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.

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Site Year Tick: *

September 2011 

1st - Bright sun, blue skies and a moderate to strong Easterly wind - after the last few days of August, this was a much better start to the day!!  The weather for the day continued mostly as it started, with just the wind strength increasing as the day wore on.  This morning's observations included the areas from opposite the approach road entrance, through to the hide and the second turret.  Warblers and finches located across the site were 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcaps, 6 Lesser and 8 Common Whitethroats, 2 Reed and 3 Willow Warblers, 20+ Linnets and 20+ Goldfinch.  Singles of Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Little Owl were noted, whilst Wheatears and Whinchats were today, at 5 and 3.  Viewing across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, supplied Wader counts of 16 Blk T Godwits, 3 Ruff, 2 Dunlin, 1 Redshank and still there, were the 2 Little Stints.  Ducks and Geese were at 3 Shovelers, 1 Wigeon, 115 Teal and 340+ Greylag Geese. MR/PRD.  Additional sightings during a family cycle ride and playtime on the beach, gave a Willow Warbler and 2 Wheatears for the seawall, +/- 3 further Wheatears around hide/beach, a Cormorant headed S off-shore, also 2 Meadow Pipits and a flock of 16 Linnet. PBr.  A distant Skua sp. seen from both the Haven and Frinton during the afternoon, was probably a Pomarine but it was just too far out. PBr/

2nd - A sunny start today, although the skies were still slightly hazy at 07.30hrs.  Winds began as very light SE, changing slightly in direction during the day and were also slightly stronger at times.  By the early evening, the winds were again light and were at SW.  Generally it was a very pleasant, warm and bright day.  The site was surveyed from 08.30hrs through to 11.30hrs and was reported as "pretty disappointing" given the time of year and the weather conditions.  On the scrape there were found to be 3 Little Stints this morning, being the original two plus "a more strikingly two-toned individual, lacking any warm rufous tones".  Alongside the Stints, were 3 Dunlin, singles of Ruff, Blk T Godwit and Ringed Plover (col.ringed juv of the Tundra form), 8+ Snipe, 10 Curlew, 1 Shoveler and 175+ Teal.  Also noted were 6+ Lesser and 5+ Common Whitethroats, 2 Chiffchaff, singles of Willow Warbler, Blackcap (male) and Yellow Wagtail, whilst 2 Wheatears were upon the first turret. PRD.    

3rd - Very bright and very hot with some moderate SSW winds.  With the annual Triathlon held over this weekend, it is not necessarily the best weekend to enjoy a slow meander around the site with the intent of observing any small feathered species amongst the trees, bushes or reedbeds.  The Triathlon is always a popular (and noisy) event, so it is good for the community but dodging the cyclists and runners on site, can be interesting!!  Subsequently, the only Warbler to make the notebook today, was a Garden Warbler located near to the memorials. PL.  During a morning survey, a Hobby was viewed. LH.  Across the scrape this afternoon, a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was alongside 3 Little Stints, 13 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover (juv), 2 Ruff, 5 Blk T Godwits and 10 Snipe.  2 Wheatears and 4 Whinchat were also noted. PRD/MR.  The farm area today, supplied 8+ Yellow Wagtails and the route through to the hide gave 2 Sandwich Terns heading S along the front and 2 Swifts over. PRD.  A cycle ride (not part of the triathlon!!) beginning at and returning to, the Frinton end of site, from 16.30hrs through 17.45hrs, gave off-shore additions of 2 Med Gulls (2x1W) both of which decided to head S, a Common Tern that also flew S and "cruising up and down the coast, very close in" were at least 3 Sandwich Terns.  10 Whinchats were a group of 7 between the two hides and another group of 3 on the edge of the grazing marsh/golf course, while a total of 16 Wheatears were noted, 2 Meadow Pipits and a Yellow Wagtail.  An overhead passage of Swallows was at a c200 count. PBr.

4th - A day of mixed weather today - bright at times, overcast at others and a good drop of rain for a while during the latter part of the afternoon.  The early evening went on to be quite pleasant.  Wind strength and direction was also variable - from moderate through to strong and gusts that ranged from the morning of c26mph, down to the afternoon gusts of c22mph.  Again the trees and bushes were given a miss, due to the number of people on the site in connection with the Triathlon.  Morning viewing across the scrape and it's immediate vicinity, gave 4 Little Stints, the juvenile Ringed Plover, 3 Ruff, 1 Blk T Godwit, 9 Snipe, 1 Shoveler, 90+ Teal and 300+ Greylag Geese, whilst the marsh area held 30+ Linnets and 20+ Goldfinch, a single Reed Bunting, 7 Wheatears and 5 Whinchat.  A small passage of birds off-shore, supplied 1 Arctic Skua (dark morph juv) heading S, 12 Sandwich and 3 Common Terns and also 2 Oystercatchers.  On the wires (carpark areas) some 250+ Swallows and 50+ House Martins were seen and the report gave that southerly movement had been steady all morning. MR.  Three observers on site for the afternoon, before, during and after the rain, had several species additional too and a few counts' over and above this morning's numbers.  Singles of Greenshank and Dunlin, an adult Med Gull, 60+ Sand Martins, a Marsh Harrier (ad.fem) and 3 Swifts were the additions, whilst Snipe had increased to 13 and Blk T Godwits to 4.  A further 40+ Swallows were noted, as were 2 Wheatears on the mounds. AD/MJ/DJ.  An evening visit gave one observer a most surprising view of a Kingfisher........... The bird was perched upon the bars of the sluice (i.e. by the seawall) and it was looking into the sea!!  The Kingfisher, upon realising somebody was there, flew out over the sea before turning back to fly towards the brook. PNt.

