Holland Haven Birding

Official Site Of The Holland Haven Birding Group ©

Recent Sightings

Key: Plain Text- Resident/Regular Visitor. Green -Likely to be Annual. Amber -Less than Annual. Red -Rarity. CAPITALS -New bird for site.

(The above "Colour Coding" changed for several species in 2013 due to some being now a more regular species at the Haven - which has got to be good, whilst others are unfortunately not seen/recorded here as much as they used to be. This coding is purely defined by ourselves for the Haven site). 

Archive:  Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   June   July   Aug   Sept   Oct   Nov   Dec 

Site Year Tick*


1st - The month started well today with a Wryneck* being located at 08.56hrs (MR) and a Pochard* at 12.18hrs (PRD). The Wryneck having been initially located in the Sailing Club Compound (the one at the bottom of carpark), continued to be in and around this and the surrounding area (across towards WC's and also Approach Road) for the rest of the day until at least 17.00hrs.  Whilst the site did not record a Wryneck in 2015, this species has been located in this area in previous years. MR/PRD/PL/LH.  The Pochard was definitely a surprise for the finder (PRD) when he surveyed the scrape and surrounding areas and saw the juvenile female "roosting on the bank of the small pool to the right of the Main Hide".  Neither 2014 nor 2015 saw records of Pochard at the Haven. PRD.

2nd - A visit from mid to late morning found that the Pochard was still on the site and also in the vicinity were c50 Lapwings.  A Kingfisher (heard only), 3 Wheatears, 14+ Pied Wagtails, 30+ Swallows, a Kestrel and a Common Buzzard were also noted.  Around the trees, bushes and hedgerows, counts were of 1 Blackcap (fem/juv), 1 Goldcrest, 1+ Spotted Flycatcher (Dell/By Platform), 1 juv Common and 3 Lesser Whitethroats and 8 Willow Warblers. LH.   

3rd - A very elusive Barred Warbler* was located briefly on/off today by the five-bar gate/close vicinity. MR. The finder took steps to relocate the bird along with other on-hand observers but all to no avail this afternoon. MR/IM/PRD. This is only the 10th record of this species on the Haven site and the last one was seen (and ringed) in 2010.

4th - Two observers were on site very early this morning and at 07.30hrs the Barred Warbler proved to still be around by showing its head..... then at last (just after 08.00hrs) the observers saw the whole bird!  The Barred Warbler was found to be in the Gunfleet Boating Club Compound at this time but unfortunately there was no further sign of it after c09.00hrs. PL/PRD/et al. (Of note, Vodafone was down for most of today & scuppered the RBA 'Pagers', however, news was put out via calls/texts/RBA alert Pro/all other normal channels etc).  

5th - A Ringing Session - in two areas - took place from early this morning (06.30-09.30hrs) which involved a total of 24 birds of nine species including Garden, Willow and Sedge Warblers.  During this time there was little in the way of passage through/over the site with just a House Martin and c30 Swallows of particular note, while 'on site' additions were of 3 Green Woodpeckers and near to the second hide, a Wheatear.  A return visit this afternoon (see extra info) supplied 3 Common Scoters S at c15.30hrs and an imm Med Gull (prob 1W). SC/PC.  Extra notes for today, 5th:  A Manx Shearwater that had been found under a car in Braintree yesterday (04-09-2016), had subsequently been taken to 'Thorrington Wildlives' where it was said to have 'enjoyed a 3-course meal of sprats, sprats, sprats'. Permission was given to Simon Cox (SC) to ring the Manx prior to release and upon collection from the Wildlives centre today, the bird was taken to Holland Haven to be released.  At 15.00hrs, the Manx was seen to swim out to sea from the Haven, 'diving periodically like an auk'.  A little later, it is presumed that this same bird was seen (PBr) to fly up the coast to land on the sea just off the Frinton area.  As this Manx was taken into care overnight, it won't be included in the official BTO totals. SC.

6th - No reports returned.

7th - A few observers were on and around the site this morning and a Ringing Session also took place.  A Garden Warbler was one of the species during this Ringing Session, as was a Common Whitethroat, while 7 Yellow Wagtails were seen to fly-over and a Wheatear was by the turret. GG.  A Pied Flycatcher was located (13.25hrs) in the bushes to the right of the path down to the Memorials area. IM.  An evening Ringing Session involved just 5 birds of three species, including a Whinchat (photo to be added).  Swallows over the site were few and these didn't stay around too long, so literally moving through. SC

8th - A Spotted Flycatcher was located in the Feeding Station during late morning. MR.

