Greylag Geese.  Included in the counts for across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were 2 Blk-T Godwits, 2 Gadwall, 4 Shelducks, 6 Shoveler, c200 Teal and c400 Wigeon.  Also noted, was that the Wildlife front provided a Red Fox in the vicinity. MR.

10th - At least five observers were on and around the site during a grey, on/off rainy morning.  Of note, there was once again a Ringed Plover on the Sluice, while along the seawall close to this vicinity, a count of 1 Purple Sandpiper and 4 Turnstones were located.  Viewed near to the Second Hide was a single Stonechat and singles of both Little Egret and Common Buzzard featured in the report for across the scrape and surrounding area.  The scrape and grazing marsh also yielded 2 Blk-T Godwits and 15 Curlew, 12 Shoveler, 300 Wigeon and 500 Teal, the Pink-footed Goose and some 100+ Brent Geese. PL/MR/IM/ML/JH.

11th - During today's observations, the Pink-footed Goose was still on site and there were 3 Blk-T Godwits3 Gadwall and 8 Shoveler of note - the Teal and Wigeon numbers being as per those of the 10th.  To the right of the Main Hide, visibly perched in the channel, was the Kingfisher, while near to the Second Hide were 1pr Stonechats. PL.

12th - No reports returned. 

13th - No reports returned.

14th - The morning did for a while, give some brighter weather and a bit of sun - it failed however, to yield anything new for the Year List, nor any sign of the recent Pink-foot with the report stating "very much standard fare".  The counts during the morning survey were of 1 Grey Heron, 2 Blk-T Godwits, 8 Curlew and 355 Lapwings, 1 Gadwall, 1 Shelduck, 8 Shoveler, 10 Mallards, only 30 Teal, 240 Wigeon and 91 Greylag Geese. SC

15th/16th - No reports returned.

17th - At least three observers visited the site on this pleasant, sunny morning.  The scrape and surrounding areas yielded similar species to a few days ago but there were some changes in the totals.  Counts were of 3 Blk-T Godwits and 20 Curlew, along with 8 Shelducks and 9 Shoveler, while the Teal were up again at some 200 and the Wigeon were still in good numbers.  Also included in the viewing at this time, were 10 Canada Geese.  A wander and survey from the Main Hide through to the start of the Golf Course and the return walk, gave a single Reed Bunting, 1pr Stonechats and 40+ Meadow Pipits of note. PL/ML/JH.

18th/19th/20th/21st/22nd - No reports returned.

23rd - No reports returned as yet.

24th -



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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.