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 - A bright, sunny morning with WSW moderate winds of c10mph up to 13mph and gusting of just a little higher at 15mph.  The temperature before 09.00hrs was already at +17 degrees.  An early site visit yielded the fly-over of a Tree Pipit*. AEC.  Surveying the trees and hedgerows from over the road (opp. Approach Road) through to the hide, provided counts of 1 Little Owl, 1 Redstart (09.07hrs near Memorials), 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 5 Whitethroats and 13 Willow Warblers of particular note, while slightly later, a wander along to the second turret, gave 2 Meadow Pipits and c5 Whinchats.  Singles of Little Egret and Kestrel were viewed from the hide, as were 2 Common Buzzards. The Wader counts began with a Turnstone that was on the sluice with those located on the scrape being 1 LRP, 1 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 8 Snipe, 30 Blk T Godwits and c80 Lapwings.  Additional on this area were 2 Wigeon, c120 Teal and 146 Greylag Geese.  A distinct lack of Avocets today.  The coastal protection work at the Haven has made a little bit of progress (see Gallery). MR.

2nd - Some on/off rain appeared today and the mostly moderate winds varied ENE through ESE (up to c14mph and gusts of up to c17mph).  Still warm - the temperature reaching +17 degrees along the coast.  The latter part of the evening turned fairly misty and there was some drizzle too.  An early evening visit to the site found that there was once again a Redstart in the bushes near to the Owl's tree and a Spotted Flycatcher was also in this vicinity. MR.

3rd - More localised mist for the early hours (prior to 06.00hrs) this morning - giving a glisten to everything outdoors.  The ENE winds were very light (5mph) varying up to c12mph at times, while wind direction remained pretty much the same, the speeds increased to c17mph with gusting of 19+mph.  Coastline temperatures held at around +17 degrees throughout.  During a lunchtime run (13.15-14.00hrs) from the Frinton end - along the seawall and back - counts were made of 1 Kestrel, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Meadow Pipits and 5 Linnet, also 14 Wheatears and 6 Whinchats - the latter of which were once again near to the second hide. PBr.  A quick stop (during the run) at the main hide, found that species across the scrape included a juvenile LRP, 1 Dunlin and 5 Ruff, also noted was a single Avocet, plus 2 Snipe.  A Yellow Wagtail was an addition, while a few Common Buzzards had been reported. DL/BL/PBr

4th - Generally a warm (+18 degrees), bright, pleasant day with E through NE winds, variable up to 14mph and slightly higher gusting (c16mph).  A Pied Flycatcher was located near the Owl's tree/Memorials c09.00hrs this morning. MR.  Today's overall report noted the bushes as quiet.  Singles of Gt. Spotted and Green Woodpeckers were seen, as were 4 Lesser and 4 Common Whitethroats and another '4' being of Willow Warblers.  The Greensward held some 7 Pied Wagtails.  Over on the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh - viewed from the main hide - counts yielded 1 LRP, 2 Dunlin, 2 Avocets, 10 Ruff, 10 Snipe, 38 Blk T Godwits and 72 Lapwings, alongside 2 Med Gulls (ad), 100+ Teal and 200+ Greylag Geese. PL/IM/MR.  Additional sightings from the Frinton end to the hide and the return journey were of 5 Linnets, 2 Wheatears (along seawall), a Yellow Wagtail on the Golf Course with 4 Meadow Pipits, while another 2 Meadow Pipits were fly-overs.  This particular survey was more of a 'bug hunt' for our youngest member who 'helped' (with dad) to search out numerous spiders, ants, an assortment of butterflies, craneflies and grasshoppers - this was no doubt, alot of fun for one little lady. PBr/KBr.  

