Holland Haven Birding

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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 2012  

1st - The morning of the new month began as slightly cool along with some rain.  After the rain stopped, the skies remained mostly overcast throughout the day, the temperature reached a high of +18 degrees, whilst the SW winds varied 12mph through 22+mph and the extra blasts were up to 26+mph.  Site observations through the day took in the areas of the Dell, carpark bushes and hedgerows, the pools beyond these hedges and also the scrape and it's surrounding grazing marsh and skyline.  The initial three areas supplied singles of Wheatear and Little Owl, Willow Warbler and Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and 3 House Sparrows.  Viewing from the hide included the sightings of a Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrels and 4 Marsh Harriers, whilst counts were made of 1 Shelduck, 4 Shoveler and 90 Teal.  A few more Waders were on and around the scrape vicinity today, namely 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Knot, 4 Ruff, 6 Snipe, 12 Dunlin, 37 Blk T Godwits and completing the totals of this particular survey, were 110 Lapwings. IM.

2nd - A bit grey again this morning then some intermittent sun during the day but generally quite pleasant conditions and rain held apart from an attempt early evening.  The WNW winds varied 4mph through 16mph with gusting slightly higher at 19mph - the direction changed very slightly to NW by the evening.  The temperature reading along the coastline reached +19+ degrees.  Initial reports for the morning, gave a Redstart (fem/imm) near the dipping pool at 09.00hrs, whilst a Spoonbill (sub adult) was located on the scrape at 10.24hrs.  Although there appeared to be alot of people on and around the Country Park today, the reports from two observers gave a mix of the feathered species over and above those already detailed.  The trees and bushes from the Dell along the route to the hide, provided 2 Common and 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 8+ Willow Warblers and the Little Owl, with 2 Wheatears also being seen during the wander.  Viewing across the scrape and grazing marsh, gave totals of 1 Snipe, 5 Ruff (2ad+3juv), 30+ Blk T Godwits, 100+ Lapwings, the juvenile Shelduck, 1 Wigeon, 19 Shoveler and 100+ Teal.  Once again 4 Marsh Harriers were on show, as were 2 Common BuzzardsMR/IM.  Lunch-time saw a Spotted Flycatcher in the bushes near to the Little Owl, whilst mid-afternoon gave 3 Swifts on passage amongst a "steady movement of hirundines". IM.  A Cetti's Warbler was viewed in the hand earlier this morning. PNt.   

3rd - Initial NNW light winds (5mph - 10mph) turned to Easterlies by late morning with a small drop in speeds and gusting of up to 13mph, later saw a further turn in direction to SSE.  A glorious day along with temperature readings for the coastline of +18 degrees.  A good mix of species again today with viewing from the hide supplying counts of 1 Bar T Godwit, 1 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, 5 Ruff, 38 Blk T Godwits, 85 Lapwings, 2 Med Gulls (ad+juv), 1 Little Egret, 2 Shoveler, 90 Teal and 220 Greylag Geese.  Also viewable from here, were 2 Common Buzzards and 3 Marsh Harriers.  Later observations saw 7 Curlew that flew in/off and then headed towards the scrape.  A Redstart that was located in the Dell earlier in the day, was still showing as at 18.00hrs.  3 Wheatears were also noted in the Dell, whilst a Tree Pipit (the Haven's best year for Tree Pipits for a while.  See Birds of the Haven) that flew towards this area from initially being seen beyond the Dipping Pond, could not be re-found.  Around the trees, bushes and hedgerows of the carpark areas, there were totals of 1 Hobby, 1 Little Owl, 1 Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Reed and 12+ Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcaps and 6+ Lesser Whitethroats.  Finalising today's counts, a Whinchat was seen during a walk to the Frinton end of site. PRD/MR/IM.   

4th - Another superb day (it usually is as soon as the schools re-open for the Autumn term!) with temperature readings of +18+ before 09.30hrs for the coastline, whilst inland during the afternoon it topped +25 degrees.  There were light to moderate WNW winds initially, these later became SSW and at times there was barely even a breeze.  Occasional gusting reached a maximum of 18mph.  At least three observers were on and around the site this morning with at least one of them on site quite early.  Prior to the "grass cutting on site" there were several counts made of species in and around the trees and bushes, including the fem/imm Redstart, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 of each Blackcaps and Whinchats, 5 Common and 6 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Willow Warblers and singles of Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, Little Owl and a Sparrowhawk.  2 Grey Wagtails* (PRD) were noted (Year List no. 167), as were flyovers of 2 Swifts (PRD).  Just the 1 Marsh Harrier was viewable from the hide during the morning and a Kestrel was noted too.  The Ducks were 4 Shoveler and 90 Teal, while Waders were 1 Green and 2 Common Sandpipers, 1 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 3 Bar-T Godwits, 5 Ruff (2ad+3juv), 8 Snipe, 42 Blk T Godwits and 96 Lapwings.  A single Curlew was a flyover - also seen from the hide. PRD/MR/IM.

