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 2015

1st - Not too pleasant a start to the day, although the mid-morning sunshine was appreciated.  Hunting over the Golf Course and the surrounding areas on a few occasions, the Rough-Legged Buzzard proved itself to be visible for the first day of this December month.  The RLB has been on site since 20th October 2015.  The Sluice Rocks held some 8 G B B Gulls amongst the Black-headed and Herring Gulls, while along the seawall in the same area, were counts of 1 Pied Wagtail, 4 Meadow Pipits and 3 Turnstones.  Observing from the main hide, the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh, fields, brook and skyline provided totals of 13 Red-legged Partridges (arable), 2 Mute Swans, 1 Water Rail, 6 Curlew, 10 Blk T Godwits and 62 Lapwings, 5 Shoveler, 330 Teal, 450 Wigeon, 12 Canada (arable) and 100+ Greylag Geese.  As well as the RLB, there were 2 Common Buzzards and 3 Kestrels, while the rear hedgerows of the scrape/marsh held 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Stonechats, 2 Fieldfares and 5 Blackbirds of particular note. MR.

2nd - No reports returned.

3rd - The Rough-Legged Buzzard was atop a hedge towards the Golf Course at 11.00hrs. RBA.

4th - Time spent on site during a ringing session (07.15-11.00hrs) included views of an adult Yellow-Legged Gull that was at the Sewage Farm, a single Goldcrest and two colour-ringed Herring Gulls that relate to NTGG. SC/PC.  The Rough-Legged Buzzard was reported for today. RBA.

5th - A visit to the main hide during a very blustery day provided counts of 1 Turnstone, 8 Curlew, 20 Blk T Godwits and 53 Lapwings on and around the scrape and grazing marsh.  Also on these areas were 1 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 7 Shoveler, c150 Teal, c400 Wigeon and some 171 Greylag Geese.  Birds of Prey at this time consisted of the Rough-Legged Buzzard, a Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrels and on the arable, there were 2 Peregrines.  On the Wildlife front, the Fox was out and about hunting during the morning. MR.

6th - The Rough-Legged Buzzard was reported c10.00hrs this morning. RBA

7th, 8th - No reports returned.

9th - Surveying today found that there was not too much around the general site to report.  A pair of Stonechats were located near the second turret, while on the water in front of the second hide, was a single Little Grebe.  Hunting the area between the seawall and the Golf Course first thing this morning, the Rough-legged Buzzard then decided to sit atop a bush for most of the morning.  A S E Owl, 1 Common Buzzard and 3 Kestrels were visible from the main hide while the counts were being taken of the species across the scrape and grazing marsh vicinity.  These areas yielded 1 Little Egret, 2 Grey Herons, 1 Dunlin, 1 Snipe, 15 Blk T Godwits and 86 Lapwings, 1 Shelduck, 7 Shoveler, c100 Teal and c450 Wigeon, alongside 4 Canada and 64 Greylag Geese. MR.

10th - Seawatching was the order of the morning for at least three observers.  With a 'steady flow' of G B B Gulls in progress, counts were made of 1 Curlew, 5 Knot and 10 Dunlin, 1 Common Scoter, 2 Gadwall, 2 Teal and 17 Shelducks, also 1 Red-Throated Diver, 4 Bonxies* and 5 Gannets.  The majority of the aforementioned were seen to fly S. MR/IM/PRD.  The Rough-Legged Buzzard put in an appearance as it flew in front of the main hide, while the Sewage Farm held a colour-ringed Herring Gull. MR.

11th - At least two observers were on and around the site today and counts included those for WeBS.  Across the areas surveyed there were notables of 1 Turnstone, 13 Curlew and 14 Blk T Godwits, 5 Shoveler, 6 Mallards, 250 Teal, 385 Wigeon, 2 Mute Swans and a total of 45 Greylag Geese.  The Gulls consisted of 2 Common, 25 G B B, 70 Blk-headed and 110 Herring.  Both the Rough-Legged and a Common Buzzard were in the vicinity - the former showing well once again.  A Song Thrush was viewed in the Carpark. SC/MR

12th - No reports returned.

13th - A late morning run, albeit in some very wet weather, gave of particular note a Kingfisher seen to fly along the seaward side of the site, a single Stonechat and two Rock Pipits, as well as 2 Turnstones. PBr/MBr.

14th - Surveying from the site today, a Red Kite was noted as it drifted out to sea towards the turbines. IM.

15th - No reports returned.