NB: There is a "Leucistic" Herring Gull (juv) roaming in and around the area.  This bird was on the scrape 04-09-11 and was viewed by at least five persons during the day and has also been seen close to the site recently. 

Also of note for 04-09-11, on the Haven beach this morning was the unfortunate find of a dead juvenile Guillemot.  

5th - Again, a mix of weather - from bright and very breezy, to very grey and somewhat chilly, to sun and blue skies with a few clouds, to an afternoon attempt of rain, a late evening downpour etc. etc.  Early SW winds turned during the day to WSW and then back again, while remaining mostly strong.  Wind gusts were on/off all day long, reaching up to 37mph.  With the high winds, notable birds around the trees and bushes were few and far between with just 2 Willow Warblers, 1 Lesser and 3 Common Whitethroats being located.  A Sparrowhawk was viewable from the hide, while singles of Hobby and Marsh Harrier were also on/over the site, as were 2 Wheatears and 3 Sanderling.  The scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, gave 2 Little Stints, 1 Little Egret, 5 Snipe, 4 Blk T Godwits and 2 Ruff, also 3 Med Gulls (3x1W), 90+ Teal and a count of 394 Greylag Geese.  Forty-five minutes of sea-watching from 11.15hrs to 12.00hrs, saw a Gannet (imm) heading N and 9 Wigeon going S. MR

6th - After a night of heavy rain and very strong winds, the morning and indeed the day, faired no better!  Mostly dull with on/off rain alongside strong SSW winds and gusts (which appeared more constant that just gusting) of 43+ mph.  The winds briefly dropped in strength going into the evening and they also turned to WSW.  Wind gusts had also dropped to c29mph.  Not unexpectedly, "White Horses" were on the notes for off-shore today and plenty of them.  A bit of a task to make it to the hide and then back to the carpark in the horrendous weather - but the scrape was surveyed this morning!  Viewable species were 2 Little Stints, 3 Snipe, 2 Ruff, 3 Blk T Godwits, 124 Teal, 335 Greylag Geese and 70+ MallardsMR

7th - It was sunny but a bit hazy to start the day.  After yesterday's and last night's gale force winds and heavy rain, this morning found the winds to be still at a WSW direction and although at a more moderate strength initially, they picked up strength during the morning and then remained strong throughout.  By the evening, the direction had turned slightly to SW.  Gusting was in the c29mph speed range.  Viewing from the hide this morning, provided sightings once again of 2 Little Stints and 2 Ruff with other species being 1 Blk T Godwit, 5 Snipe, 143 Teal and 366 Greylag Geese. MR/SC.  Observations for the site in general, supplied singles of Common Buzzard, Little Owl, Garden and Reed Warblers, Chiffchaff and Wheatear, 4 Blackcaps, 6 Common Whitethroats and 20+ Linnets. GG/MR/PRD.  Additional species and increased numbers for later in the day were those of 2 Sandwich Terns, 6 Whinchats and a Grey Wagtail (the latter in the sewage works), while SnipeRuff and Wheatears increased to 6, 3 and 8 respectively. GG.  Also reported, was a Peregrine that was seen to come in/off, then head over the scrape.          

8th - A dull, overcast and rainy start today and the subsequent drizzle, continued on/off through the morning, along with it appearing to be generally much cooler.  Initial WSW winds turned to SW by the early afternoon and remained mostly of a moderate strength (with the occasional drop to light).  A few observers on and around the site this morning giving details of 1 Reed Warbler, 3 Common Whitethroats, 4 Chiffchaff and 7 Blackcaps being around the trees, bushes and hedgerows (MR/GG/PRD), whilst off-shore viewing supplied 2 Common Terns and 2 Oystercatchers - these heading SW. MR.  Into the hide for a survey (be it only a fairly quick stay this morning) of the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh, to give the report of 1 Little Stint alongside 3 Ruff, 1 Redshank and an adult Med Gull, with the ducks and geese being at 90+ Teal and 360+ Greylag Geese. MR.    