5th - A very pleasant day - if a touch breezy at times, with bright sun, mostly blue skies and temperature readings for the coast around +17 degrees.  Earlier winds were NNW, changing by the early part of the afternoon to NNE through NE with speeds from 12mph through 20+mph and "fairly regular" gusting of up to 23+mph.  Whilst general site maintenance was still on-going this morning (and apparently looking tidier for it), there were a few passerines in and around the bushes/hedgerows to see and count.  2 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 of each Blackcap and Common Whitethroat, 10+ Willow Warblers, the Redstart which was along the bottom hedge and also located was a single Wheatear.  The Little Owl was noted as were 2 Kestrels and viewing from the hide added a single Marsh Harrier.  Waders in the vicinity of the scrape were much as per yesterday with totals of 3 Bar-T Godwits, 48 Blk T Godwits, 1 Green and 2 Common Sandpipers, 5 of each Snipe and Ruff (the latter again being 2ad+3juv), 2 Dunlin, 72 Lapwings and after no reported "Haven" sightings of any Avocets for the last 17 days, a single one was viewed this morning.  6 Shoveler and 60+ Teal were the recorded Duck counts during this survey. MR.  Later observations gave some additions for the rest of the day with 4 Whinchat located beyond the hide, viewing across the scrape adding an L R P and an increase in Snipe numbers to 12 and the bushes in front of Sluice Cottages, hosted a second Redstart throughout the afternoon. IM

6th - A noticeable chilly start today with the temperature readings at +12 degrees - this increased to +17 degrees by 10.15hrs and later was noted on the coastline as in excess of +18.  Initial SSW winds were of 4mph through 9mph, these had dropped by mid-morning to just a hint of a breeze but increased during the afternoon to reach 18+mph with gusting of 22mph, also turning to end the day at WSW.  Very bright, sunny and pleasant.  Observations were made through the morning and into the afternoon by at least three observers today, taking in the views along the carpark hedges, the route to the hide, across the scrape and visible skyline and also to the Frinton end of the site and the return journey.  A Garden Warbler was located this morning, whilst 1+ Redstarts were still on site with the bird/s being reported "at both ends of the carpark".  2 Chiffchaffs, 6 Blackcaps, 6+ Common and 8 Lesser Whitethroats, 10+ Willow Warblers and 3 Wheatears were at various locations, as were 3 juvenile Gt. Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Little Owl and 2 Kestrels.  2 Common Buzzards and singles of Marsh Harrier and Sparrowhawk were viewed during the morning from the hide, with sightings also at this time of 2 Whinchat and always a brilliant little bird to see, a Kingfisher.  On and around the scrape were 4 Shoveler and 60+ Teal with the Wader counts being of 1 L R P, 2 Bar-T Godwits, 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 Ruff (2ad+2juvs), 5 Snipe and 15 Blk T Godwits.  The third juvenile Ruff was on it's own on the pools beyond the carpark hedgerows. IM/MR/PRD.  Over and above the combined report, were 2 species and 3 birds - that of a Barn Owl seen at the box opposite the second turret and then 2 Hobbys seen during a return visit to the hide from the wander to Frinton and back.  The first Hobby "had caught prey" and the second "followed close behind still in pursuit". IM.

