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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December 09

1st - A bitterly cold start this morning, but dry and bright with NW through NNW light winds until late afternoon.  Wind direction then turned to SSW but it was barely more than a breeze as the day went into dusk.  Coverage until early afternoon found it much quieter off-shore with 1 of each Velvet Scoter and R-B Merganser heading S and just 2 R-T Divers going N.  2 Gadwall were sitting on the sea while the current Haven flock of Brent Geese, were moving from the arable to the sea and back, in varied numbers.  Past the 2nd turret/slope and the Dartford Warbler proved to be still on site and close-by, it is probable that a Bearded Tit is also still around.  4 Stonechats were noted at the time. PRD/MR.  A later visit saw 24+ Meadow Pipits moving through S, Stonechats were up to 5 and in the carpark area were 4 Goldcrests. JBS.  

2nd - Cold, wet and very grey with SSE winds.  Seawatching was the order of today with morning reports that included 4 Goosander (1d+3fem), 9 Goldeneye, 45+ Common Scoter, 57 Shelduck, 9 Shoveler, 6 Turnstones, 50+ Dunlin and 16 Brent Geese all heading S while the only birds going N were 9 Brent GeeseJBS/MR/PB.  The highlight of the morning species was at 10.45hrs, when for the first time since 21st September 1997, 1+ Leach's Petrel headed South past the observers, taking the current Haven 2009 Year list to 183. JBS/PB.  A later seawatch 14.20-15.30hrs in similar conditions, saw 3+ ad Little Gulls milling about off-shore with all other species on this watch heading S.  These were 8 R-B Mergansers, a fem Goldeneye, 11 Common Scoter, 24 Shelduck, 40+ Brent Geese and singles of both Bar T Godwit and Curlew. PRD.

3rd - A very grey day throughout, on/off rain with W winds.  A four hour session (08.45-12.45hrs) of seawatching proved once again to have variety, with the following report totals of passing species.  3 R-T Divers, 1 Gt C Grebe, a drake Goldeneye, 2 Velvet and 27 Common Scoter, 1 Shelduck and 16 Brent Geese.  Also 2 ad Kittiwakes, 2 ad Med Gulls, 10 Dunlin and 230 Lapwings.  Sat on the water, was an imm/fem Eider. PRD.  

4th - Overcast and cool to start the day, becoming bright with light WNW winds.  By night fall, winds were at SSW. No reports returned today.

5th - A dry, fresh, bright morning with SSW winds.  Mid-afternoon turned much colder and more grey with winds moving through WSW.  Coverage this morning saw 3 Siskins over S, also 4 Goldfinch, 1 Lesser Redpoll and 35 Linnet.  An imm/fem Bearded Tit was once more located in the reedbeds. GG/JBS.  Off-shore movement provided 3 Velvet  Scoter (2d+1f), a fem Goldeneye, 2 Common Scoter, 1 Gt C Grebe and a R-T Diver.  Viewed along the beach were 5 Sanderling and a single Turnstone, while the somewhat deserted scrape area, held just 1 Snipe of any note.  Another look along the reedbeds and mounds near the golf course, gave the observer sightings of the Dartford Warbler, again with a Stonechat. GG.  Mid-afternoon saw a single Shag (reported earlier at Frinton) drop on the sea for a while before heading SW. GG/PRD.  Giving some good close views, was a Black Throated Diver as it also, flew SW. GG/PRD/MR.

6th - A very wet morning but by mid-day the rain had stopped and it turned into a bright glorious afternoon.  Winds moved S through SW with occasional gusts recorded locally up to 46mph.  Unfortunately, seawatching this morning during the rain, located nothing of any substantial note, with off-shore movement virtually non-existent. GG/JBS.  A slightly later visit to the hide, provided views across the scrape of 2 Ringed Plovers, 13 Blk T Godwits, 4 Shelduck, 12 Shoveler, 360 Wigeon and 486 Teal.  Numerous Greylag Geese were spread over the area and a Sparrowhawk was also noted. MR.   