5th - Initial winds were NNW, of speeds up to 13mph and gusting barely higher at c15mph.  The early morning was grey and overcast but warm at +16 degrees - all prior to 08.00hrs.  Apart from one large and varied Tit flock during this morning's survey, the site (trees, bushes etc.) was reported as generally quiet of birds.  Notables did include 2 Cetti's Warblers (heard only), one being over the road, the other was in front of the main hide.  Other counts were of 1 Little Owl, 1 Whinchat, 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 Willow Warblers, 7 Blackcaps, 7 Common and 8 Lesser Whitethroats, while a Marsh Harrier was viewed during the wander to the main hide.  Across the scrape, grazing marsh and skyline, the totals consisted of 1 LRP, 5 Ruff, 8 Snipe, 48 Blk T Godwits and 110 Lapwings, along with 7 Wigeon, 8 Shoveler, 80+ Teal and 280 Greylag Geese with singles of Kestrel and Sparrowhawk rounding up this report. MR.  At mid-day, a Pied Flycatcher was located in the hedgerows (service road) near to the downward path to the Memorials. IM.  An evening visit proved fruitful when surveying near to the second hide - with counts of 1 Hobby, 1 Little Owl, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Wheatear, 3 Whinchats and 2 Pied Flycatchers all within the vicinity. GG.

6th - Warm (+17 degrees) but overcast again this morning with NNW winds varying up to c7mph but invariably 'still' and the occasional gusting being of barely 10mph.  Day one of 2014 Triathlon and while the 'Brayshaw' family were involved in some of the weekend events, surveying where possible just has to be done.  A Fieldfare (c11.35hrs) was seen to fly in/off, head over the Greensward 'appearing' to dive into the carpark bushes.  A Sparrowhawk, 2 Common Buzzards and 3 Kestrels were in the vicinity, c50 Meadow Pipits were on the fields and 2 of each Wheatear and Whinchat (by second hide) were noted. PBr

7th - Some early mist and rain was alongside NNW winds of up to 10mph, gusting being only slightly higher at 11mph.  The sun appeared through the mist soon after the rain had stopped.  Day two of 2014 Triathlon.  A visit to the main hide yielded counts of 2 Ruff, 3 Redshanks, 4 Blk T Godwits, 8 Snipe and c250 Greylag Geese across the scrape and grazing marsh, along with 2 Avocets that were back on the scrape.  Birds of Prey seen at this time were 1 Hobby, 1 Peregrine and a Common Buzzard. IM.  On site again for the competitions, early viewing (while still misty) from and along the seawall and also the undercliff of the Greensward gave singles of Grey WagtailWhinchat, Whitethroat and Sparrowhawk, 2 Wheatears and 2 Willow Warblers.  The clearing of the mist yielded 'a good Southbound Swallow passage' with a count of 528 of these before other distractions occurred.  Other noted fly-overs included 52 Meadow Pipits with 3 Yellow Wagtails, while a Cormorant was off-shore and during the total time spent on the site, there were at least 2 Kestrels and 6 Common Buzzards seen. PBr.

8th - At least two observers were on and around the site today and the surveys took in the areas from the Dell to the mounds and on to the main hide.  The fence by the willow tree in the Dell, was where this morning, a Tree Pipit perched briefly just prior to flying S.  Counts for the trees, hedgerows and mounds gave a Little Owl, 2 Stonechats, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Common and 8+ Lesser Whitethroats, while skyline viewing (from the hide) gave 1 Sparrowhawk and 4 Common Buzzards.  Across the scrape and surrounding marsh were totals of 2 Avocets, 4 Snipe, 6 Ruff, 11 Blk T Godwits and 1 Yellow-legged Gull. IM/PRD.  Additions from an afternoon visit (15.15 to 16.15hrs) were of 2 Wheatears, 3 Whinchats, a Golden Plover, 4 Grey Herons and Ruff had increased to 7, while counts were also included of 6 Shoveler, c40 Teal, 241 Greylag Geese and 126 Lapwings. LH.   

9th - Prior to 07.00hrs there was mist in localised areas and although cool, the sun was bright.  N/NNW winds varied from a breeze to 10mph with gusting of 13mph.  A Kingfisher was amongst the species on today's report - this bird flew along the brook as viewed from the Memorials area (platform).  Also noted from this point were 3 Curlews that flew towards the main scrape, a Common Buzzard that was seen to soar over the meadow and some 3 Kestrels.  Observations from the main hide found that the 2 Avocets were still in the vicinity and were alongside, 2 Snipe, 5 Blk T Godwits and 6 Ruff of note.  A Sparrowhawk was in the area, while the numbers in and around the trees and hedgerows were just 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and 6 Blackcaps. IM/PRD.

