Holland Haven Birding

Official Site Of The Holland Haven Birding Group ©

Recent Sightings

Key: Plain Text- Resident/Regular VisitorGreen -Likely to be AnnualAmber -Less than AnnualRed -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 - Of particular note to start this new month (14.30-15.45hrs) there were counts of 1 Snipe, 1 Greenshank and 5 Blk T Godwits, also a Kingfisher, 16+ Wheatears (on the hay bales) and 6 SwallowsLH.

2nd - Several observers were on and around the site today and an early morning Ringing Session also took place.  The report from the Ringing Session gave that there was "very little passerine passage evident" in the vicinity and the session itself, yielded just twelve birds in the nets - being of six species - but notably, did include a Wheatear.  At least 4 Wheatears were close by, also 1 Yellow Wagtail while just a few House Martins and Swallows flew through during this time. SC/PC/HE.  Surveying the rest of the site, the Dipping Pond area held 2 Willow Warblers and 7 Chiffchaffs (early a.m.), while a single Goldcrest, 3 Common and 4 Lesser Whitethroats along with 4 Blackcaps   were the sum total of counts around the rest of the localised bushes and hedgerows.  The scrape - now extremely low on water - yielded singles of Common Sandpiper and Ruff, 2 Blk T Godwits and 24 Teal of any note.  The 4 Wheatears on this report being most likely the same as the aforementioned birds and within the same area.  Species seen to fly through/viewed from/over the site, were of 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Swifts, 1 Hobby, 1 Marsh Harrier and 3 Common Buzzards.  The Wildlife front provided "plenty of" both Common Darter and Migrant Hawker   Dragonflies as well as a Willow Emerald Damselfly, the latter being by the Dipping Pond. PL/IM/MR.

3rd - A few observers on the site today with two of them carrying out a seawatch from 08.00hrs to 11.30hrs.  A Marsh Harrier was an in/off bird, while those offshore included 1 Guillemot, 2 Sandwich Terns, 5 Gannets, 4 Shoveler, 9 Common Scoters and 50+ Teal.  With all of them flying S, there was a total count of 19 Arctic Skuasduring this watch, being 11+4+2+2. PL/IM.  Viewing across the scrape yielded singles of Common Sandpiper  and Ruff, alongside 4 Blk T GodwitsMR

4th - Two seawatch sessions took place today.  The first from 07.00hrs to 12.00hrs provided a Haven 2017 Year Tick in the form of a Great Skua (Bonxie)* that was heading S.  The five-hour watch, with all movement S, also gave singles of a Kestrel (long range offshore), Ringed Plover and Golden Plover, 5 Oystercatchers, 8 Grey Plovers, 2 Black Terns and 12 Arctic Skuas, as well as 3 Shoveler, 4 Wigeon, 7 Teal and 14 Common ScotersDS.  The afternoon session (15.30-16.30hrs) gave of note, 3 Sandwich Terns and a Great Skua - the latter 'very nice, flying just off the beach past the Boating Club' before heading out to sea (opposite Sluice). PL.

5th - No reports returned.

6th - Several observers visited the site but found that the bushes/hedgerows were quiet of birds "apart from a few of the local ones".  More notably, the wind-pump is now "back in working order" so the water levels are once again, rising on the main scrape.  The Boating Club rocks this morning held one of the 2 Wheatears seen (the second by the first turret), while at the back of the hide, the bales were the standpoint for a juvenile Kestrel which, present for a couple of days, is wearing leg rings for jessies.  The Wildlife front by this time, had provided 2 Water Voles at the Dipping Pond and "hauled out on the beach" was a Common SealMR.  An extremely brief visitor to the scrape today (and for barely 6 seconds in total), a Little Stint just about made it onto the day's species list. PRD/TS/DW/JH.  Counts across the main scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were of 1 Grey Heron, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Blk T Godwits, c20 Lapwings and 6 Teal, 22 Canada and c100 Greylag Geese, while singles of Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard   were also noted.  Five species made up the Gull flock today with the numbers being 1 Med Gull, 2 G B B, 6 L B B, 200 Herring and c250 Black-headedMR

7th - No reports returned.      (OVO Tour of Britain Cycling Stage 5 Time Trials - Men).

8th - No reports returned. 