7th - Blue skies, bright and very warm today, along with variable winds 3mph through 18+mph and gusting of up to 21mph.  Initially wind direction was at WNW, turning by lunchtime to SSW then turning again - back to WNW.  The coastline temperatures reached +24+ degrees and inland it was a few degrees hotter.  At least two observers (and our youngest member) were on and around the site this morning.  The 4 Ruff (2ad+2juvs), 3 Bar-T Godwits and the juvenile L R P were still on the scrape today, as were singles of Green and Common Sandpipers, also 5 Dunlin, 5+ Snipe, 2 Turnstones, 34 Blk T Godwits, 6+ Shoveler and 80+ Teal.  Common Buzzards were at a count of "at least" 5 during the morning, with 3 over the hide at one point and 2 viewable in the distance.  3 Marsh Harriers were also on display, whilst the somewhat smaller species of Sand Martin, numbered 10+. PRD/PBr.  Further to coming in from the Frinton end of site to the main hide and back again prior to 11.15hrs, sightings of 1 Reed Warbler, 4 Wheatears and 14 Meadow Pipits were had along the seawall. PBr/KBr.  Additional to the above Reed Warbler and Wheatears, another 2 and 5 respectively were viewed, a single Whinchat was noted, as were 3+ Yellow Wagtails, 1 Blackcap and 2 Lesser Whitethroats, the latter two species being the only notable birds in a very quiet carpark area.  A Whimbrel was in the vicinity - heard but not seen. PRD.

8th - A glorious day for the first of the two days of the Clacton Triathlon on the Country Park where the carpark may well have been quiet of birds......... but the people certainly many!  Temperatures along the coastline were at +20 degrees whilst blue skies, sun and some light (2mph to 12mph) SSE winds prevailed.  A very early survey of the scrape this morning provided singles of both Green and Common Sandpipers, 3 Bar-T Godwits, 4 Ruff and 2 Sandwich Terns of particular note all being alongside the "usual culprits".  8 Wheatears and 12 Meadow Pipits were noted for along the seawall and greensward, whilst 4 Yellow Wagtails flew over in a Southerly direction.  A Turnstone was seen as it headed S over the sea.  A minimum of 2 Common Buzzards and 2 Marsh Harriers were viewable from/in the vicinity of the site. PBr.

9th - And another superb day of sun and pretty much clear blue skies, although the early morning was very misty on and around the site.  SE winds varying 6mph through 11+mph and very few extra blasts (c13mph).  The temperature readings along the coast were at +18+ degrees before 10.00hrs.  (Day 2 of 2 of the Clacton Triathlon).  Over the Golf Course and grazing marsh early this morning was a 2yr male Hen Harrier "last seen ghosting in and out of the mist at about 07.20hrs".  The scrape needless to say, was covered in the mist at this time!  2 Wheatears and 6 Meadow Pipits were located along the route, 2 Whitethroats were seen in the Dell and 2 Willow Warblers along the Approach Road, whilst generally the site was very quiet of birdlife.  Noted off-shore movement was that of a single Sandwich Tern heading N and an Oystercatcher flying S.  Having been on the site all day (& Saturday amongst & competing in the Triathlon), the now sunburnt observer reported that the only "overhead passage" seen by him today, was of 14 Cormorants as they flew along Holland Brook and continued their flight-path out to sea. PBr.  

10th - Following a night that included some thunder and rain, the morning started a little bit grey and drizzly but this soon cleared to give still cloudy skies but bright sun too.  The SSW through SW winds remained strong through the day with speeds up to 31mph and gusting in excess of 35mph.  The temperature sat around +20 degrees.  The site was quiet of people today......... and in the high winds was again quiet of birds around the trees and bushes, although the Little Owl was viewable.  Once again there were singles of Green and Common Sandpipers on the scrape through the morning - these were alongside singles of Golden Plover (see Gallery) and L R P, 4 Snipe, 23 Blk T Godwits and 6 Ruff, the latter being 2 adults and 4 juveniles.  A juvenile Shelduck was in the vicinity along with 2 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler and 128 Teal.  There were 4 noted Birds of Prey today, consisting of 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrels. MR/PRD.  An earlier seawatching session from 08.00hrs to 08.30hrs gave five species, all Southbound, being 6 Swallows, 1 Curlew, 1 Cormorant, 1 Wigeon and a total of 6 Teal. MR

11th - Rain overnight in many local areas again was followed this morning by the sun and a very cloudy sky - complete with some extremely dark clouds as at 09.15hrs!!  Grey clouds featured on/off throughout the day but thankfully not their contents.  WNW winds were of variable speeds 15mph through 31+mph and gusting was up to 36mph.  Fairly warm at +17+ degrees during the day but the evening brought a quick drop in the temperature.  A 45 minute session of seawatching took place this morning - just nought out there but the sea !!  Singles of Sedge and Willow Warblers and a Whitethroat were amongst the few notables in and around the more sheltered areas today, along with 2 of each Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Little Owls, 2 Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk.  Over the carpark and then in a Southerly direction along the coast went 6 Canada Geese.  A single Marsh Harrier was viewed from the hide as was a Barn Owl (box), whilst the scrape itself and the surrounding grazing marsh held 5 Wigeon, 8+ Shoveler, 138 Teal and 260 Greylag Geese with the Wader count being of 1 L R P, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Ruff (2ad+juv), 5 Snipe and completing the survey today, 24 Blk T Godwits. MR/PRD