9th - A late morning through into mid-afternoon visit, supplied singles of Wheatear and Whinchat, Turnstone, Redshank and Oystercatcher, Grey Heron, Kestrel and Marsh Harrier of note. DC

10th - Day one of the Triathlon.  Of particular note this morning (apart from Paul, our 'Frinton Obs', not competing in this year's Triathlon), both a juvenile Purple Sandpiper and 1 Oystercatcher were viewed on the Sluice Rocks at 08.46hrs.  The scrape area held 2 Moorhens, 34 Lapwings, 1 Grey Heron and 1 Cormorant 'looking rather lost'.  A total of 6 Yellow Wagtails were near the cattle, 2 Whimbrel and 24 Curlew were on the Golf Course, while over the fields were singles of Hobby and Kestrel.  Noted for the bushes were 2 Lesser and 2 Common Whitethroats.  PBr.

11th - Day two of the Triathlon.  A Ringing Session held this morning involved some 46 birds of 15 species that included Cetti's, Willow and Sedge Warblers, Lesser and Common Whitethroats.  During this time, views were also had of 2 Snipe, 1 Sand Martin, 1 S E Owl, 1 Marsh Harrier and 4 Common Buzzards, while the on the Wildlife front, a Painted Lady Butterfly made the notes too. PL/LW.  Viewing from the second turret be a few observers gave additional counts of 1 Wheatear and 1 Swift, along with singles of Hobby, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk.  The SEO, Marsh Harrier and 3 Common Buzzards also seen at this time, may have been +/- the previously mentioned birds. PL/IM/PNs.

12th - During a Ringing Session (06.30-09.30hrs) that involved 21 birds of five species and included a Meadow Pipit, there were noted additional sightings of 1 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear and 30+ Swallows. SC.

13th - A very quiet and short Ringing Session today.  A single Lesser Whitethroat was noted. SC.

14th - During a run along the seawall (rather hot!), views were had of a single Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatears, 3 Meadow Pipits and some 28 Swallows. PBr.  With easterly winds prevailing, a Ringing Session took place - again very quiet, however, a small consolation was that a Small Copper Butterfly was viewed. SC.

15th - No reports returned.

16th - Surveying the site this morning yielded a selection of species around the bushes and hedgerows, as well as fly overs/through.  The former gave singles of Spotted Flycatcher, Garden and Reed Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2+ Blackcaps and 6+ Chiffchaffs of particular note.  The latter added 1 Yellow and 2 Grey Wagtails, 10+ Sand and 60+ House Martins, some 40+ Meadow Pipits and several Chaffinches.  Observations from the Main Hide included 1 Snipe and a juvenile Med Gull. PRD.  Additional notes were of a Sanderling and a Wheatear (IM), while several colour-ringed Gulls were also seen (info to follow). PRD/IM/MR.

17th - A wander around the site this morning by three observers, provided two more Haven 2016 Year Ticks in the forms of 4 Arctic Terns* and a Ringtail Hen Harrier*.  Off-shore viewing also included singles of Red-throated Diver (juv) and Kittiwake (juv), 3 Sandwich and 5 Common Terns and 11 Gannets.  Birds of Prey also included singles of Hobby, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard, while waders of note were a Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstones and 7 Curlew.  A Stonechat and 5 Wheatears were observed, 10 Sand and 50+ House Martins from the Greensward and notes were made of 'large numbers of Meadow Pipits in/off and along the coastal route'. GG/PRD/ML.

18th - Of particular note today, a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was located on the outfall with both a Turnstone and a Ringed Plover at c12.24hrs. PRD.

19th - During a morning survey of the site, the notable counts were of a Yellow and 2 Grey Wagtails that flew-over, singles of Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge and Garden Warblers, 6+ Blackcaps and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.  While few Chiffs were seen around the rest of the site, some 15+ Chiffchaffs were found to be around the Dipping Pond (lower end of carpark). PRD.  A long day on the site (06.15-18.15hrs) for a Ringing Session definitely proved fruitful. The session involved some 337 birds of fifteen species of which these included Swallow, Sand and House Martins, Cetti's and Willow Warblers, Meadow Pipit and Whinchat.  Additional sightings for over and through the site during these hours were of 'at least 350 Meadow Pipits through early' and while 'no meaningful figures to offer for the hirundines - Swallows in four figures'. SC/PC.