9th - During a Ringing Session from 06.30-12.30hrs this morning, "very rough estimates" of 60+ Meadow Pipits, 5 House Martins and 150+ Swallows were over/through the site, while a Cetti's Warbler was singing opposite the reed-bed ride as the two observers left this particular area.  It was also noted that "very few finches past us".  The Ringing Session involved three ringing areas, some twelve species and a total of 57 birds.  These included Reed   and Sedge WarblersChaffinch and RobinBlueGreat and L-T TitsSC.  A late 'evening into dusk' visit to the site (from the Frinton end) gave at c19.42hrs, a juvenile Dotterel* "on the Golf Course adjacent the seawall.  Watched until the light went, loosely associating with Curlew." PBr.

10th - At least three observers visited the site this morning but unfortunately, there was no sign of last night's Dotterel by c11.15hrs.  Surveying through from the Greensward - which held a single Wheatear early a.m. - to the Golf Course and back via the Main Hide, provided 16 Curlew (Golf Course) and "a nice feeding flock" of 40+ Linnets in this same area.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh were counts of 1 Bar T Godwit, 6 Blk T Godwits   and 60+ Lapwings, as well as 1 Kingfisher and 2 Grey Wagtails, while 4 Common Buzzards were also visible.  A Swift   was on the report and "still passing through" were several Sand Martins with a few of each House Martins and   Swallows.  The bushes and hedgerows being once again quiet of birds, a single Common Whitethroat, 3 Blackcaps and 3 Chiffchaffs were the exceptions prior to the observer returning to the Dipping PondPL.  The trees surrounding the Dipping Pond held a very vocal Willow Warbler and also 1 Cetti's Warbler - the latter moving along the rear of the pond.  The Wildlife front yielded several notable species, including a Willow Emerald Damselfly, 2 Common Darter   and 2 Migrant Hawker Dragonflies alongside 1 Small Copper, 1 Small White, 1 Large White, 1 Speckled Wood and 3 Red Admiral ButterfliesAD/PL/MR.

11th - No reports returned.

12th - A very windy day that supplied a few sheltering birds around the Dipping Pond area early on, being 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Lesser and 2 Common Whitethroats and 3 Chiffchaffs.  Viewing across the scrape and grazing marsh from the Main Hide added the species of 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Blk T Godwits, 110 Lapwings, 52 Teal, 24 Canada and 151 Greylag Geese plus 3 Grey Herons, while the Gulls consisted of 3 L B B, 3 G B B, 82 Black-headed and some 200+ Herring with the latter including a colour-ringed bird. MR.

13th - At c09.00hrs this morning, 4 Tree Sparrows* were in the brambles in front of the Main Hide. PRD.

14th - At least three observers were on and around the site from 08.00hrs to 12.00hrs with the early viewing including that of some 200+ House Martins moving through.  The carpark hedgerows (lower) held a Redstart, while in the nearby vicinity were singles of GoldcrestLesser WhitethroatReed and Cetti's Warblers, 7+ Blackcaps and 8+Chiffchaffs.  Noted as opposite to the Seawatch Hide were 2 Wheatears.  The only notable birds on the scrape areas were those of 4 Blk T Godwits and 50+ Teal with Birds of Prey during this survey, consisting of 1 Common Buzzard and 2 SparrowhawksPL/PRD/MR.

15th - During a quiet Ringing Session this morning (09.00-10.30hrs), there were three species and six birds involved including 1 Chiffchaff.  Singles of Lesser and Common Whitethroat and Gt. Spotted Woodpecker were noted, while distantly overhead, were 5 Common BuzzardsSC/PC.

16th - At least three observers were on the site this morning and a Ringing Session took place 06.30-10.30hrs. The   Ringing Session involved seventeen bird being of six species, that included House Martins and Reed Warblers - one of the latter being a 're-trap', a juvenile that was originally ringed on site last month (August).  During this session, there sightings of 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Hobby, 1 Sparrowhawk and 3 Kestrels, rough estimates of some 150+   Swallows and 200+ House Martins, also a Cetti's Warbler near the Second Hide, 2 Whinchats and c40 Meadow Pipits.  It was noted that there were 'very few finches'. SC/PC.  Surveying the hedgerows and bushes of the Dell and the carpark this morning, a Coal Tit* "flew from the Dell to the upper carpark and was lost to view".  Also around the vicinity were a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps and 10+ Chiffchaffs. Fly-overs/through the site included a Yellow Wagtail and a Hobby (the latter possibly the previously mentioned bird), with notes of 'a number of Meadow Pipits in/off early' and 'all morning' movement of House Martins and Swallows.  From 10.00-13.00hrs a seawatch was undertaken and this yielded of particular note, 1 Pomarine Skua* (Pom), 1   Common ScoterRed-throated DiverSandwich Terns and 12 GannetsPL.