12th - Very much a cooler start to the morning and after an increase in temperature to +16 degrees and some sun during the day, the evening once again had that chill factor.  W through WNW winds varied throughout from 3mph up to 23+mph, with additional gusting of up to 30mph.  Several attempts of rain from mid-day onwards, culminated in a heavier downpour this evening.  The site was noted as "still quiet" on the report with singles of Garden, Willow and Reed Warblers located, along with 2 of each Chiffchaff and Lesser Whitethroats, 1 Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Little Owl, 1 Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk.  Just 2 of the Ruff were viewed on the scrape area today, these being two adult birds, the L R P and the Common Sandpiper were still in-situ, together with 7 Snipe, 20 Blk T Godwits, 4 Wigeon, 6 Shoveler, 83 Teal and 286 Greylag Geese.  Another Kestrel, by all accounts a stunning male, was also seen from the hide, whilst over on the sluice, a single Turnstone was encountered. MR.  

13th - Generally a bright day but with a good variation of cloud - some dark grey ones appearing and passing over!!  Winds were initially of a Northerly direction, turning by the evening to SW and were for the majority at speeds of 19mph through 26mph with gusting of up to 31+mph.  Temperature readings ranged from +12 to +17 degrees.  One observer was on the site from 10.00hrs to 14.00hrs today and provided the following counts.  A Little Egret was on view, whilst Waders consisted of 1 L R P (juv), 1 Ruff (ad), 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 16 Blk T Godwits and 120+ Lapwings.  Ducks and Geese today were at totals of 4 Shoveler, 5 Wigeon, 80+ Teal and 260+ Greylag Geese.  A male Marsh Harrier was in the vicinity, as were 2 Wheatears, singles of Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Chiffchaffs, some 25+ House Martins and a Med Gull (adW).  A probable 1st Winter Caspian Gull was located this morning but the bird flew at 10.30hrs - leaving the observer once again wishing that he had a camera!! PRD

14th - After a very cool night, a colourful dawn, albeit a blustery one followed.  W through WNW strong winds, varying 17mph to 25+mph along with gusting of 32mph.  Early temperature readings for the coastline were at +15 degrees.  The day remained dry.  A visit to the main site that included viewing across the scrape, provided singles of the juvenile L R P, Green and Common Sandpipers and a Ruff, also 4 Snipe and 293 Greylag Geese.  Counts were also noted during this survey of 1 Whinchat, 30 Goldfinches and 2 Green Woodpeckers. SC/PC.  An evening wander from the Farm area down towards the rear of the grazing marsh (18.00-19.00hrs) saw a male Marsh Harrier drifting N over the site heading towards Frinton/Hamford, whilst distantly towards the scrape, was a female type.  A Kestrel was noted, as were 6 Stock Doves, 8 House Martins and 45 Swallows.  A Chiffchaff was located at the Farm, as was a Willow Warbler with a second one near to the grazing marsh, 10 Meadow Pipits were counted and 4 Wheatears of which these "arrived on the fields as the evening drew in".  Totals of 1 Curlew, 1 Golden Plover and 85 Lapwings rounded up this report. PBr.   

15th - Bright and dry today with initial WNW winds varying 12mph through 16mph and some intermittent gusting of up to 20mph.  The winds by the evening had turned to SSW.  The temperature along the coastline read +15 degrees for the morning.  A Pectoral Sandpiper was located at 10.00hrs and showed very well at the rear of the scrape. GG/IM.  This, the second Pec Sand at the Haven this year, was still viewable mid-afternoon and through early evening. SC/PBr.  The evening survey (18.00-19.00hrs) noted 4 Ruff, 2 Wheatears and singles of both Barn and S E Owls. PBr.  Two additional species for today were those of 2 Marsh Harriers, of which both were juveniles and that of a Guillemot that was located by the sluice. GG.