10th - After a cooler night, the NNW winds of barely a breeze up to c9mph and occasional gusting of c12mph as at 06.00hrs,  increased in speed to 12mph and 16mph respectively by 09.30hrs and the direction had turned to ENE.  Surveying today took in the trees and hedgerows through to the Frinton end of the site, views off-shore and viewing from the main hide.  The former gave counts of 1 Little Owl, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 5 Lesser Whitethroats and 6+ Chiffchaffs, while the seafront walk gave a Wheatear and 2 Whinchat.  Waders on and around the scrape totalled 1 Snipe, the 2 Avocets, 6 Ruff, 7 Curlew and 112 Lapwings, while 3 Common Sandpipers were located on the rocks under the seawall.  Ducks and Geese on the scrape areas included 9 Shoveler, 40 Teal and 277 Greylags and the skyline from the hide gave 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels and 6 Common Buzzards.  Flying N off-shore was a dark-phase Arctic Skua. PL/IM/PRD.  

11th - Surveying through to the second turret was the order of today's visits for two observers.  Although both the trees and hedgerows were deemed to be quieter today, a Goldcrest was included in the noted species, along with 1 Cetti's Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and 4 Chiffchaffs.  The return walk to the carpark much later did provide 'very brief views' of a Pied Flycatcher but after a 20 minute search, the bird could not be re-located.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were singles of Snipe, Curlew, 2 Avocets, 4 Ruff, 15 Blk T Godwits, 6 Wigeon, c80 Teal, 250+ Greylag Geese and a total of 9 Med Gulls.  The latter comprised 1x1W + 2x2W + 6ad.  The wander to the second turret and back provided 2 Wheatears, 1 Little Egret and 3 Brent Geese. IM/PL.

12th - Bright, warm (+17 degrees) and dry, the winds varied ENE through E of speeds 13mph to 17mph with gusting of up to 20mph.  No reports returned.

13th - More ENE winds for today but stronger at speeds up to 23mph and gusting in excess of 26mph.  Warm again at +17 degrees, bright and dry.  During a ringing session this morning, a count of 2 Grey Wagtails and a Cetti's Warbler were amongst the notable species for today. PNt.  A pale-phase juvenile Long-T Skua was seen flying NE past the site at 13.10hrs. PRD.

14th - After some very still winds at times prior to 06.00hrs, the dawn brought NNE winds of up to 13mph with gusting that occasionally reached 25mph but by 07.30hrs these were averaging c10mph and c15mph respectively.  Very much an Autumn morning - chilly to start but quite bright.  Very dark skies appeared later and brought some rain for a while.  The winds were at E as at 16.00hrs and in excess of 22mph and 26mph respectively.  An hour of seawatching from 06.45hrs to 07.45hrs, provided 5 Brent Geese and 6 Teal S with both a Hobby and a Kestrel off-shore too. PL/SC.  Viewing from the hide (07.50-09.30hrs) yielded counts across the scrape and surrounding vicinity of 3 Snipe, 3 Ruff and also 3 Blk T Godwits, 55 Lapwings, 5 Shoveler, 120 Teal, 3 Mute Swans, 4 Grey Herons and 370 Greylag GeeseGulls at this time, consisted of 1 Common Gull, 1 G B B, 5 Med Gulls, 15 L B B, 160 Herring and 350+ Blk-Headed Gulls.  A Marsh Harrier was also noted. SC.  Later at 10.50hrs, a Little Stint was reported for the scrape area. MR.

15th - N through NNE initial winds turned slightly later to ENE, varying in speed from a breeze up to 14mph with additional gusting.  A pleasant temperature of +17 degrees, bright and dry.  No reports returned.

16th - The early wind direction was E of light to moderate speeds, alongside coastline temperatures of +17 degrees and although initially grey and hazy, the sun eventually succeeded.  Two observers on and around the site this morning found the trees, bushes and hedgerows to be very quiet.  Over the road (opp. Approach Road) hosted a singing Cetti's Warbler but 'not much else'.  On the main site by the Dipping Pond (lower carpark) there was a Willow Warbler along with 3 Chiffchaffs, while the Dell was empty at this point, on the wander through to the seafront.  A short look across the water yielded nothing of note for off-shore passage.  The return walk via the Dell located a very elusive Redstart (09.25hrs), while the Memorials area held just the Little Owl. IM/MR.  Viewing from the main hide supplied counts of 1 Avocet, 5 Ruff, 7 Blk T Godwits, 4 Grey Herons, 6 Shoveler, 13 Wigeon, c20 Teal and 290 Greylag Geese.  A Kestrel was also in the vicinity. MR.   