9th - The skies were a little bit hit and miss today - blue but alot of dull cloud around too.  Temperatures not too bad, being around the +20 degrees for the majority, while the winds began as WSW and of light to moderate strength and by the early evening, they had turned to SSW and erred more to very light.  A morning visit to the site provided views of a Common Buzzard, a selection of hirundines - namely a few Swallows, House and Sand Martins but the scrape was, at the time of this visit, a bit on the quiet side!  The Dell and it's immediate area, appeared on the other hand to be a hive of activity with good numbers of Gold, Green and Chaffinches, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps (male+fem) and +/-7 Common Whitethroats.  Also noted in this vicinity were c15 Wheatears and along the seawall, were more of them. MJ. Members of the ringing team (GG/PRD) have been on site for the last three days, so there will be news and updates posted on their Recent Activities.  However, their site report for today - including some of the trapped/rung birds - gave 25+ Siskin heading over SW early morning, 3+ Yellow Wagtails and a Sparrowhawk (fem) also through/over, 1 Spotted Flycatcher was located late afternoon in the carpark bushes, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Lesser and 8+ Common Whitethroats, 7+ Chiffchaff and 6+ Blackcaps. GG/PRD.       

(NB. A total of 1139 Meadow Pipits were noted from the Frinton Obs. today 09-09-11, most of them from 09.15hrs to early afternoon. PBr. Noteable numbers of Mipits were also at Old Hall/Chelmsford/Boreham).

10th - Overcast during the morning with a strange mix of colours and tones within the clouds - from creams and pinks through to various shades of grey!!  Winds began at moderate strength Southerlies and ended the day at light to moderate SSW. A few on/off spits of rain during the afternoon, followed by a brief downpour that further to the then bright sun, gave a superb rainbow and it's slightly less bright double.  A comment of "we are due an Osprey*" was soon to be a reality as one flew in from the direction of the backwaters, high across the scrape and headed off towards Colne Point at 10.20hrs, also a Common Buzzard went NE and a Marsh Harrier followed the same route. The scrape held 1 Ruff, 1 Dunlin, 1 Blk T Godwit and 5 Snipe. GG/BG.  A further report for the site, gave 5 Blackcaps and 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Wheatears, 7 Whinchats, 30 Meadow Pipits, 40 Linnets and 50 Goldfinch. LH.

11th - A bit dull again to start the morning but when the sun eventually broke through to stay, it was very warm if not a touch blustery throughout.  Early winds were moderate to strong SW, increasing in strength during the day and gusting reached 30+mph.  Several observers were on and around the site today during both the morning and the afternoon.  Two sea-watching sessions this morning - from different site locations - had just a half hour overlap with one from 07.30hrs to 09.00hrs and the other from 08.30hrs to 10.15hrs.  Between the two reports the following species were noted and only the Swallows and Common Terns were possible cross-over numbers: 3 Swifts, 42+ Sand Martins, 232+ Swallows (232+)+/-(50), 4 Arctic Terns (3juv+1ad), 10 Sandwich Terns, 45+ Common Terns (45+)+/-(2), 1 Med Gull (ad), 6 Blk T Godwits, 4 Turnstones, 2 Dunlin, 3 Ruff, 2 Grey Plovers, 12 Ringed Plovers, 4 Oystercatchers, 20+ Meadow Pipits, 1 Wheatear, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Common Scoter, 13 Wigeon (6)+(7) and 2 Gannets (2ximm). Mostly these were all heading SW, the Gannets flew NE. AD/PRD/PL.  Morning and afternoon viewing across the scrape and generally around the site, provided 3+ Common Buzzards, 1 Merlin (fem/imm), 1 Hobby, 2 Marsh Harriers (males:ad + imm), 2+ Sparrowhawks, 1 Ruff, 4 Blk T Godwits, 2 Dunlin, 4 Snipe, 100 Lapwings, 1 Med Gull (1W), 7 Cormorants, 1 Wigeon, 70+ Teal and 1 Yellow Wagtail, while completing the general site round-up for today were 9 Whinchat, 2 Wheatears, a single Green Woodpecker and a further 43+ Sand Martins. AD/PRD/PL/LH.

12th - Another grey start with initially some strong (c24mph) SSW winds.  A small amount of rain during the morning was followed by brighter skies but by the early afternoon, the wind strength had increased and had also turned to WSW, alongside gusting of c38 to 40+mph.  Wind direction and strength continued into the evening - the excessive winds being not nearly as bad as those from the tail end of "Hurricane Katia" lashing the other side of the country.  Surveying the scrape this morning, provided a juv Little Stint, a single Ruff, 8 Blk T Godwits and 4 Snipe, a Med Gull (1W), 6 G.B.B Gulls and 1 Sandwich Tern, also 4 Wigeon, 150 Teal and 300+ Greylag Geese.  Sea-watching from 11.30-12.30hrs supplied views of a juvenile Gannet, 1 Grey Plover, 3 Sandwich Terns, a Med Gull and 2 Cormorants, all of which were heading SW.  Also noted, was a very distant Skua sp. PRD/MR/SC.