16th - Generally overcast throughout the day.  Initial SW winds were of 14+mph and gusting of 25mph, changing direction to WNW by the evening and increasing in speeds to 25mph and 30mph respectively.  Coastline temperatures reached +17 degrees.  A Tree Pipit was seen over the site today and this bird along with notables of 1 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Siskin and 150+ Meadow Pipits were all moving S.  A single Gannet was viewed as it flew N. GG.  An additional report gave that the Pectoral Sandpiper was seen until 08.55hrs and then the bird flew South.  Also on and around the scrape/grazing marsh at this time were 21 Blk T Godwits, 7 Snipe, 3 Ruff (2ad+juv), 5 Wigeon, 72 Teal and c300 Greylag Geese.  Singles of S E Owl and Kestrel were also noted. IM/MR.  

17th - Mostly a sunny day throughout, warm at +18 degrees (and even warmer slightly inland for a while) and some S through SSW winds.  Wind speeds varied moderate to strong and gusting reached 32mph.  A survey this morning found that a Pectoral Sandpiper was again on the scrape, whilst a Cetti's Warbler was located near to Tariq and the area around the Dipping Pond, held a Spotted Flycatcher. PRD.  The rest of today's species were 1 Lesser and 2 Common Whitethroats, singles of both Willow and Reed Warblers, 6 Blackcaps, 12+ Chiffchaff and 2 Little Owls around the trees, bushes and hedgerows, whilst a single Curlew was a fly-over and 2 Ruff (ad), 4 Snipe and 15 Blk T Godwits were the other Waders on the scrape.  The Duck count was of 2 Shoveler, 6 Wigeon and 66 Teal and the Greylag Geese "lots"! PRD/MR.

18th - Quite a bright day but also a fair amount of cloud around.  WNW winds of up to 22+mph and gusting of up to 27mph, along with temperatures this morning of +15 degrees.  The first report gave that of a Caspian Gull* "a juvenile moulting to 1st Winter" at 11.45hrs on the scrape.  Still there at 11.55hrs, the bird at the time was being attacked by a Herring Gull.  (There was no sign of the Pec Sand this morning). PRD.  A cycle ride from the Frinton end (13.10 to 13.40hrs) to the hide and back again, saw little of any note apart from a juvenile Ringed Plover, an adult Ruff, 2 Snipe, 21 Blk T Godwits and 7 Wigeon, also 2 Marsh Harriers (male + imm) and c30 Sand Martins.  Particular note was made reference to the windy conditions "even the Cormorants were lying down!". PBr.

19th - A cooler day (approx. +14 degrees), mostly bright but alot of cloud up there making for an intermittent sun.  Winds were initially of a NW direction, turning later to NNW and varied 12mph through 26+mph with gusting up to 32+mph.  At least four observers were on and around the site this morning providing a combined first report.  Around the trees and bushes generally were 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 10+ Chiffchaffs and a single Little Owl of note, whilst a Cetti's Warbler was heard in the vicinity of the hide.  On and across the scrape and grazing marsh were singles of Ringed Plover and Curlew, 2 adult Ruff and 3 Snipe, 7 Blk T Godwits, 4 Shoveler, 6 Wigeon, 110 Teal and some 300+ Greylag Geese.  A sub-adult male Marsh Harrier was viewed, as were singles of Kestrel and Med Gull. PRD/MR/LR/PR.  Further observations gave singles of Goldcrest, Willow Warbler and Goldfinch in the ringing compound and 2 Wheatears were also noted.  A Grey Wagtail was a fly-over, whilst during c3 hours, there was "a steady trickle of mixed Swallows and House Martins" of which there were a minimum of 50 birds. SC.  An additional report gave that 11 Turnstones were located on the sluice at 16.10hrs. IM.    

20th - The sun was out from c08.00hrs but became a bit "hit 'n' miss" from early afternoon with quite a bit of cloud around again.  Temperatures finally reached +16 degrees from being much cooler first thing this morning.  The winds moved from initial Westerlies to SW and while they began the day light to moderate, by the evening they were at 22mph and gusting of 25+mph.  The Caspian Gull was on the scrape again - seen as it flew in at 12.25hrs - it then decided to go to sleep!  At 13.50hrs, this Caspo flew off and at 14.37hrs a different Caspian Gull (also 1W) was located (see Gallery).  A Firecrest was a notable bird near the Dipping Pond, some 5+ Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps and a Reed Warbler were seen across the site, the Cetti's Warbler was again heard in the vicinity of the hide and a Siskin was a noted fly-over.  5 Yellow Wagtails were on the report, 3 of which were located on the Greensward and the other 2 near to the hide.  The Duck count consisted of 4 Shoveler and 19 Wigeon with the Waders on and around the scrape being a single Dunlin, 2 of each Snipe and Ruff (ad), 4 Curlews, 12 Blk T Godwits and seen as they flew over the scrape were 6 Ringed Plovers.  3 Common Terns were viewed from the hide and there were also singles of Common Buzzard, S E Owl, Marsh Harrier and Hobby. PRD/MR/IM.