17th - After a warm night, it was another misty/hazy early morning.  Cloud-cover moved on to give brighter skies and sun and still the temperature holding at around the +17 degrees.  NNE morning winds of up to 14mph with some extra blasts, certainly increased along the coast for the afternoon.  No reports returned.

18th - Overall a very pleasant day with temperatures in excess of +17 degrees and light to moderate winds of a NE direction.  Very muggy at times during the afternoon and very sunny.  At least three observers visited the site and comments included "a nice variety" of birds seen.  A noted increase of Robins and Blackbirds were visible, while counts were of 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Cetti's Warblers (one being over the road + one near the Memorials), 4 Chiffchaffs, 1 Little Owl and 2 of each Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. PL/IM/MR.  Viewing from the main hide yielded 1 Avocet,  3 Snipe, 4 Ruff and 32 Blk T Godwits, 4 Grey Herons, 4 Shoveler, 8 Wigeon, 71 Teal and 220 Greylag GeesePL/MR.  A single Wheatear (MR) was located on the fence near the second hide, while a Grey Wagtail (PL) was a flyover.  A 'steady stream' of Meadow Pipits over/through was noted during the surveys. PL/MR.

19th - NE/E winds prevailed and after the initial heavy rains, grey skies continued to be noticeable but overall the day was quite pleasant and coastline temperatures reached +18 degrees.  Late evening saw more thunder and lightning off the coast.  No reports returned.

20th - Early morning storms and rain (some on/off) through until c10.00hrs - rain returned later in the day.  The NNE winds varied up to 17+mph with gusting of c20mph, while the temperature again reached the +18 degrees mark.  Of note on and over the site today were counts of 1 Redwing (South), 8+ Grey Wagtails, 17 Swallows (South) and a Shelduck that was seen to be sitting on the sea.  A ringing session also took place. GG.

21st - Wind direction prior to 09.00hrs was at N with a slight variation towards NNW, speeds were up to 18mph at this time and gusting was up to 23mph.  Slightly cooler at +16 degrees.  Of note, during a morning survey, was single Lesser Redpoll* that was briefly located along the hedgerows of the Greensward.  At c09.16hrs, a Great White Egret - the second for the site this year - that had been viewed (PBr) coming across from the Frinton area, was seen by observers on the Haven site, to drop onto the scrape.  Unfortunately for several hopeful observers, the GWE only stayed for a brief few moments.  A Red Kite was also seen to fly through/over the site. IM/MR/PL

22nd - Initial NW winds of light to moderate speeds up to 13mph and gusting in excess of 15mph.  A much cooler start at +10 degrees but warmed up later with the sun.  Over and around the site during a morning survey, were 7 Pied Wagtails, c50 House Martins and c100 Swallows.  The trees and bushes gave 1 Little Owl and 1 Cetti's Warbler - both in the area by the Memorials, also 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcaps and 10 Chiffchaffs, four of the latter being in the same bush with a Tit flock, these also by the Memorials.  Viewing from the main hide found that a single Avocet was still present and was at this time, alongside singles of Knot, Ruff, Common Sandpiper and Turnstone, 2 Snipe, 7 Curlew and a count of 50 Blk T Godwits.  Duck totals were of 10 Shoveler, 22 Wigeon and 120 Teal with Geese in the vicinity being c250 Greylags.  Also of note were 4 Grey Herons, 2 Kestrels and 2 Sparrowhawks. MR.   

23rd - Winds turned to Westerlies and conditions were fairly mild overall but cool when out of the on/off appearances of the sun.  A visit to the site today also provided the observer with a new tick for his Haven species list when a Yellowhammer was seen to fly over the Golf Course.  Quite a rarity for this site, many observers would like to get this species onto their Haven list.  Also noted on this report were singles of Kingfisher and Yellow Wagtail, 3 Wheatears and 2 Med Gulls (ad+1W), whilst a steady passage of Swallows - some 500+ were viewed as they flew low past the hide in just 45 minutes.  A good number of Meadow Pipits were seen to fly through too. AM.  