13th - A dry and fairly bright morning with some blue skies amongst the (mostly) white cloud.  Wind direction at WSW again and at a strength of moderate to strong.  Apart from slightly stronger winds during the afternoon, the weather remained much the same throughout the day - a slight attempt of rain c16.00hrs was just that!  Visits to site both this morning and this afternoon, included surveys of the trees, bushes and hedgerows - much easier without the tremendous winds of the previous two days!  Noted for these and the common ground areas were 1 Little Owl, 1 Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff and 6 Lesser and 9 Common Whitethroats, also 5 of each Whinchat and Wheatears.  For the duration of the morning visit, there was a steady stream of Swallows heading through, along with 2 House and 5 Sand Martins and some 50+ Meadow Pipits.  Morning viewing from the hide gave singles of Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier (fem) and Kestrel, while the scrape itself provided 3 Med Gulls (3x1W), 2 Snipe, 1 Ruff and 5 Blk T Godwits, 3 Wigeon, 208 Teal and 300+ Greylag GeeseDuring the afternoon site observations (13.30-16.30hrs), viewing across the scrape and surrounding area, supplied additions of 1 Hobby, an imm. Marsh Harrier and a Common Gull (1W), while Wigeon were up by one to a count of 4 and Med Gulls had increased to a count of 10 (4xad+6x1W) of which this total may or may not include the morning birds. MR/PRD.  Located on the sluice this morning was a single Purple Sandpiper. LR/PR.

14th - Very bright and sunny today and out of the winds, it was at times quite warm - although it was a bit of a chilly start this morning.  Moderate Westerly winds prevailed until the latter part of the afternoon, when they became slightly lighter - occasional gusting reached c26mph.  Observations by a morning visitor gave 1 Sandwich Tern and 2 Wheatears, while a movement of several hundred House Martins went through/over the site and the sea.  Numerous Meadow Pipits and a few Swallows were noted and several of both Common Whitethroats and Chiffchaff were at various locations around the site. The scrape appeared at this time to be empty of waders with the exception of a Blk T Godwit. DP.  An "afternoon into early evening" survey from 13.30-18.30hrs, saw that the Meadow Pipit passage was still on-going with 80+ noted - mostly heading S and in groups of c10.  A Redstart was located in hawthorns close to the Coastguard Tower, Whinchats were noted at 6, Chiffchaffs at 20+, Sedge Warbler (brook in front of hide) and Yellow Wagtail at 1 of each, while Wheatears were up from this morning to 6 but only 2 Whitethroats were seen at this time.  The scrape had a little bit more activity going on this afternoon, with 1 Dunlin, 5+ Snipe, 2 Blk T Godwits, a Common Gull (1W), 7 Med Gulls (3xad+4x1W), 1 Wigeon and 150+ Teal.  Both a Hobby and Marsh Harrier (imm) were viewed, as were approximately 2,200 Blk Headed Gulls of which c300 were on the scrape itself, while the rest were mainly on the arable along with a working farm tractor. PRD.

15th - The early morning was definitely an autumn one - some great dawn skies, very light winds and very chilly!  The winds (a breeze, if that) were initially WNW but moved during the day to SE and for the latter part of the day, the wind speeds also varied from light to moderate.  The temperature increased from c08.00hrs and the day became and remained, very warm and bright.  Several observers were on site at various times during the day and an early morning "Ringing Session" was also carried out.  A total of 50 birds were newly rung today and these included 20 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcaps and a Reed Warbler. SC.  Generally around the site, the trees, bushes, reedbeds, hedgerows, seawall and common ground, gave (+/- aforementioned but most likely inclusive) singles of Reed Bunting and Sedge Warbler, 2 of each Willow and Reed Warblers, 4 Lesser and 6 Common Whitethroats, 14 Blackcaps, 30+ Chiffchaff, 4 Wheatears and 7+ Whinchats, while noted fly-overs consisted of 60+ Meadow Pipits, 6 Siskin and 2 Yellow Wagtails.  Surveying the scrape during the morning, the counts were of 5 Curlew Sandpipers, 1 Ruff (ad), 1 Blk T Godwit, 3 Snipe, 2 Dunlin, an adult Med Gull, 1 Wigeon and the Teal were at c150.  Further viewing at 12.00hrs, gave additions of 2 Ringed Plovers, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Golden Plover and Dunlin numbers had increased to 12. PRD/MR/JK.