21st - Generally alot of cloud-cover but fairly bright and just the smallest amount of drizzle (if you could even call it that) circa mid-afternoon - the downpour arrived in the evening!  The temperature reached +15 degrees and the Westerly winds remained in-situ all day, varying from 6mph through 15+mph and occasional gusting of 17+mph.  Two observers were on and around the site during the day and noted 2 Common Buzzards, singles of Marsh Harrier (imm male), Peregrine (fem), S E Owl, an adult Med Gull, a Grey Wagtail and heard only 1 Cetti's Warbler.  Waders and viewable Ducks for the duration of these surveys were 2 Snipe, 3 Ruff (2ad+juv), 15 Blk T Godwits, 140 Lapwings, 4 Shoveler, 6 Wigeon and 35+ Teal.  Fly-overs included 6 Siskin and 350+ House Martins. PRD/IM.  A visit to the Farm (18.00-17.00hrs) in somewhat damp conditions, provided views of again 1 S E Owl and a Marsh Harrier, also singles of Barn OwlSparrowhawk and Kestrel, also 25 Swallows and c150 House Martins.  With not alot to see bird-wise this evening, the blackberry bushes were raided! PBr/KBr.

22nd - After a rainy night, the morning turned to bright but cool.  Sun and blue skies with NNW winds of 9mph through 17+mph and gusting of up to 22mph before 09.00hrs.  Temperature readings at this time were of +11 degrees.  An early start for a few on site today provided a Greenshank (that was heard very early on), a single Sparrowhawk and a Grey Wagtail, whilst 10 Meadow Pipits flew in/off and 3 Common Terns were noted.  4 Blackcaps (male) were in the ringing compound area. SC.  2 Lesser and 3 Common Whitethroats, a Willow Warbler, several Chiffchaffs and a Marsh Harrier were other notables during the morning. SC/PNt/PL.  Across the scrape there were totals of 4 Ruff (2ad+2juv), 10 Blk T Godwits, 5 Shoveler, 6 Wigeon and 30+ Teal, also 3 of each Common Gulls and Med Gulls.  Singles of Hobby, S E Owl, Barn Owl and Common Buzzard were all viewed from the hide during the day.  A  Goldcrest, 6+ Chiffchaffs, 2 Yellow Wagtails and a Little Owl were all in/on and around the carpark and it's surrounding bushes and hedgerows, whilst a Cetti's Warbler was "vocal from but not seen in" the bushes near to Tariq and a Redstart was later located in bushes beyond the Sluice Cottages.  Seawatching, albeit a short session, noted 1 Common Tern flying S, a Gannet flying N and 15 Cormorants and 5 Curlews that flew in/off then continued to head inland. PRD/MR/IM/PL

23rd - Following a most glorious sunrise (see Gallery), an overcast and chilly early morning, together with E through ESE strong winds (c22mph), progressed with increased winds of up to 31+mph and gusting of 38mph.  Just into the start of the afternoon, the drizzle turned to rain which quickly became torrential and this continued for the duration!  With conditions very good for seawatching, at least 11 observers were seen to be on the site and the highlights of their seawatching sessions (06.20hrs to 11.40hrs) included a Peregrine that flew in/off, as did 4 Cormorants, whilst 2 Arctic Skuas, 6 of each Guillemots and Common Terns along with 20+ Brent Geese headed N.  Southbound species included 2 Great Skuas (Bonxies), 26+ Arctic Skuas, 23 Gannets, 2 Sandwich Terns, 10 Oystercatchers, 57 Brent Geese, 54 Common Scoters, 61 Teal, 68 Wigeon and a Diver sp. (prob Blk-Th). SC/PL/PNt/IM/MR/PNs/LR/PR/ et al.  A brief look across the scrape from the hide supplied 1 Snipe, 3 Ruff (2ad+juv), 15 Blk T Godwits, 10 Wigeon and 70+ Teal of note. IM.       