16th - Surveying today by one observer, included a seawatch session for two hours and viewing from the main hide.  The seawatch supplied of particular note (with all species flying S), 1 Shelduck, 15 Common Scoters, 22 Wigeon, 52 Pintails, some 17 Brent Geese and 2 Red-Throated Divers while 'a lot of' G B B Gulls were again visible.  On the beach during this period were 3 Turnstones.  The counts across the scrape, surrounding grazing marsh and skyline from the hide, yielded 1 Water Rail (heard only), 1 Grey Heron, 10 Blk T Godwits and 91 Lapwings, 2 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 4 Shelducks, c250 Teal, c500 Wigeon, 5 Brent and 50+ Greylag Geese.  The Rough-Legged Buzzard, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk and 3 Kestrels were in the vicinity as were 2 StonechatsMR.  An early afternoon visit - seawall area by the Golf Course - gave the additions of a Rock Pipit, 9 Pied Wagtails and 2 Purple Sandpipers. LH.

17th - No reports returned.

18th - A mid-morning into early afternoon visit, supplied noted off-shore counts of an adult Gannet (S), 3 Bonxies (2S+1N) and 50 Red-Throated Divers of which 42 of the latter flew S. DS.  The Rough-Legged Buzzard was still on the site. RBA.

19th - Particular notes today were of 1 Med Gull (ad) seen on the Golf Course and the Rough-Legged Buzzard. SN.

20th - Surveying from 07.30 to 11.45hrs yielded off-shore movement of 2 Oystercatchers (S), 2 Bonxies (1xN), 9 Common Scoter, 106 Red-Throated Divers and a single Pale-Bellied Brent (amongst a Brent flock flying S).  Also noted across the site during this time were 1 Purple Sandpiper, the Rough-Legged Buzzard and 2 Kestrels. DS.  A later visit gave additions of 4 Turnstones and a Common BuzzardPurple Sandpipers had increased to 2 and the Kestrels to 3.  Other species included 1 Song Thrush, 2 Meadow Pipits, 6 Goldfinch and 1 Green Woodpecker. KK.

21st - A few observers were on and around the site today and a ringing session also took place.... albeit not a very fruitful one but a Blackbird from a 2014 session was obliging.  Seen during this couple of hours were singles of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Med Gull (adult), Yellow-Legged Gull (adult) and a colour-ringed Herring Gull (NTGG), 11 Blk T Godwits and 220+ Lapwings. SC/PC.  During other observations (from the main hide), counts were made of 2 Grey Herons, 16 Curlew, 1+ Shoveler, 5 Gadwall, c200 Teal, c500 Wigeon, 75 Greylag and 184 Brent Geese (the Brents being on the arable).  The Blk T Godwits were now up to 24 and the Lapwings were at 298.  A single Green Woodpecker was visible and Birds of Prey in the vicinity at this time consisted of the Rough-Legged Buzzard, a Common Buzzard, 2 Peregrines and 2 Kestrels.  The return walk from the main hide yielded 4 Turnstones on the Sluice. MR.  A short seawatch by two observers gave additions to the reports of 1 Great Northern Diver (S), while a Cormorant and a few of each Black-headed, Herring and G B B Gulls were around and about off-shore. MR/PRD.  

22nd - Viewing off-shore from 07.45 to 11.45hrs this morning gave eight species of particular note for one observer.  Movement proved to be more of a Southerly direction, although 3 Common Scoters did fly N.  Singles of Oystercatcher and Bar-Tailed Godwit were seen, as were 3 Pintails (1x drake), 5 Shelducks and 2 Guillemots (1x S), while 24 Red-Throated Divers and 3 Bonxies were also reported. DS.

23rd - No reports returned.

24th - Observations this morning (10.15 - 11.30hrs) from the Frinton end of the site yielded the Rough-Legged Buzzard at the rear of Golf Course. LH.

25th - While possibly not strictly viewed from 'on/within' the Haven site boundaries - the Rough-Legged Buzzard was showing well over the Golf Course during the early morning. PBr.

26th - No reports returned.

27th - A female Merlin was seen at 12.30hrs today. PNt.

28th - Several observers were on the site today and surveying yielded birds both across the land and off-shore, while a ringing session also took place.  Eight species (16 birds) were recorded from 07.45 to 12.15hrs as part of the ringing session and of these, 2 Blackbirds, a Goldcrest and a House Sparrow confirmed this 2015 year as being an extremely successful one for the Haven Ringing Team.  Sightings during this time also included 1 Turnstone, 7 Shoveler, 245 Brent Geese, 1 Common Buzzard and 3 Herring Gulls (colour-ringed). SC.  Elsewhere on site, the Rough-Legged Buzzard was noted, as were 1 Snipe, 1 Med Gull, 2 Gadwall and a second Goldcrest. PL.  Seawatching was the order of the morning for others (overall watch from 07.45-12.00hrs) - supplying amongst the counts, some 23 Bonxies (Great Skuas).  The latter, with the exceptions of 2 at 09.22hrs (N) and 3 at 11.00hrs (N), were all individually flying N (07.50, 08.04, 08.10, 08.31, 08.37, 08.56, 08.58, 09.02, 09.41, 09.52, 10.14, 10.23, 10.43, 10.54, 11.27, 11.29, 11.40 and 11.54hrs).  The rest of the noted off-shore movement gave 1 Guillemot (S), 2 Oystercatchers (S), 2 Shelducks (S), 8 Common Scoters (S), 15 Gannets and 72 Red-Throated Divers, while c250 Wigeon were sat on the sea. DS/MR.