7th - An overcast day throughout with winds deviating S, SSE, SSW.  A pleasant surprise of 5 Shag on the sluice rocks this morning, included that of a colour ringed bird.  After not a single sighting of Shag in 2008, now 6 birds recorded within three days for '09.  The White Fronted Goose was amongst the many Greylag Geese on the scrape, while 15 Blk T Godwits, 7 Curlew and 4 Shelduck also made the notebook during this visit. MR.

8th - A dry day and mostly quite bright with light W winds.  Coverage this morning was from the Frinton end to the hide, during which some excellent views were had of the Dartford Warbler as it called from atop the brambles near to the golf course.  2 Stonechats and 25+ Linnet were located while 14 Brent Geese flew over.  The scrape area held 14 Blk T Godwits, 9 Curlew, 4 Shelduck, 134+ Teal and 196+ Greylag Geese.  100+ Wigeon were on the sea. BS.    

9th - A very bright morning, again dry with light W winds.  The afternoon turned very grey with misty-rain, winds remained W.  A morning visit to the hide provided counts of 11 Blk T Godwits, 4 Curlew, 14 Lapwing, 2 Shelduck and 174+ Teal.  A Sparrowhawk was also seen, as were 2 Stonechats and 6 Reed Buntings. BS.  A slightly later visit saw increased totals on the scrape area, with Shelduck up to 4, Curlew at 8 and numbers for Teal and Wigeon each at 300+.  Although not counted, both Robins and Blackbirds were prominent today. MR

10th - A very bright morning and dry throughout the day.  Light W winds became NW by mid-afternoon and were still NW into the evening.  Coverage across the site this morning, noted that the scrape was very quiet early on but by 10.00hrs it was somewhat more lively with 2 Ringed Plovers, 13 Blk T Godwits, 14 Curlew, 13 Lapwing, 4 Shelduck and 7 Shoveler amongst 162 Wigeon and 186 Teal.  150+ Brent Geese also dropped in but departed after c15mins.  Located along the front were 2 Turnstones while the fields, fences and reedbeds provided views of 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Fieldfare and 6 Stonechats. BS/MR.  A single Bearded Tit was seen again today and also recorded were 5 Med Gulls (3adW/2ndW/1stW). PRD.

11th - A bitterly cold and misty start to the day with a very light NW breeze.  The sun was apparent through to the afternoon with wind direction varying slightly to NNW going into the evening.  A two hour search of the carpark down through the approach road and onto the area just opposite, was disappointing this morning with only 2 Curlew and a fly-over Siskin of note. PRD.  Weather conditions hindered views across the scrape area but counts gave 9 Blk T Godwits, 20 Lapwing, 4 Shelduck, 70+ Teal and 240+ Wigeon with only 70 or so Greylag Geese.  A pair of Stonechats were noted and the Bearded Tit was seen as it flew across the reedbeds, close to the golf course and public footpath. BS.

12th - A morning of intermittent sun and rain showers with ENE winds of which occasional wind gusts were reported locally up to 32mph.  The afternoon was more overcast and winds became NNE.  Coverage across the site through the day, included sightings of 6 Siskin over the carpark, a Snow Bunting and a Rock Pipit.  The scrape held of note 12 Blk T Godwits and 6 Curlew on the first morning visit to the hide and a later survey of the area saw the appearance of 2 Pink Footed Geese.  Off-shore a Slavonian Grebe was seen for a short while on the water, while fly-by's were 3 R-B Mergansers, 4 Eider, 12 Common Scoter and singles of Tufted Duck, Gt C Grebe and R-T Diver.  On the sluice was a Purple Sandpiper with 3 Turnstones and near to the 2nd turret, a Water Rail was heard calling from the reedbed but not seen. GG.    