24th - Yesterday's torrential rain continued literally all through the night and although there were various times during today that were "dry", the rain when it fell was still extremely heavy!  Easterly winds were predominant but a good variation in the speed which varied 6mph through 27+mph and gusting was up to 33mph.  Some +15 degrees along the coastline but it definitely felt colder in the wind and rain.  Three observers were on site through the morning giving the sea a good look from 07.15hrs to 08.45hrs before surveying the site generally and the scrape area.  The seawatch yielded 5 Gannets flying N and 1 Oystercatcher, 6 Brent, 27 Teal and 63 Wigeon that flew S, whilst along the beach were 2 Turnstones and a Purple Sandpiper.  A Peregrine was viewable across the site, as were a S E Owl and a Barn Owl (box), 3 Song Thrushes, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Goldcrests, 4 Chiffchaffs, 8+ Blackcaps with Chaffinch numbers of 12+.  2 Snipe were on the scrape area alongside 4 Ruff (2ad+2juv), 6 Blk T Godwits and 102 Lapwings, also 2 Shoveler, 18 Wigeon and 128 Teal. IM/MR/PRD.

25th - A mixed bag of weather today included the sun, coastline temperatures of around +15 degrees, high winds and once again.... rain!  The SSW winds reached speeds of up to 34mph with gusting of up to 34mph, whilst the sun was intermittent and intermingled with the rain - at times there were some splendid rainbows to be seen.  A Common Buzzard flew in/off during an hour's seawatch this morning, whilst the off-shore species - all heading S - were 2 Gannets, 6 Cormorants, 4 Teal, 10 Wigeon and 19 Brent Geese.  Very "breezy to say the least" around the trees and bushes throughout the site but they provided sightings of 4 Blackcaps and 2 Little Owls with the report noting that numbers were up for namely Chaffinch, Dunnock and Robin.  Located in the area over the five-bar gate near to the Sluice Cottages was a Redstart.  A S E Owl was viewed from the hide and the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh held a single Snipe, 3 Ruff (2ad+juv), 5 Blk T Godwits, 88 Lapwings, 2 Shoveler, 17 Wigeon, 122 Teal and the Greylag Geese were "all over". MR/IM

26th - After another night of virtually non-stop rain, the morning brought more on/off heavy rain and strong winds.  The S through SSW winds reached 28+mph, complete with gusting of c32mph - by mid-afternoon the general speeds had dropped to c10mph but the occasional gusting was still quite high.  The evening saw more rain and the wind direction had settled at SW.  Three observers covered the site areas of the Approach Road, carpark, scrape and also included three hours of seawatching.  Although there was little of particular note during the seawatch, a Tufted Duck was viewed as it drifted with the tide, 4 Turnstones, 6 Brent Geese and 18 Wigeon flew S and also on the list was a Gannet.  The trees, bushes and hedgerows in the mentioned areas, gave counts of 2 of each Blackcaps and Reed Warblers and 8+ Chiffchaff whilst moving South overhead were many Swallows.  Blk T Godwits were down to just 2 of them on the scrape today and these were alongside 8 Snipe, 26 Wigeon and some 80+ Teal.  A S E Owl was once again viewable from the hide during the survey of the scrape vicinity. PRD/MR/IM.  

27th - A dry and much brighter start to this morning as opposed to the last few days.  NNW winds prevailed of 12mph with some extra blasts of slightly stronger speeds of 14+mph.  The early temperature readings were of +12 degrees along the coastline.  Several observers were on site today and provided a combined report that included 5 Common Buzzards, 1 Hobby (over the scrape), 1 Sparrowhawk and 3 Kestrels, while 2 S E Owls were viewed across the grazing marsh from the hide.  Moving through during the morning were Swallows and House Martins totalling c250 where approximately two thirds were the former, a single Sand Martin was also noted.  Located generally around the trees and bushes on site, a fem/imm Redstart, 1 Sedge Warbler, 6+ Chiffchaffs, 8 Blackcaps and at least 2 Goldcrests, the latter amongst a large mixed Tit flock, all made the notebooks.  With Jays being a current topic of conversation with the apparent lack of acorns available to them, there were 10 Jays near to Tariq.  Looking across a very flooded scrape (just the main island and a couple of other areas not under water), Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon and Greylag Geese were spread far and wide in the vicinity whilst just 2 Blk T Godwits and a "few" Lapwings were on the grass.  3 Ruff (2ad+juv), today preferred the location of the new pools. MR/IM/SC/PC