17th - Both Ringing Sessions and surveying were undertaken today with the former taking place in three areas of the site.  A total of twenty birds were involved in one Session (in two areas) - these comprising ten species that included   RobinReed Bunting and Sedge Warbler, as well as an interesting adult Willow Warbler that was subsequently deemed the highlight of the morning.  During this time, a Marsh Harrier, 2 Kestrels, 100+ Swallows and 150+ House Martins were noted, as were c100 LinnetsSC/PC.  The other Session - in one area at the rear of the site - involved a total of forty birds and fourteen species, including Cetti's and Reed WarblersChiffchaffWren and Chaffinch.  Also viewed were singles of Swift and Sand MartinPNt/LW.  Surveying the trees, hedgerows and areas through to the Second Hide, provided counts of 1 Gt. Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Goldcrests, 15+ Blackcaps and 20+ Chiffchaffs, also a Whinchat (latter by the Second Hide).  Skyline and overhead morning passage included 1 Marsh Harrier   (possibly the aforementioned bird), 1 Sparrowhawk and 3 Common Buzzards, with again notes of "plenty of House Martins and Swallows feeding and passing through".  The scrape was very quiet indeed - just 1 Snipe and 50 Teal to report.  Off-shore viewing added counts of 1 Common and 4 Sandwich Terns, a Red-throated Diver, 2 Common Scoters and 20 TealPL.

18th - A site visit today was one spent seawatching and yielded of note for the observer, counts of 1 Little Egret, 1   Brent Goose, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Gannets, 12 Teal and c100 Wigeon.  Also reported was a Swift and that both   Swallows and House Martins were 'still plentiful'. IM.

19th - Today's report was of 10 Egyptian Geese* being on the scrape as at 10.24hrsIM.  A further addition was that of a colour-ringed NTGG Herring Gull on the scrape. MR

20th - Of interest, a pair of Willow Emerald Damselflies were seen to be egg-laying, while the bird front included views of two colour-ringed Herring GullsMR.

21st - Late this morning, the surprise bird for it's first observer of the day, was a Bittern (MR) that was seen to fly along the rear of the marsh c11.10hrs (being mobbed by corvids) before dropping in to land in the reedbeds at the rear of the scrape. MR.  There was no further sign until very briefly a c12.10hrs when it was flushed by Crows and the bird went back into the ditch again and as at c12.30hrs it was thought that the bird was somewhere in the brook close to the Moth Sanctuary. IM/PRD.  From the Main Hide, the viewing across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh gave counts of 2 Blk T Godwits, c30 Lapwings, 6 Wigeon, c 60 Teal, 9 Cormorants, 34 Canada and 158 Greylag Geese, alongside 1 L B B, 2 G B B, 114 Herring (including a NTGG colour-ringed bird) and 173 Black-headed Gulls, while a   Sandwich Tern was a fly-over.  Also from this viewpoint were sightings of 1 Kestrel, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Common Buzzard.  Along the front, there were 2 Turnstones on the Sluice Rocks and flying S, a count of 6 Sandwich Terns. The Wildlife front supplied 3+ Willow Emerald Damselflies that were showing well. MR.

22nd - No reports returned.  

23rd - A Ringing Session took place this morning and several observers were around the site too.  The Ringing Session involved some thirty-four birds being of eight species - these included both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Goldcrest (5 of the latter). SC/PC/Kelly.  Off-shore viewing gave 2 Common Scoters and 7 Sandwich Terns of particular note, while Brent Geese, in small groups, were seen to be a steady stream all morning.  Also noted was the continued movement of both Swallows and House Martins.  The trees, bushes and site hedgerows yielded notables of 4 Chiffchaffs, 8 Blackcaps and 10+ Goldcrests and with surveying continuing through to the fields/Golf Course end of the site, counts of 1 Stonechat and 2 Wheatears were added.  A Peregrine was seen to be sat on the back field and 2 of each Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard were also viewed.  The scrape provided an adult Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Med Gulls and several Common Gulls, alongside 3 Ringed Plovers, 4 Blk-T Godwits, 18 Wigeon and 60 Teal, while a single Dunlin 'flew in for a look, then off'. PL/ML/PRD.  A visit during the afternoon located a 'lovely'   Pied Flycatcher by the Memorials. MR