13th - Mostly overcast throughout with on/off rain, which was quite heavy at times.  NNE winds varied from very light to moderate, turning slightly to ENE late afternoon.  Off-shore movement this morning provided views of 1 Great Northern and 2 Black Throated Divers, 13 Eider (5d) and 12 Common Scoter all of which were headed N.  On their normal seafront rocks were 3 Purple Sandpipers and along the reedbeds and fences were 4 Stonechats.  A single Siskin was a fly-over and just 5 Blk T Godwits were reported for the scrape. GG.  An afternoon visit found the Dartford Warbler showing well at the heap/mounds next to the golf course and 2 Chiffchaff were located along the sewage farm hedge.  Also noted were 3 Turnstones and a Barn Owl. PRD.

14th - Very cold to start, overcast with some sunny breaks and a very light NNW breeze.  By late afternoon the wind direction had become SSE.  1 Shag and 1+ Purple Sandpipers were reported from one observer. JBS.  A visit beginning from the Frinton end of the site this morning, heard the Dartford Warbler calling once again from the brambled area near the golf course and 3 Stonechats were seen along the way.  300+ Wigeon were on the sea and 1 Turnstone was noted.  Counts for the scrape being 13 Blk T Godwits, 4 Curlew, 4 Shelduck and 108 Lapwing. BS.  Although there were no additions during afternoon coverage, the Dartford Warbler was still in the same vicinity. PRD

15th - Patchy grey cloud, cold, occasional light drizzle and SE winds throughout the day.  Morning site coverage included views of 9 Sanderling and 2 Turnstones on the sluice, while off-shore, good numbers of Wigeon and some Teal sat on the water.  Across the grazing areas 171 Greylag Geese were seen and a mixed flock of 70+ Corvids drew attention.  In front of the hide a Little Grebe and 2 Stonechats were noted and on the scrape itself were 13 Blk T Godwits, 20 Lapwing, 1 Snipe, 4 Shelduck and 56 Teal.  A single Dunlin departed the area by 09.30hrs. MR

16th - Icy cold and brighter spells to start, turning very overcast prior to mid-day, then the white stuff through into the afternoon with continuing light W winds.  No snow settled during the afternoon nor over night.  As at 10.30hrs this morning, the frozen scrape had little, on or around it to note, however counts were 2 Blk T Godwits, 1 Lapwing, 12+ Wigeon and 154 Greylag Geese.  A Barn Owl was seen beyond the golf course.  Along the beach were 2 of each Sanderling and Turnstone, off-shore Teal and Wigeon were in good numbers sitting on the sea, while heading S was a single Shelduck. A diver sp was also noted. MR.

17th - Freezing cold, grey, N through NE winds and the afternoon snow flurries, turned to the predicted snowfall into the evening.  Morning to lunchtime coverage and on the sluice were singles of Sanderling and Turnstone, with a visit to the hide then providing 11 Blk T Godwits, 1 Turnstone, 3 Shelduck, 30+ Wigeon and 70 Teal.  2 of each Stonechat and Green Woodpecker were also noted from the hide.  The grazing marsh held 134 Greylag Geese and some 90+ of mixed Corvids.  Off-shore 2 R-T Divers headed N at c12.00hrs. MR

18th - ............. yup, it's definitely white out there this morning!!  The overnight snowfall locally, does not appear to be as deep as predicted (c4" opposed to the possible 8") but is there any more still to fall?  Early wind direction (06.30hrs) showing as N.   Quite bright by 11am, first reports give an obviously frozen scrape.  Across the fields 26 Curlew and 62+ Golden Plover, along the reedbeds the Bearded Tit was about and 7 Skylarks came in/off. JBS.   

19th - A glorious morning by 10.00hrs, still at freezing point but bright with just a gentle NNW breeze.  A very light fresh covering of snow from last night.  A walk along the very icy seawall this morning and again this afternoon, provided sightings of 2 Snow Buntings, 3 Sanderling and 1 Little Egret.  A Woodcock flew in/off and 16 Snipe were also noted as being in/off. JBS.  A further report included 4 Bewick's Swans (adults) flying in over the wall and across the golf course - although they appeared to land, unfortunately they were not seen again.  300+ Brent Geese were seen heading E over Frinton, 6 Curlew were counted, also 1+ Woodcock and 2 Snipe (the latter two species +/- earlier counts of the day).  Behind the golf course, a Common Buzzard was located atop an owl box, prior to it flying across to a tree after being mobbed.  A Barn Owl hunted low over these same regions. MC/JB.     