29th - At least two observers were on site and again it was the seawatching that their concentration was set on.  The overall seawatch being 07.30hrs to 13.55hrs - with notes that 'movement was predominantly South' -  yielded in particular, counts of 1 Guillemot, 2 Curlew, 4 Oystercatchers and several hundred Lapwings (3x large flocks S), 2 Eider, 2 Gadwall, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 9 Shoveler, 9 Goldeneye, 40 Common Scoters, 87 Pintails, 147 Shelducks and large numbers of/several hundred Wigeon.  Also reported were 2 Gannets, 114 Red-Throated Divers, 277 Brent Geese and for the second day running, a good number of Bonxies (17) were seen. DS/MR.

30th - A few observers were on the site during the morning in some very high winds!  Leaving the seawatching to others, one surveyor headed to the main hide where the counts across the scrape, grazing marsh and skyline were of 1 Grey Heron, 2 Mute Swans, 5 Cormorants, 13 Curlew, 26 Blk T Godwits and 277 Lapwings, also 2 Gadwall, 11 Shoveler, c230 Teal, c350 Wigeon, 10 Greylag and c500 Brent Geese.  The Brents were on the arable and included a Black Brant.  Viewed during this time were 2 Stonechats, 1 Common Buzzard and 2 Kestrels.  The wander back to the Mounds added a single adult Gannet flying S.  There was no sign of the RLB today but hopefully that was just due to the weather conditions. MR.  A continuous seawatch from 08.00-12.30hrs was in Gale Force SE winds.... definitely not good for trying to stand relatively still along the Haven front and certainly adds to the 'fun' of observing the offshore movement!  Joined by another observer mid-morning, there were particular counts during this time of 1 Oystercatcher, 2 Bar T Godwits, 6 Gannets, 1 Red-Breasted Merganser, 2 Gadwall, 14 Brent Geese, 5 Red-Throated Divers and some 16 Great Skuas (Bonxies).  Most of the aforementioned were flying S. DS/PRD.

31st - A few observers were on the site today where a seawatch session from 08.35 to 09.35hrs yielded 1 Red-Throated Diver, 15 Cormorants, 4 Shelducks, 5 Pintails, 15 Wigeon and 6 Brent Geese all flying South, while a single Bonxie appeared at 09.10hrs from the N, 'harried a gull and then went back N'. SC/MR.  Viewing from the lay-by (main road) - a survey noted at least 540 Brent Geese being present. SC.  The Black Brant was on the arable 'seen distantly from the main site' at 13.00hrs. (Noted by the observer: white patches similar to many accompanying Brent, so relatively narrow and they do not appear to meet at the front of the neck). PNs.

As at 31st December 2015 the Haven 2015 Year List stands at: 189.

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2015 - A quick round-up: A very good year-end total for HHB but unfortunately still shy of the target set in 2008 of 194.  The site has been well covered throughout this year by HHB regular birders and many, many visitors too and in all weather - rain, hail, sun, gale force winds, freezing frosty mornings or a mix of all conditions!  The only new bird to add to the HHB overall species list was that of CASPIAN TERN on 1st August, although that does not in any way, demean the relevance of any of the other recorded species.  The Rough-Legged Buzzard delighted many (or maybe not so its prey) since its appearance on 20th October and as at 31st December, this juvenile RLB had resided on site for 10 weeks, 3 days.  The likes of Bee-Eater and Tawny Owl finally made it back onto the year list, as did Little Auk and for the second consecutive year a Coal Tit was recorded (and the latter made it into the ringing team's records as well).  Bullfinch - a very 'on/off the list' bird in recent years - was a notable species, while a Goosander in November, just scraped (literally!) onto the year list when one was seen and photographed 'flying to and landing on' the scrape!  Not a guaranteed annual species on the HHB list, sightings at the Haven are normally during very cold seawatching sessions and even then, these ducks are not guaranteed to be moving nice and close to the Haven shore either.  

Species not appearing on the 2015 list, included Garganey, Pectoral Sandpiper, Temminck's Stint, Wryneck, Osprey and Kittiwake - all these having been on/off the listings over recent years.  Hopefully, these species will make it back onto the 2016 listings along with the regular and maybe one or more confirmed new species too.  Now to watch and see what the future in 2016 holds for the Haven site. Happy Birding to all.  Holland Haven Birding.

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To all our HHB team, regular birders & visitors,

thank you for both your reports & support of the Haven & this website throughout 2015

You are all wished a VERY HAPPY & HEALTHY NEW YEAR 2016  

ALL photos remain the copyright of the photographer and/or the particular websites or publications they may appear within.  From top of page downwards, the photos are by: Mick Rodwell (Kestrel).    

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