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*

DECEMBER 2014

1st - A grey, dismal morning to start December along with light NNE/NE winds (c8mph) and patchy rain across some of the local area. After a very good run of warmer temperatures...... the lower numbers seem to be here to stay for a while.  Quick viewing off-shore determined a definite lack of movement, so it was onwards down to the main hide.  Ducks and Geese all over the scrape and surrounding area just added to the wintery feel along with the cold weather.  Counts included 4 Gadwall, 4 Shelducks, 34 Shoveler, 350 Teal and c500 Wigeon, 12 Canada, 140 Greylag (+Emperor) and c900 Brent Geese - the Brents moving arable/scrape/sea courtesy of the Farmer.  Additions consisted of 1 Curlew, 11 Blk T Godwits, 200 Lapwings and 4 Mute Swans, while the visible skyline and surrounding marsh also provided singles of Sparrowhawk, Peregrine and Common Buzzard.  The sluice area on the homeward walk held 2 Turnstones and viewing the set-aside over the road (details per Nov.24th), at least 4 Yellowhammers were still in-situ.  At this time, there were 2 White-fronted Geese among the Greylag flock on the marsh. MR.

2nd - Another grey morning with early rain followed by on/off drizzle with no change by early afternoon.  The winds mostly remaining N with a slight variation at times to NNE.  At 09.52hrs, 2 adult Bewicks Swans* (MR) were located on the scrape and then at 10.5Ohrs, 3 Whooper Swans* (MR) dropped in - the latter being an adult bird with 2 juveniles.  It would appear that the Swans were disturbed and took flight at 11.55hrs when the Brent Goose flock descended on the scrape. MR/PRD/PBr.  On the route to/from the hide area from Frinton, a Snow Bunting (fem type) was located by the Raised Golf Tee and a male Stonechat was along the edge of the Golf Course. PBr.  

3rd - A visit today in the drizzly weather yielded of note, 1pr Stonechats, singles of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard, c50 Greylag Geese flew in along with 2 White-fronted Geese (+Emperor) and there were 'plenty of Wigeon'.  Nothing of interest was on/over the sea. Mo.

4th - Two observers visited the site today and included both a seawatch session and viewing from the main hide.  Not alot of movement offshore between 09.00-10.00hrs with just 3 Red-T Divers and 5 Brent Geese all heading N to actually note.  Across the scrape and surrounding grazing marsh and the viewable skyline, there were 2 Shelducks, 4 Gadwall, 9 Shoveler, high numbers of both Wigeon and Teal across the area, 3 Barnacle and 180 Greylag Geese (+Emperor), alongside 80 Lapwings.  A Kestrel and a Common Buzzard were viewed. IM/MR.  The return wander along the front saw another Red-T Diver and a further 14 Brent Geese flying N offshore, while also heading N was a Skua sp. possibly a Pomarine. MR

5th - A few local birders and a couple of visitors from Ipswich were on and around the site during the morning.  Of note across the site in general, along the front and off-shore were counts of 1 Stonechat (MR), 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Curlew, 2 Blk T Godwits, 4 Lapwings, 1 Cormorant, 2 Red-T Divers (both N offshore), 1 Common Buzzard and (via new visitors) 2 Marsh HarriersDucks numbered 2 Gadwall, 4 Shelducks, 12 Mallards, 16 Shoveler, 215 Teal and 595 Wigeon, while Geese in the vicinity consisted of 1 Emperor, 3 Barnacle, 17 Canada and 156 Greylags, with a single Brent Goose being seen as it flew N.  The five species of Gulls viewed during this particular survey gave 3 Common, 5 L B B, 8 G B B, 25 Blk -headed and 140 Herring. SC/IM/MR/et al.

6th - No reports returned.

7th - A morning visit to the main hide gave of particular note 4 Curlew, 32 Blk T Godwits, 3 Gadwall, c300 Teal, c500 Wigeon and 2 Little Egrets, also 1 Common Buzzard and a 'cracking' male Marsh Harrier. IM

8th - No reports returned.

9th - No reports returned.

10th - On the route to the main hide this morning, a Chiffchaff was located by the Sewage Farm entrance but was the only notable bird before reaching the hide.  Across the scrape and surrounding vicinity were totals of 22 Curlew, 30 Blk T Godwits and 170 Lapwings, c70 Greylag Geese, 3 Shoveler, 3 Shelducks, 300 Teal and c300 Wigeon, 2 Little Egrets and 3 Cormorants.  Dropping in briefly for a 'quick wash' were some 150 Brent Geese.  Also noted were 1 Common, 2 Herring and 52 Blk-headed Gulls, 1 Kestrel and a Common Buzzard.  The return walk and a brief look offshore, yielded 5 Red-T Divers (3N+2 on sea). MR.

11th - No counts returned but much as last few days & very chilly. (MR).

12th - No counts returned but much as last few days & again chilly. (MR).

13th - In the morning sun, a wander to the third turret failed to give the observer any 'new year ticks' but the survey did provide a Turnstone on the sluice, 2 Pied Wagtails, a Stonechat that was by the Golf Course dump and a Rock Pipit on the rocks near to the third turret.  Moving back and forth from the arable beyond the Golf Course and out to the sea were c500 Brent Geese.  Viewing from the main hide gave singles of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard, along with sightings of 1 Little Egret, 4 Grey Herons and 4 Cormorants.  Also across the scrape and surrounding marsh were 2 Snipe, 12 Curlew, c30 Blk T Godwits, 90 Lapwings, 2 Shoveler, 4 Shelducks, 5 Gadwall, c200 Teal, c300 Wigeon and 10 Greylag Geese.  Returning from the hide back towards the carpark, counts of 2 Red-T Divers and 2 Pintails flew SW offshore, singles of both Pied and Grey Wagtails were on the Mounds and in the carpark area there were 1 Redwing and 6 Blackbirds of note. MR.