20th - Another fabulous day, somewhat below freezing but bright with very light NNW winds.  All pathways and the seawall very treacherous, so slow walks all round!!  Coverage across the site through to early afternoon provided 200+ Brent Geese and 20+ Golden Plover on the fields, 1 Sanderling on the beach, a minimum of 10 Snipe in/off and along the seawall areas and 2 Snipe over the carpark.  5+ Stonechats were along the reedbeds with 5+ Skylarks and c30 Meadow Pipits on the golf course.  6 Blk T Godwits were also seen. JBS/AD/KA/MR.  Off-shore, a single Oystercatcher flew S, as did 40+ Lapwing.  A Common Buzzard caught attention as it was being mobbed, then it obliged by sitting for a while by the hedgerows.  3 Little Egrets flew towards the scrape area from the Frinton end and 4 Common Gulls were noted. KA/MR.  A mid-afternoon visit gave additions of a Gt. C Grebe not too far from the sluice, a Barn Owl beyond the scrape, while a Ruff seen on the marsh, flew off but returned (c45mins) to the island to roost. MRWoodcock and Snipe were definitely the noticeable movers during this weekend of snow, ice and light NNW winds.

21st - Mostly a grey day, temperature back up above freezing with some rain late afternoon into the evening.  Winds began NNW but had turned S by 11.00hrs and by evening were at SSE.  Visits today covered the site from the outer "Pond" right through to the golf course. (WeBs count also carried out).  On the beach were 6 Sanderling, 5 Turnstone, 1 Grey Plover and 12 Brent Geese.  A White Fronted Goose was noted as were 72 Greylag Geese, 2 Blk T Godwits, 3 Snipe, 5 Common Gulls and 2 Sparrowhawks. SC/PC/MR.  A Woodcock was seen in flight near Tariq, 545 Wigeon were counted, also 1 of each Little Owl and Little Grebe. SC/PC.  Views across the golf course and nearby grazing marsh, provided 250+/- Golden Plover, 350+/- Lapwing, 40+ Meadow Pipits and a Ruff.  3 Stonechats were along the route and heading S off-shore was a single Shag.  Upon return to the carpark, the greensward held a flock of 70+ Meadow Pipits and 4 Pied Wagtails. MR.  

22nd - Chilly but the snow and ice is thawing, fairly bright during the morning, with wind direction by mid-afternoon at WSW.  A walk to the Frinton end this morning provided views of 3 Turnstone and 2 Sanderling on the beach.  200 Brent Geese flew from the beach area to the arable and good numbers of Wigeon were sat on the sea. The golf course held very little, 15 Meadow Pipits were noted.  The return walk saw 3 Snipe, 9 Curlew, 5 Stonechats and 2 Sparrowhawks. MR.  40 Skylarks flew in/off the sea and headed over the golf course.  Not much to add to the notebook while watching from the hide, just 8 Blk T Godwits, 2 Common Gulls and a Marsh Harrier. MR/PRD.   

23rd - Overall the day was grey and bitterly cold with SSW winds that were S by evening.  Mid-day saw sleet that became on/off drizzle, while temperatures dropped rapidly again as afternoon went into dusk.  Still plenty of ice about.  No reports returned.  

24th - Another quite grey day but at least a warmer one.  Wind direction began as SE and ended the day as N.  After an overnight downpour, much of the snow and ice has been washed away on local main roads but patches of it still remain on some fields, with ponds and the like still frozen.   No reports returned.

                   HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

25th - Mainly overcast with WNW winds.  Chilly throughout and back to freezing point into the evening. No reports returned.