24th - A beautiful sunrise but with it came a little bit too much breeze for the early Ringing Session which involved just fifteen birds of five species - including Blackcap and Reed Warbler.  A Ringed Plover (calling) was a flyover during this time. PNt/LW.  The observers chose to have a seawatching session from 07.15-08.45hrs and were provided with noted views of 1 Bar-T Godwit, 1 Shelduck, 2 Pintails, 10 Teal and 12 Wigeon, also 2 Gannets and 250+ Brent GeesePL/ML.  Briefly landing on the Greensward at 07.30hrs, a Mistle Thrush then flew towards Haven Avenue.  The bushes and hedgerows held 3 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs and again some 10+ Goldcrests, as well as 2 Cetti's Warblers   and a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker.  Viewing from the Main Hide, gave counts across the scrape and grazing marsh of 1   Blk-T Godwit, 3 Ruff (the latter flew in, then away again), 8 Wigeon and 92 Teal while a Kingfisher was in the vicinity. PL/PRD/ML/MR.

25th - A Pied Flycatcher was located in 'the small wood of hawthorn trees by the end of the carpark' during one site survey, with further reports supplied of a Sparrowhawk, a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker (the latter a flyover that then perched, for a short while, atop a conifer between Sluice Cottages and the Sewage Farm), also 4 Swallows, 2 juvenile   Ruff (scrape) and 2 Turnstones that were flying close-in by the seawall.  The Wildlife front gave Clouded Yellow Butterfly (12.20hrs) at the path/junction of the Second Hide. GB.

26th - Of particular note today, there was a single Ruff along with Little Stints on the scrape. TS.

27th - A short Ringing Session took place this morning during which seven birds of five species were involved, these included GoldcrestChiffchaff and ChaffinchSC/PC.  Quite a few observers were on and around the site this morning, amongst whom were also 'Birding' and 'Wildlife' Groups.  Noted Wader counts were of 1 Purple Sandpiper on the seawall near the Sluice, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Blk-T Godwit on the scrape, also 3 Turnstones, while 5 Snipe flew out to sea.  The hedgerows and around/over the site generally were singles of Grey Wagtail (N) and Wheatear, 5   BlackcapsGoldcrests and Chiffchaff, also 50 Meadow Pipits, 11 Stock Doves, 1 Sparrowhawk (ad.fem), 1   Common Buzzard and 5 Kestrels.  A total of 25 Brent Geese (S) were also reported. SG.  An early evening visit and a quick survey (16.00-17.15hrs) located a Pied Flycatcher in the bushes at the top of the Approach Road, while the walk through to the Memorials and back, added 1 Blackcap, 2 Goldcrest and 3 ChiffchaffsPL.

28th - No reports returned.

29th - Of particular note today, a Pomarine Skua (Pom), flew S at 07.50hrs while singles of Arctic Skua and Great Skua (Bonxie) were also seen to fly S. DS.

Saturday 30th September + Sunday 1st October = 2017 Triathlon.   

30th - Bird of the day was most definitely a Red-breasted Flycatcher* located by Paul Brayshaw c10.16hrs in the wooded area directly above the top of the carpark/south of the Memorials.  This R-B Fly, which remained on site throughout today, becomes the third record of this species at the Haven - the previous two being 19th October 1986 and 2nd October 1989.  A Pied Flycatcher was also in this area this morning. PBr/PL/SC et al.  Surveying around the site generally, the scrape provided 3 Blk-T Godwits, just a few Wigeon and 60+ Teal, the bushes gave 2 Blackcaps, 3   Goldcrests and 6 Chiffchaffs with additions across the areas of 2 Stonechats, 1 Gt. Spotted Woodpecker and also a single Little Egret.  Reported as "lots of visible passage S", further counts were of 20+ Skylarks, 50+ Meadow Pipits, 100+ Goldfinches, 50+ Swallows and 250+ House Martins with further additions being of 2 Grey Wagtails, 2   Med Gulls (ads) and a Common BuzzardPL.   


As at 30th September 2017 the Haven 2017 Year List stands at 159. 


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