16th - After an early but slight shower, the day brightened on/off between the clouds while the SE winds varied through ESE to SSE and from moderate to strong - with some added gusting too!  A very good variety of Shearwaters and Skuas, along with Divers and Ducks, did throughout the morning and into the afternoon, head SouthWest and some North, off-shore past both the Haven and Frinton.  The seawatching from the Haven site took place 08.30-11.30hrs and again 12.30-13.00hrs and it was during the earlier viewing that a "first" for the Haven was seen by Pete Davis.  At 10.35hrs, sweeping by in a NE direction and mid-way out, was 1+ BALEARIC SHEARWATER* - further out at the same time, there was possibly another of the same or a Manx.  3 Sooty Shearwaters* independently headed NE at 08.55, 09.00 and 09.45hrs respectively, whilst seen heading SW were 2 Bonxies and 4 Arctic Skuas (3+1).  Also on the wing heading SW were 2 Eider, 12 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 51 Brent Geese and a Sandwich Tern, 1 Oystercatcher and 3+ Ringed Plovers.  17 Gannets were counted overall, of which most of these were flying SW, whilst noted as it headed North, was a single Avocet.  A half-hour survey of a very quiet scrape gave just 2 Common Sandpipers, 5 Blk T Godwits and 1 Wigeon of any note. PRD/SC.  An additional sighting for today was that of 22 Cormorants that were seen to fly over the scrape and then head in a SW direction along the coastline. MR/PL.      

17th - Another colourful dawn-break was followed by a day consisting of a full mix of weather!  Bright and sunny spells alternated with a few downpours, heavy cloud-cover and a bit of thunder thrown in too, while temperatures (unless one had gotten drenched in the rain) felt and were pretty much mediocre.  Initial light SW winds increased to moderate with on/off strong gusting and remained as such throughout.  Surveying on and from the Haven was today, carried out from early morning to late afternoon and a Ringing Session also took place.  With an early sea-watch going on from the Sailing Club and another (virtually simultaneous) from the Sluice, the totals shown are the higher of the two reports for each species - NOT the combined totals.  2 Pintails, 4 Common Scoter, 2 Gadwall, 5 Shelduck, 28 Teal, 122 Wigeon, 52 Brent Geese, 1 Little Egret, 7 Grey Plovers, 3 Knot, 4 Sanderling, 84 Dunlin, 2 Turnstones, 12 Oystercatchers and 6 Curlews.  Terns noted were 1 Arctic, 19 Sandwich and 16 Common, while both Gannets and Cormorants numbered 3 of each, Swallows were at 165+ and finishing the morning sea-watch reports, House Martins were at 10+.  Over on the scrape were 2 of each Common Sandpipers and Snipe, 8 Blk T Godwits, 100 Teal and 6 Cormorants.  On the sluice was a single Purple Sandpiper (poss. same bird further along coastline later in the afternoon). GG/AD/PL/SC.  After a small excursion to St. Osyth for the Pallid H, an afternoon sea-watch was carried out prior to c15.30hrs and provided good views of a single Black Tern*, also 5 Sandwich and 3 Commic terns and 20+ Brent GeeseGG/LDr.  At 16.00hrs another watch from the Sailing Club added the following to the day's totals: 18 Dunlin, 1 Grey Plover, 9 Common Scoter, 10 Brent Geese and a single Cormorant. AD

18th - Generally a very bright day, although some grey clouds moved through but nothing came of these until some evening rain.  Winds began as light WSW, turning to NW by early afternoon and the strength increased but this also varied into and through the afternoon.  A site visit today covered the areas from opposite the Approach Road entrance through to and including viewing from the hide.  A Garden Warbler and several of both Chiffchaff and Blackcaps were noted amongst a large Tit flock that was moving around and through the Wooded Area adjacent to the Approach Road, while other of today's areas, held 12+ Chiffchaffs, another Garden Warbler, 10+ Lesser and 3 Common Whitethroats and 12 Linnets.  Singles of Little Owl and Little Egret were noted, while fly-overs (S) were those of 7 Siskin and a steady passage of Swallows, a few House Martins and a single Sand Martin.  Birds of Prey totalled in at 6+ Common Buzzards, 2 Hobby, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrels.  The scrape was very slightly different to yesterday with 3 of each Ruff, Common Sandpipers and Blk T Godwits, 1 Whimbrel and 4 Wigeon of note, while Teal and Greylag Geese were on and around the scrape but not counted. MR.

19th - Very bright this morning along with some light to sometimes moderate WNW winds.  The wind direction turned through the day to W by late morning then to WSW, increased to mostly moderate and there was gusting of c24mph.  Viewing across the scrape and surrounding area gave totals of 1 Ruff, 2 of each Common Sandpipers and Snipe, 5 Blk T Godwits, 140+ Lapwings, a single Shoveler, 2 Wigeon, 70+ Teal, 10 Cormorants, 6 Egyptian and 114 Greylag Geese.  Heading over and through the site today were 15 Siskin, 1 Sand and 100+ House Martins and some 100+ Swallows, while surveying around the site in general, gave singles of HobbyGt. Spotted Woodpecker and Wheatear, 4 Lesser and 3 Common Whitethroats, 15+ Chiffchaff and 9+ Blackcaps. MR/PRD