24th - W through WNW winds varying up to 24mph with gusting of up to 29mph.  Early rain and grey skies, a few spits of rain returned for the early afternoon.  Coastline temperatures varied from +12 to +17 degrees.  Afternoon observations across the site yielded of note a Med Gull (1W) on the scrape, also 4 Snipe, 11 Curlew and 40 Blk T Godwits, also a male Sparrowhawk, a juvenile female Peregrine (over scrape) and 2 Kestrels. SG.  At c16.15hrs and also picked up in the distance as viewed from the Frinton Obs, a count of 48 Pink-footed Geese* flew in/off, over the Clacton Sailing Club area (Greensward) and continued over the site in a N/NW direction. SG/LC.  During the evening, whilst by the Brook (Bridge area opp. Approach Road), a S E O was a very nice bonus when it flew right towards the observer, who had already been watching the Kingfishers.  The latter have been seen many times in this area in recent weeks.  Another bonus proved to be the superb sunset. (see Gallery). RWf.

25th - A variation in wind direction through the day from NW down through WSW and back with speeds at times at c10mph, increasing at others up to 26mph and those additional blasts being of up to 29mph.  Our youngest Haven member took daddy for a walk from the Frinton end, along the seawall towards the hide and back this morning.  Species included 1 Tree Pipit (S) that called at least three times over the first turret, 1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Stonechat (1 main hide + 1 N of second hide) and 9+ Wheatears - the latter prompted a request for birds with 'purple or pink bottoms - not white ones'!  Funny things are said by children but for someone of such a young age, it does prove that notice was being taken of the birds.  Moving South during this wander were 15 House Martins, 225 Swallows (mostly S) and some 125 Meadow Pipits again mostly South...... although one of the Mipits didn't make it, on account of it being taken by a Kestrel from a position very close to the observers.  Common Buzzard rounded up the report with 1+ on/over the site. PBr/KBr.     

26th - A day of mixed skies and sun and the NW winds varying from a breeze up to 22mph, while gusting reached 28mph.  A mild day generally, temperature readings reached +20 degrees and there was a small amount of drizzle during the early afternoon.  At 09.00hrs, a Redstart was located on the mounds. PRD.

27th - A mild morning with initial winds of a Northerly direction that turned later to Easterlies (prior to mid-day) and all varying from 'very still' up to c8mph with occasional gusting that reached 10mph.  Temperature readings reached +17 degrees and there was cloud-cover throughout the morning.  During a morning ringing session, a male Redstart was amongst the species in the immediate area. PNt.  Further across the site from 06.30 to 14.30hrs, counts were reported of 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Stonechat, in particular a Reed Warbler with a Norwegian ring (see Controls), at least 40 Reed Buntings, 80+ Meadow Pipits and 'several hundred' Swallows flew through during this eight hours.  A Grey Plover was heard. SC.   

28th - Morning winds proved to be ESE, light speeds that sometimes reached 10mph with slightly higher gusts (c12mph).  The temperature reached +17 degrees.  Viewable in the vicinity in front of the hide, 3 Whinchats were reported. RBA.

29th - A misty start to the day with early winds varying in speed up to c6mph but mostly fairly still, while occasional gusting was barely reaching 8mph - all at a direction of NE.  On/off rain and some drizzle appeared through into the evening.  Coastal temperature readings were at +15 degrees during the morning.  A morning visit to the site gave of particular note, 2 adult Med Gulls that were on the arable between the lay-by and scrape (09.10hrs) - these were amongst a flock of mostly Blk Headed Gulls.  Also seen from the lay-by was a Common Buzzard first viewed atop a hawthorn before it moved to a fence post.  An Oystercatcher was on the sluice area, while over and around the site were a single House Martin and c30 Swallows.  On a Wildlife note, 2+ Red Admirals were seen. GB.

30th - A turn of wind direction for today and a variation from W through SW from morning into evening.  Speeds also varied somewhat from light, to c12mph for a while before increasing to 20+mph and gusting varied from 10mph through 23mph.  During the morning the temperature was at +16 degrees, the readings reached a maximum of +18 overall.  No reports returned.

As at 30th September, the Haven 2014 Year List stands at: 169.