26th - Dry and quite bright during the morning but turned grey for the afternoon with occasional very light patches of drizzle. Wind direction moved from SSW to SW by the evening.  A morning visit to site, covered the walk to the hide then on towards Frinton and back once more to the hide.  Initially on the scrape were 1 Blk T Godwit, 16 Lapwing, 2 Shelduck, 3 Shoveler, 28 Wigeon, 460 Teal and 3 Brent Geese.  A Sparrowhawk was viewed and 37 more Brent Geese flew around the area but chose not to land.  Counts up to the 3rd turret were 4 Stonechats and a flock of 14 Meadow Pipits.  Geese seen heading onto the scrape were in for closer inspection and provided 94 Greylag and 2 White Fronted GeeseBlk T Godwits were then up to 10 and Wigeon numbers had increased considerably. MR.  

27th - Bitterly cold but dry with the sun occasionally breaking through during the morning.  Again very grey into the afternoon with the earlier WSW winds moving through W to WNW.  Morning viewing from the hide and noticeably many more Teal than yesterday, with some 706 counted on this visit.  The 2 White Fronted Geese were still in the vicinity of the scrape, alongside 1 Ruff, 7 Blk T Godwits, 76 Lapwing, 11 Cormorants, 2 Shelduck and 3 Shoveler.  112 Wigeon were noted, as were 2 Brent and 92 Greylag Geese and again 1 Sparrowhawk. MR.      

28th - A bright morning, still dry but cold and becoming slightly overcast into the afternoon.  Easterly winds turned NE by dusk.  Site coverage today saw the 2 White Fronted Geese again on the scrape, also 8 Blk T Godwits and the Ruff.  By the sluice was a single Sanderling, while off-shore movers were a Redshank headed NE and an Oystercatcher going SE.  3 Stonechats were located on the walk to the Frinton end and a Little Owl was seen near the hay bales. MR/PRD/GG.  Additional sightings on the scrape included 368 Teal, 2 Wigeon (good numbers on the sea though), 2 Shelduck, 11 Shoveler, 9 Curlew, 1 Snipe, 21 Lapwing and also in the area 2 Sparrowhawks.  A Mistle Thrush and 14 Meadow Pipits were also noted near the golf course. MR.

29th - Very grey out there today with wind direction being E from morning til dusk.  On/off rain from late morning throughout the afternoon, becoming heavier as the day went on.  Coverage this morning from both ends of the site, saw much as yesterday with some change to numbers.  An imm Little Gull was briefly seen on the scrape before it flew SW this morning.  Also in the vicinity were 15 Blk T Godwits, 7 Curlew, 19 Lapwing, 2 White Fronted Geese, 2 Shelduck, 334 Wigeon and 400+ Teal.  A single Sparrowhawk was noted as were 6 Red Legged Partridge. BS/MR.

30th - Cold with murky skies and some strong winds.  Drizzle by late morning, again turning to heavier rainfall into the afternoon and evening.  A morning visit, starting from the golf course through to the hide, saw that White Fronted Geese numbers were today up at 5 and they were feeding on the fields together, viewable from the 1st turret.  Singles of Ringed Plover and Turnstone were along the beach, while 400+ Wigeon and 100+ Greylag Geese were sitting off-shore.  Little change on the scrape area with 15 Blk T Godwits, 2 Curlew, 20 Lapwing, 2 Shelduck, 8 Shoveler, 11 Cormorants and c300 Teal. BS

31st - A very cold and windy start to New Year's Eve, with initial wind direction varying NE to ENE and wind gusts reported locally up to 34.5mph by 06.15hrs.  The day continued to be bitterly cold while the evening saw sleet turn to snow.  Afternoon viewing across the scrape area saw 2 White Fronted and 7 Greylag Geese, 19 Blk T Godwits, 1 of each Snipe and Turnstone, 35 Lapwing, 4 Shoveler and 2 Shelduck, with numerous Wigeon and Teal in the vicinity.  A Common Buzzard was again on site and viewable from the hide, as were singles of Barn Owl and Kestrel. MR. A later report was of a Little Gull at the sewage works. C.

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