20th - Moderate SW winds this morning had become slightly stronger and SSW by mid-afternoon, with some c29mph gusting on/off throughout.  The day was again a mix of bright sun and cloud and out of the wind, it was fairly warm.  Observers were on site during both this morning and early this afternoon and both reports provided details for the scrape which initially gave 1 Ruff, 2 Common Sandpipers, 6 Snipe and 7 Blk T Godwits, alongside 1 Shoveler, 55 Teal and 95 Greylag Geese.  Afternoon (13.00-14.45hrs) additions were a Kingfisher, 4 Sandwich Terns, 2 Med Gulls (ad+2W) and 11 Cormorants, while Blk T Godwits were up to a total of 9.  The earlier views across the scrape also supplied 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 Kestrel and the latter views included 50+ Swallows and 2+ Sand Martins. MR/PRD.  The trees and bushes were quiet during the morning with noted species being 3 of each Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, 1 Little Owl and a couple of Jays that were collecting the acorns. MR.  Whilst walking along the sewage farm hedge during the later visit, "a juvenile Skua sp. (prob. Arctic) flew low from the scrape towards the sluice" and even though the observer rushed to the sluice, there was no further sign of this bird.  A sea-watch was undertaken from 15.00-16.15hrs and the highlights of that were a Manx Shearwater* close in-shore and heading NE at 15.03hrs, 2 Gannets (imm) and 2 Sandwich Terns.  Near to the sluice were 2 Wheatears. PRD.

21st - Rain during the early part of the morning continued to be a bit hit and miss through until lunchtime, with the skies being subsequently on/off grey clouds and sunny bright.  Wind strength and direction was initially moderate WSW and became stronger later in the day.  A Red-Backed Shrike* (juv) was located by Pete Davis at 10.45hrs.  The bird was on the hawthorns on the edge of the golf course, near to the sea-wall and c100yds from the beach huts (all within the Haven boundary). The Shrike, a cracking and well marked bird, (see gallery) had many observers watching it throughout the day and it was still on show going into the evening - it could however be elusive at times, when it favoured the Golf Course side of the bushes! PRD/PBr/SC/PC/KA/PB et al.  Walking through to and surveying the site down to the location of the Shrike, a Grey Wagtail was seen as it flew over heading S, a Stonechat was close to the second hide and other totals included 4 Whinchats, 8 Wheatears, 3 of each Chiffchaff and Blackcap, 2 Common Whitethroats and a Reed WarblerPRD.  An early visit to the hide provided views of 1 Ruff, 1 Common Sandpiper, 7 Blk T Godwits, 11 Snipe, 67 Teal and 154 Greylag Geese, while 13 Goldfinch and 2 Reed Warblers were also in this area.  5 Chiffchaff were seen prior to reaching the hide. MR.  Lunchtime saw 4 Wheatears fly onto the rocks near the Frinton end of site, before they continued further S along the Haven coastline, while 12+ Linnets were around and about this same end of site.  10+ Goldfinch were noted as they flew S over the Marshes road just prior to the site entrance. KA.  During early evening viewing of the Shrike, 4 Yellow Wagtails were on the Golf Course and a further 3 flew over, while off-shore a single Blk T Godwit headed S.  Goldfinches were plentiful along the full stretch of the Golf Course. AD/PL.

22nd - Quite a bright day today - although a fair amount of grey cloud moved through.  The WSW winds were light but erred more to moderate through the morning with some stronger gusting but they were "moderate plus" going into the early afternoon before easing slightly prior to dusk.  The juv Red-Backed Shrike (the last R-BS recorded at the Haven was 7th October 1998) was still on site this morning "sitting happily on the seaward side of the hawthorn" in front of two local observers.  Hirundines were on the move through and over the Haven again with a selection of finches moving too, these totalled c100 House Martins, 125 Swallows, 25 Meadow Pipits, 8 Linnets, 10 Goldfinches and 2 Siskin.  3 Yellow Wagtails were this morning on the Golf Course, while a Marsh Harrier that came high over Frinton before heading out to sea, was also viewed from the Haven.  A survey across the scrape, noted a Kingfisher as it flew over the area. PBr/BS.  With a Ringing Session going on from 07.00hrs to 12.00hrs and quite a few observers around throughout the day, additional reports for species on and around the scrape, provided 2 Common Sandpipers, 1 Ruff, 7 Snipe, 10 Blk T Godwits, 2 Med Gulls, 4 Wigeon and a Shoveler.  Also, 1 Merlin (ad female) and a Marsh Harrier.  Additional reports for the rest of the site gave c10 Wheatears, 5+ Siskins, 1 Stonechat, 1 Whinchat and 1 Lesser Redpoll*, while a Common Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff and 3 Blackcaps were in the vicinity of the Ringing Compound.  At least 200 Swallows flew over and 35+ Meadow Pipits - both the latter species could possibly be +/- the earlier reported birds.  The Shrike was reported as being still on site this evening as at 17.35hrs. SC/AEC/MJ/KT/PRD.  Of particular note on the scrape this afternoon, was that of a possible adult Azorean Yellow-Legged Gull (form Atlantis) - only a brief staying bird and flew at 13.45hrs. PRD