28th - A dry, bright sunny morning again, with blue skies and relatively little cloud c07.30hrs.  Westerly winds at this time fluctuated 11mph through 16mph with additional gusting of up to 21mph.  Later winds were of a WSW direction and of increased speeds of 27mph and 32mph respectively.  On/off rain appeared during the latter part of the afternoon and into the evening.  A morning run from the Frinton end of site through to Holland and back (08.45hrs to 09.30hrs) saw counts of 430 Swallows and 400 House Martins moving S over both the land and the sea, also 86 Meadow Pipits and 19 Goldfinches that were also moving S.  Off-shore, singles of Cormorant and Brent Goose flew N.  Viewed along the seawall and across the Golf Course were a Marsh Harrier and a Kestrel (both hunting) and a total of 4 Wheatears.  At this time there were 6 Blk T Godwits and at least 1 Ruff on the scrape. PBr/KBr.  A survey of the carpark bushes and subsequent areas provided 3 of each Chiffchaff (one in full song) and Blackcap, a Cetti's Warbler (very vocal), a Little Owl and later during the walk back past the Sewage Works, a Redstart flew along the low bushes along the pathway.  Observations from the hide noted singles of S E Owl and Barn Owl, whilst Blk T Godwits by this time were at just 3, Ruff were at 2 (ad+juv), also 1 Dunlin, 4 Snipe, 4 Shoveler, 20+ Wigeon and 70+ Teal.  A Ring Tailed Hen Harrier was the highlight of this visit and gave excellent views. IM.  Our youngest team member (along with dad) was able to watch 2 S E Owls this evening during an hour spent at the Farm.  One SEO was "at very close range hunting the field at the back of the Golf Course/grazing marsh along the footpath below the farm", whilst the second was more distant across the marsh.  A Kestrel was out hunting, a Redwing was seen in the paddocks and some 24 Swallows and 6 House Martins were around the Farm itself.  Rounding up the reports for today, were 3 Chiffchaffs that were around the Farm Pond. PBr/KBr.

29th - As per yesterday morning, it was bright, sunny and dry and this remained so through the day.  Although the temperature readings were off +14 degrees along the coast, the NW winds gave a chilly feel at times.  Wind speeds were of c21mph and gusting of c30mph.  The morning began with the locating of this month's third "2012 Year Tick" when Pete Loud found a Wryneck* in the bushes by the Sailing Club's Boat Compound.  The Wryneck (Year Tick 169) was viewable on/off from c08.40hrs until at least 15.20hrs.  Between this compound and the sluice area, counts were made of 1 Goldcrest, 1 Lesser and 1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Redstarts (seen briefly), 10 Blackcaps and 20+ Chiffchaffs.  Also noted were a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Marsh Harrier and a Sparrowhawk, whilst a Hobby was seen on "at least four occasions across the site".  Additional species from this combined report were of a Med Gull and 2 Ruff - the latter being an adult and a juvenile. MR/IM/PL

30th - Some very mixed skies today but mostly cloudy - various tones from white through darker grey - with some sun, albeit intermittent.  The winds remained SW throughout with speeds reaching 29+mph and gusting of 33+mph.  The Wryneck (see Gallery) was still on site this morning and was located in the hawthorn bushes near the toilet block at 08.30hrs. TJ.  The walk along the seawall (a.m.) gave views of 2 Brent Geese off-shore, 2 Wheatears by the second hide and apart from a "steady stream" of Swallows and House Martins (with a ratio of 1 in 5 respectively), there were counts of 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Siskin, 8 Pied Wagtails, 20+ Linnets, 60+ Goldfinches and 60+ Meadow Pipits all Southbound. PL/MR. Generally around the site, noted species were of 2 S E Owls, 1 Little Owl, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrels, 6 Blackcaps and 10+ Chiffchaffs. PL/IM/MR.  Alongside the Teal, Wigeon and Greylag Geese around the scrape and it's vicinity were 2 of each Snipe and Blk T Godwits and 100+ Lapwings. MR.  In the areas of the Ringing Compounds were counts of 1 Goldcrest, 5 Blackcaps and 6 Chiffchaffs, whilst a Redstart was seen by the Sewage Works. PNt.  Of note, a 2cy Yellow-Legged Gull (see Gallery) and a Hobby were also seen prior to 13.00hrs. SN.  The Wryneck, mobile during the day "to and from" the Dell and the bushes by the Sailing Club's boat compound, was still on site as at 16.45hrs. RBA.  No additions for the Haven 2012 Year List for this the last day of the month........... So just what will October - with apparently another change in the weather - start dropping into the site from tomorrow??

As at 30th September, the Haven 2012 Year List stands at 169.

 

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