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).
Site Year Tick*
1st - A grey, dismal morning to start December along with light NNE/NE winds (c8mph) and patchy rain across some of the local area. After a very good run of warmer temperatures...... the lower numbers seem to be here to stay for a while. Quick viewing off-shore determined a definite lack of movement, so it was onwards down to the main hide. Ducks and Geese all over the scrape and surrounding area just added to the wintery feel along with the cold weather. Counts included 4 Gadwall, 4 Shelducks, 34 Shoveler, 350 Teal and c500 Wigeon, 12 Canada, 140 Greylag (+Emperor) and c900 Brent Geese - the Brents moving arable/scrape/sea courtesy of the Farmer. Additions consisted of 1 Curlew, 11 Blk T Godwits, 200 Lapwings and 4 Mute Swans, while the visible skyline and surrounding marsh also provided singles of Sparrowhawk, Peregrine and Common Buzzard. The sluice area on the homeward walk held 2 Turnstones and viewing the set-aside over the road (details per Nov.24th), at least 4 Yellowhammers were still in-situ. At this time, there were 2 White-fronted Geese among the Greylag flock on the marsh. MR.
2nd - Another grey morning with early rain followed by on/off drizzle with no change by early afternoon. The winds mostly remaining N with a slight variation at times to NNE. At 09.52hrs, 2 adult Bewicks Swans* (MR) were located on the scrape and then at 10.5Ohrs, 3 Whooper Swans* (MR) dropped in - the latter being an adult bird with 2 juveniles. It would appear that the Swans were disturbed and took flight at 11.55hrs when the Brent Goose flock descended on the scrape. MR/PRD/PBr. On the route to/from the hide area from Frinton, a Snow Bunting (fem type) was located by the Raised Golf Tee and a male Stonechat was along the edge of the Golf Course. PBr.
3rd - A visit today in the drizzly weather yielded of note, 1pr Stonechats, singles of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard, c50 Greylag Geese flew in along with 2 White-fronted Geese (+Emperor) and there were 'plenty of Wigeon'. Nothing of interest was on/over the sea. Mo.
4th - Two observers visited the site today and included both a seawatch session and viewing from the main hide. Not alot of movement offshore between 09.00-10.00hrs with just 3 Red-T Divers and 5 Brent Geese all heading N to actually note. Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh and the viewable skyline, there were 2 Shelducks, 4 Gadwall, 9 Shoveler, high numbers of both Wigeon and Teal across the area, 3 Barnacle and 180 Greylag Geese (+Emperor), alongside 80 Lapwings. A Kestrel and a Common Buzzard were viewed. IM/MR. The return wander along the front saw another Red-T Diver and a further 14 Brent Geese flying N offshore, while also heading N was a Skua sp. possibly a Pomarine. MR.
5th - A few local birders and a couple of visitors from Ipswich were on and around the site during the morning. Of note across the site in general, along the front and off-shore were counts of 1 Stonechat (MR), 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Curlew, 2 Blk T Godwits, 4 Lapwings, 1 Cormorant, 2 Red-T Divers (both N offshore), 1 Common Buzzard and (via new visitors) 2 Marsh Harriers. Ducks numbered 2 Gadwall, 4 Shelducks, 12 Mallards, 16 Shoveler, 215 Teal and 595 Wigeon, while Geese in the vicinity consisted of 1 Emperor, 3 Barnacle, 17 Canada and 156 Greylags, with a single Brent Goose being seen as it flew N. The five species of Gulls viewed during this particular survey gave 3 Common, 5 L B B, 8 G B B, 25 Blk -headed and 140 Herring. SC/IM/MR/et al.
6th - No reports returned.
7th - A morning visit to the main hide gave of particular note 4 Curlew, 32 Blk T Godwits, 3 Gadwall, c300 Teal, c500 Wigeon and 2 Little Egrets, also 1 Common Buzzard and a 'cracking' male Marsh Harrier. IM.
8th - No reports returned.
9th - No reports returned.
10th - On the route to the main hide this morning, a Chiffchaff was located by the Sewage Farm entrance but was the only notable bird before reaching the hide. Across the scrape and surrounding vicinity were totals of 22 Curlew, 30 Blk T Godwits and 170 Lapwings, c70 Greylag Geese, 3 Shoveler, 3 Shelducks, 300 Teal and c300 Wigeon, 2 Little Egrets and 3 Cormorants. Dropping in briefly for a 'quick wash' were some 150 Brent Geese. Also noted were 1 Common, 2 Herring and 52 Blk-headed Gulls, 1 Kestrel and a Common Buzzard. The return walk and a brief look offshore, yielded 5 Red-T Divers (3N+2 on sea). MR.
11th - No counts returned but much as last few days & very chilly. (MR).
12th - No counts returned but much as last few days & again chilly. (MR).
13th - In the morning sun, a wander to the third turret failed to give the observer any 'new year ticks' but the survey did provide a Turnstone on the sluice, 2 Pied Wagtails, a Stonechat that was by the Golf Course dump and a Rock Pipit on the rocks near to the third turret. Moving back and forth from the arable beyond the Golf Course and out to the sea were c500 Brent Geese. Viewing from the main hide gave singles of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard, along with sightings of 1 Little Egret, 4 Grey Herons and 4 Cormorants. Also across the scrape and surrounding marsh were 2 Snipe, 12 Curlew, c30 Blk T Godwits, 90 Lapwings, 2 Shoveler, 4 Shelducks, 5 Gadwall, c200 Teal, c300 Wigeon and 10 Greylag Geese. Returning from the hide back towards the carpark, counts of 2 Red-T Divers and 2 Pintails flew SW offshore, singles of both Pied and Grey Wagtails were on the Mounds and in the carpark area there were 1 Redwing and 6 Blackbirds of note. MR.
14th - No reports returned.
15th - A very nice bright day that allowed a walk along to the third turret while viewing across the scrape and surrounding area was from the top gate above the first turret. The sluice itself gave 2 Turnstones and the sluice rocks held a Purple Sandpiper. The scrape was much as in recent days where Shoveler, Shelducks, Teal and Wigeon were all in-situ, 33 Curlew were across the grazing marsh and dropping into the surrounding pools were some c20 Blk T Godwits. A single Little Egret and 4 Grey Herons were in the vicinity and the rear hedgerows yielded singles of Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk, along with 2 Kestrels. The wander to the Frinton end saw counts of 3 Meadow Pipits, 4 Stonechats (2x hedge above main hide + 2x Golf Course dump), 12 Linnet that were fly-overs and a single Bearded Tit that was calling as it flew out from the reeds near to the Golf Course dump and was lost to view as the bird continued South. During this survey, c300 Brent Geese were visible on the arable beyond the Golf Course. MR.
16th - No reports returned.
17th - No reports returned.
18th - No reports returned.
19th - The over night rain continued into the early morning but eased to give way to bright sun and some blue skies. NW winds of variable speeds c10mph through 27mph, while earlier gusting had reached 33mph. Morning temperature readings of +10 degrees - pretty good considering it is mid-December!
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.