23rd - Another bright morning with light winds that were initially WSW but turned prior to 09.00hrs to SW.  By the afternoon the temperature was a very warm one and wind direction was at S.  Located in the Dell (by toilet block) at 09.30hrs were 2 Yellowhammers*. PRD.  The Red-Backed Shrike was also viewable again this morning and was still at the same location as originally found, being on and around the hawthorns, c100yds Haven side of the Frinton beach huts.  During a cycle ride along the seawall, both a Purple Sandpiper and a Turnstone were seen on the rocks, 4 Chiffchaff were along the wall, whilst c25 House Martins were viewed over/on vegetation areas and a steady passage of c100 Swallows headed through.  Along the route, Meadow Pipits were numerous with c125 noted, also 12 Yellow Wagtails, 6 Wheatears and 2 Whinchats with a quick viewing of the scrape - from the seawall - giving at least 6 Blk T Godwits and 2 Common Sandpipers on that area. PBr.  A visit from mid to late afternoon supplied views of 3 Common Buzzards soaring together, while during the wander, some 200+ Swallows and c60+ House Martins were constantly over the carpark, fields and on the wires and at least 100+ Swallows were seen to go straight through S.  Singles of KestrelSparrowhawk and a resident Green Woodpecker were about, 1+ Chiffchaff were opposite the Dell, as was a Common Whitethroat and of note in the area across the road, were 2 Chiffchaff, singles of Lesser WhitethroatReed Warbler and Reed Bunting. KA

24th - A very warm, sunny day throughout with mostly blue skies (briefly grey mid-afternoon) and some very light SSE through S winds.  Day-time temperatures remained in the region of +17 degrees.  The Ringing Team were on site this morning albeit initially very quiet of birds in those particular areas - their updates will be noted on the relevant pages. Initial morning reports, heading from the ringing compound across to where the juv Red-Backed Shrike was still showing (on and around the hawthorns as at 09.30hrs), gave 13 Siskin over, also 1 Grey Wagtail, 5+ Stonechats, 3 Wheatears and 5 Reed Buntings. GG.  At the same time, another observer was viewing the species on, around and over the scrape when at 09.20hrs, a Spoonbill flew very high over in a NNE direction.  A single Green and 2 Common Sandpipers, 6 Snipe, 4 of each Blk T Godwits and Ringed Plovers and 2 Curlews were the counts on the scrape, with singles of Oystercatcher and Little Owl also noted. JK.  Still showing as at 14.40hrs was the Red-Backed Shrike. IM.   Surveying off-shore gave 4 Eider flying SW. GG/PRD.

25th - It looked to be and it was another glorious day weather-wise, very sunny with temperatures of at least +18 degrees, SSE winds of mostly light but sometimes moderate strength for the majority of the day, turning to SSW prior to the evening.  On/off stronger gusting was mainly during the latter part of the day.  The juv Red-Backed Shrike was reported on the RBA pager as at 08.44hrs and the bird was still on site this evening as at 18.30hrs - still around the original hawthorn bushes, the Shrike was this evening, being somewhat elusive.  2 Yellow Wagtails were in this vicinity this evening and 8 Wigeon were noted as they headed S off-shore. AD.  An earlier visit to site, included general observations, viewing from the hide and a sea-watching session of one hour.  The scrape held 1 Green and 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Snipe, 1 Dunlin and 9 Blk T Godwits, 6 Wigeon, 112 Teal and 120 Greylag Geese, while also in this area were singles of Kingfisher and Kestrel also 2 Sparrowhawks.  Trees, bushes, hedgerows and common ground provided 1 Little Owl, 3 Stonechats, 4 Whinchats, 3 Wheatears, 5 Blackcaps and 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Reed Buntings and 30+ Linnets.  Located along the seafront rocks were 2 Turnstones and a Grey Plover, whilst the off-shore species heading NE were a single Gannet (juv), 4 Sandwich and 2 Commic Terns and those flying SW, were 2 Grey Plovers, 4 Shelduck, 5 Cormorants and 107 Brent Geese. MR.   