14th - No reports returned.

15th - A very nice bright day that allowed a walk along to the third turret while viewing across the scrape and surrounding area was from the top gate above the first turret.  The sluice itself gave 2 Turnstones and the sluice rocks held a Purple Sandpiper.  The scrape was much as in recent days where Shoveler, Shelducks, Teal and Wigeon were all in-situ, 33 Curlew were across the grazing marsh and dropping into the surrounding pools were some c20 Blk T Godwits. A single Little Egret and 4 Grey Herons were in the vicinity and the rear hedgerows yielded singles of Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk, along with 2 Kestrels.  The wander to the Frinton end saw counts of 3 Meadow Pipits, 4 Stonechats (2x hedge above main hide + 2x Golf Course dump), 12 Linnet that were fly-overs and a single Bearded Tit that was calling as it flew out from the reeds near to the Golf Course dump and was lost to view as the bird continued South.  During this survey, c300 Brent Geese were visible on the arable beyond the Golf Course. MR.

16th - No reports returned.

17th - Of note, a single Goldcrest was on site today. MR.

18th - No reports returned.

19th - The over night rain continued into the early morning but eased to give way to bright sun and some blue skies.  NW winds of variable speeds c10mph through 27mph, while earlier gusting had reached 33mph.  Morning temperature readings of +10 degrees - pretty good considering it is mid-December!  Not too much of any particular note over the last few days although up to 5 Little Grebes have been visible as they have been feeding in the brook in front of the hide and today saw 8 Fieldfares fly over the site during the wander.  Duck counts across the scrape and grazing marsh have remained similar all week - even while fencing work has been on-going at the rear of the scrape. MR.

20th - The weather again allowed a walk and survey through to the raised Golf Tee (towards Frinton) and while there was nothing of note off-shore, a Rock Pipit was located by the third turret and 4 Purple Sandpipers were on the rocks just South of the raised Tee.  The Golf Course held counts of 1 Oystercatcher, 4 Pied Wagtails, 14 Common, c60 Herring and c1100 Blk-headed Gulls.  In the nearby vicinity (between the 'Dump' and the Boardwalk) were 3 Stonechats, while seen across the marshland were a 14 Curlew, a Common Buzzard and a Marsh Harrier (fem type).  A few of each Meadow Pipit and Skylark were also viewed.  The return wander past the Sewage Farm gave a colour-ringed Herring Gull. MR.

21st - The 'shortest day' of the year.  No reports returned.

22nd - No reports returned.

23rd - Viewing from the main hide this morning yielded counts of 1 Snipe, 1 Oystercatcher, 10 Blk T Godwits and c80 Lapwings, alongside 8 Cormorants, 5 Shelducks, 8 Shoveler, 250 Teal, 350 Wigeon and a total of 220 Brent Geese.  Birds of Prey in the vicinity proved to be singles of Kestrel, Peregrine and Common Buzzard. MR(Thank You to Mick for refitting the white board this morning - after it was vandalised by persons unknown the other day)

24th - No reports returned......... too many turkeys to be sorted & collected today!

25th - No reports returned......... Christmas celebrations in full swing no doubt!

26th - A survey today noted that a S E O was hunting the fields in front of the owl boxes c13.30hrs. CR.

27th - No reports returned.

28th - A late afternoon run along the seawall (15.30-16.15hrs) located 4 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks by the Raised Golf Tee, while viewing across the grazing marsh saw both Barn and Short Eared Owls hunting this respective area.  Two para-gliders, deemed to be unnecessarily low over the scrape, proceeded to flush the birds from the said site - these included approximate counts of 16 Blk T Godwits, 30 Snipe, 75 Lapwings, 80 Teal, c500 Wigeon and 12 Greylag Geese. PBr/MBr.

29th - A fresh, if chilly morning, allowed a walk to the Frinton end of the site.  Initial views at the sluice gave 1 Sanderling and 2 Turnstones, while c100 Teal and c300 Wigeon were seen to be sitting offshore.  Beyond the Golf Course, the arable during this time held c750 Brent Geese.  Surveying from the main hide - across a scrape that was some 50% frozen - there were counts of 2 Shelducks, 9 Gadwall, 13 Shoveler and a further 200 Wigeon and c300 Teal over and above those on the sea.  Also noted were 2 Little Egrets and 2 Grey Herons, 24 Curlew (left of scrape), 160 Lapwings (arable) and 225 Golden Plovers, while in front of the hide there were 3 Little Grebes.  Birds of Prey seen from the hide were singles of both Kestrel and Common Buzzard.  The wander back to the mounds yielded a Stonechat on brambles N of the first turret and the mounds themselves held singles of both Pied and Grey Wagtails. MR.   

30th - A male Hen Harrier was viewed from the main hide as the bird flew over the marsh (c11.52hrs). MR

31st - After a heavy overnight frost, the day was fairly bright but very chilly for the last day of 2014.  An early afternoon wander around the Farm (using the public footpaths), a Chiffchaff was noted at the beginning of the walk by the observer. IM

 

As at 31st December, the Haven 2014 Year List stands at: 188. 

A good 'Year total' for the Haven site this year and three new species for the Haven Records.  Thank You to all who have contributed towards the reports for our Haven records and this website.  Looking forward to seeing, hearing and sharing the bird news in 2015.  

Good Birding to All of You out there 'listing' on January 1st 2015

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