20th - Of particular note this afternoon and the only highlight, was that of a Spotted Flycatcher in the Dell. PRD.

21st - A Spotted Flycatcher was again seen on site, albeit very briefly just after mid-day. MR.  A Ringing Session took place (06.15-12.15hrs) involving 77 birds and eight species - including Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Blue Tit and Chiffchaff. During this time the additional sightings were of a Hobby that was seen to fly N at 07.15hrs, 10 Grey Plovers that headed S, 25+ Meadow Pipits and 'several hundred hirundines - nearly all Swallows with single figures of House and Sand Martins'.  Heard were 1+ Golden Plover. SC/PC.

22nd - No reports returned.

23rd - During a morning Ringing Session (06.15-09.15hrs) involving 26 birds and eight species - including Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler and Chiffchaff - sightings across and over/through the site yielded singles of S E Owl and Marsh Harrier, c40 Meadow Pipits, 120+ House Martins and 350+ Swallows, 1 Snipe, 11 Wigeon and 220+ Greylag Geese of particular note. SC.

24th - Of particular note, a 'cracking' juvenile Common Gull was seen on the scrape, while a colour-ringed Herring Gull was also in the vicinity. MR.

25th - Reported as very little to note around the site (including yesterday) - a few Chiffchaff, the odd Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap, while 'vis-mig' gave just a few House Martins, Meadow Pipits and a steady stream of Swallows.  Off-shore was pretty quiet today too, providing just 2 Gannets heading N and 2 Grey Plover in/off. PNs/PL/MR.  A Shearwater Sp. at 09.00hrs was probably a Manx but was at too great a distance to confirm. PL/PNs.  

26th - A Ringing Session took place from 06.30 to 09.30hrs today - this involved 16 birds of four species, including both Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting.  Also noted during this time were a single Stonechat, 50+ Meadow Pipits, 15+ House Martins and 150+ SwallowsSC/PC.  A Wheatear was reported. Vtr.  Viewing from the main hide found that there was some increase to the level of water in areas of the scrape (more rain needed) and this has over the last few days, attracted more birds to the area.  Counts included 3 Snipe, c60 Lapwings, c200 Greylag Geese and alot of Gulls, the latter including two colour-ringed birds.  In the field amongst the cows over the last few days, have been a Whinchat, 2 Stonechats and up to 10 Yellow WagtailsMR.

27th - An initial look around the bushes this morning gave 3 Chiffchaff of note before heading to the shelter for a seawatch session.  A Wheatear was seen on the greensward. MR.  Joined by another birder, the morning counts for seawatching were of 1 Arctic Skua*, 2 Oystercatchers, 5 Cormorants, 6 Common Terns, 7 Wigeon and 505 Brent Geese - the latter being a steady stream heading S.  A short break from the seafront for a visit to the main hide, supplied 2 Snipe, 20 Lapwings and c200 Greylag Geese of note for the scrape and surrounding areas, while a Peregrine was visible on the arable field beyond the scrape.  Amongst the Gulls were two colour-ringed birds. MR/IM.  An afternoon visit and a further two hours of seawatching, added counts of 3 juvenile Gannets flying N and 7 Cormorants, 7 Shelducks and 840+ Brent Geese all heading S.  A total of 1345+ Brents for the day over the two reported sessions).  Per the comments on the reports..... Autumn has arrived! MR/PRD

28th - A visit to the site (14.00-16.00hrs) supplied counts of 1 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaffs, 1 Kingfisher, 25 House Martins and 40 Swallows of particular note, as well as 1 Snipe, 1 Common Gull, 1 Marsh Harrier (juv), 3 Kestrels and 4 Common Buzzards. SG.

29th - No reports returned.

30th - The month of September ended with another Haven 2016 Year Tick which was that of a Yellow-browed Warbler*.  The Y-BW was located in the trees by the Dipping Pond (by car-park entrance) at c15.33hrs. PL.  The Yellow-browed Warbler was still showing well as at 17.10hrs. PRD.

As at 30th September 2016 the Haven 2016 Year List stands at 164.


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