26th - Another warm day of temperatures up to +19 degrees but the weather itself, was a bit intermittent!  Winds began as SW turning through the day to NNE and finished back at NE, the strength varied from initially light to light/moderate along with gusting of up to 24mph, back to light and occasionally just barely a breeze.  Several cloud bursts at various times - early until late - then mid-evening saw quite a downpour!  Reports in for the site today covered from the carpark to the hide, from the Frinton end cycling in along the seawall (prior to 10.49) and another covering the site generally (prior to 13.25hrs).  The juv Red-Backed Shrike proved to be elusive again this morning but was finally seen at 11.00hrs and was still on site this afternoon at c15.00hrs.  Off-shore movement - seen during the cycle ride -  was of 20 Wigeon heading S, 5 Brent Geese also S and a further 8 Brents flying N.  The seawall areas offered 45 Meadow Pipits, 12 Wheatears, a Whinchat and 6 Reed Buntings, while a steady stream of Swallows, c250 in total, passed through over land and sea.  Bushes etc from the carpark to the hide, provided 6 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaff, 11 Goldfinches and 5 Wheatears, also singles of Kingfisher and Kestrel, while seen on the Golf Course were a single Stonechat and 7 Yellow Wagtails(including 1x grey/white eastern type).  A few changes of birds and numbers during the day on the scrape with the overall species and counts being those of Ruff (1), Common Sandpiper (1), juveniles of Grey Plover (1), Ringed Plover (1) and Curlew Sandpiper (2), all alongside Dunlin (3), Snipe (6), and Blk T Godwits (9), Teal (90+) and Greylag Geese (140+). PBr/MR/PRD.         

27th - A mild morning today that had some very light WSW winds and plenty of fog!  The sun came out to give a glorious afternoon and the breeze/light winds turned to S for a while before turning through to ESE for the evening.  Through the misty blanket and it's associated drizzle, the Red-Backed Shrike was located again this morning (Frinton end as per the last 6 days) but given the weather, it was itself being elusive - by retreating into it's chosen hawthorn!  A couple of Blackcaps were in the vicinity and on a viewable area of the Golf Course there were at least 6 adult Med Gulls. PBr.  The other end of site and again mostly viewed through the mist during the morning, provided 1 Little Owl, 6 Chiffchaff and 9 Blackcaps, 30+ Goldfinches and 12 Linnets around the trees and bushes, while the scrape and "viewable" surrounding areas gave 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 1 of each Green and Common Sandpipers, 7 Blk T Godwits, 8 Snipe, 1 Curlew, 4 Wigeon, 80+ Teal and 108 Greylag Geese. MR

28th - This morning saw a heavy dew covering the shrubbery, ground and vehicles.  The winds began as very light SE which by mid-morning had increased slightly in strength.  By late evening, the direction was still holding and after fluctuating during the afternoon, strength was at moderate.  Generally it was a very bright, sunny and warm day, although the mist did start to roll back in along the coast c16.30hrs.  Coming in from the Frinton end of site this morning, there were 6 Yellow Wagtails, 12 Meadow Pipits and 8 Med Gulls (6xad+2x1Yr) on the Golf Course beyond the hawthorns where the Shrike has recently been - unfortunately there was no sign of the Shrike.  3 Goldfinches and 4 Swallows were noted as they flew S. PBr.  Surveying the site today, found it very quiet of birds but the weather made for an enjoyable walk.  1 Goldcrest, 1 Little Owl, 2 of each Chiffchaff and Common Whitethroats along with a total of 6 Blackcaps were in, on and around the bushes and hedgerows, while viewing over the scrape and adjacent areas, gave 6 Brent Geese over and 1 Kestrel.  The scrape itself, being somewhat low of water at present, provided counts of 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 1 of each Green and Common Sandpipers (the Green Sand took flight c10.00hrs), 6 of each Snipe and Dunlin, 8 Blk T Godwits and 75 Teal, while the Greylag Geese numbered just 6. MR.  

29th - A light ESE breeze began the day which had turned, with little variant in strength, by the evening to SSE.  Blue skies, bright sun and it was very warm indeed throughout.  Another quiet day around the trees, bushes and hedgerows on the site with notable birds being just the resident Little Owl along with 2 Chiffchaff and 5 Blackcaps.  Viewing from the hide (a crowded one by all accounts) gave totals of 1 Little Stint alongside 2 Curlew Sandpipers and 1 Common Sandpiper, also 4 Snipe, 6 Blk T Godwits, 3 Common Gulls and 4 Wigeon all on the scrape, while in the vicinity were singles of Kingfisher, Reed Warbler and Sparrowhawk. PRD/SC/MJ/MR/J&MK.  Noted during the morning were 2 Lesser Redpolls over. PRD.  A Wood Sandpiper on the scrape, was reported from an afternoon visit. JSm/GB.  Additional species, from a cycle ride through the Haven, were 12 Meadow Pipits along the seawall and an imm Marsh Harrier that was over the grazing marsh. PBr.

30th - They predicted the hot weather would last the week...... and it certainly was glorious out there again today.  Light to moderate SSE winds, sunny and very hot - some areas of the UK being hotter today than the likes of Turkey and Mexico!  During site observations this morning, a Cetti's Warbler* was located near to Tariq at c09.00hrs, singing and showing on/off. PRD.  Viewing from the hide at 11.00hrs gave the highlights of 1 Little Stint, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Curlews and a Kingfisher. PRD/JK.

As at 30th September, the Haven 2011 Year List stands at 175.