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).
Site Year Tick*
1st - In NNE winds today, it was a long day of seawatching for one observer (07.30-16.00hrs) that proved to add another two Haven 2017 Year List ticks in the form of 1 Razorbill* (N 10.32hrs) and 2 Great Northern Divers*. With the majority of movement heading N, the session also yielded 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Guillemot, 3 Little Auks (2N being at 08.31hrs & 13.32hrs + 1S at 08.00hrs), 2 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Gannets, 5 Kittiwakes, 2 Great Skuas (Bonxies), 10 Red-throated Divers and 55 Brent Geese. The ducks consisted of 1 Shoveler, 4 Pintails, 6 Shelducks, 10 Red-breasted Mergansers, 12 Eider, 46 Wigeon, 48 Common Scoters and 120 Teal. From way out (Turbines) aRed Kite was seen to fly in/off. DS.
2nd/3rd - No reports returned.
4th - Surveying the site (09.20-13.15hrs) proved to have the observer on the 'run around' when 1 Lapland Bunting (possibly 2 in total) decided to play at being very flighty and elusive. Originally 'between the rough ground near the Turret above the Main Hide' the bird/s made headway along the site 'all the way up to the bridal path that crosses the Golf Course' being heard five times and glimpsed on route. Other species of note, included a male Stonechat (ringed), 1+ Rock Pipit and a S E Owl, also 3 Blk-T Godwits, 3 Shoveler, 5 Pink-footed, 15 Brent and 29 Canada Geese. There were the regular winter culprits of Teal, Wigeon and Greylag Geese also on show. PRD.
5th - Seawatching by two observers, took place late this morning from near to the third Turret (closer to the Frinton end of site). A trio of Diver species were noted with the counts being of 1 Great Northern, 2 Black-throated and 5 Red-throated, while 2 Common Scoters and 14 Brent Geese were also on the list. Singles of Rock Pipit, Little Egret and Turnstone were viewed, as were 2 Purple Sandpipers. Not an expected species to be (initially) located 'below the seawall' but 2 Red-legged Partridges then upped and settled on the top. IM/MR.
6th - No reports returned.
7th - Of note on the scrape this morning were 5 Blk-T Godwits and 2 Shelducks, while to the right of the Main Hide were 2 Stonechats. Seawatching from c09.30-11.00hrs provided 1 Guillemot, 2 Red-Throated Divers (S then dropped onto the sea), 2 Gannets (N), 4 Great Skuas (Bonxies) that included two lingering birds and an addition to the Haven Year List in the form of 1 Iceland Gull* reported as "drifted N at 09.45hrs & lost to view in the mist" (full description given to PRD). ML.
8th - A WeBS count took place this morning 09.15-11.15hrs during which an NTGG colour-ringed Herring Gull was seen and the ring was read. The Gull count consisted of 1 L B B, 3 G B B, 50+ Herring and 105 Black-headed. A single Grey Heron was on show, as were 3 Cormorants, 1 Blk-T Godwit, 32 Curlew and 335 Lapwings. The Ducks numbered 2 Shelducks, 3 Shoveler, 8 Mallards, 315 Wigeon and 375 Teal, while the Geese proved to be 22 Brents, 27 Canada and some 186 Greylags. SC/PC.
9th - A site visit from late morning into the early afternoon (11.20-12.50hrs) provided noted views of 68 Wigeon (on the sea), 5 Pink-footed Geese, a single Common Buzzard (very dark plumage) and a S E Owl. The Buzzard was seen to attack the Owl as if it was 'seeing off a hunting rival'. The S E Owl was last seen just S of the Golf Course. SB.
10th/11th/12th - No reports returned.
13th - This morning's visit on a slightly warmer day than of late, located a Ringed Plover on the sluice and 1 Turnstone on the seawall during the wander down to the Main Hide. The scrape was not frozen (being the first day in a while that it wasn't). Across the scrape, grazing marsh and skyline were counts of 1 Grey Heron and 4 Blk-T Godwits, 2 Shoveler, 12 Mallards, c250 Wigeon, c500 Teal and 4 Greylag Geese, 150 Lapwings, c200 Golden Plovers and c600 Brent Geese (the latter three species on the arable) and also a Common Buzzard. Of note the Brents dropped down to the scrape for a 'short wash and brush-up' and only 4 juvenile birds were noted amongst them. A one-hour seawatch gave additions to the day's counts, of 1 Great Skua (Bonxie), 2 Wigeon, 5 Cormorants and 6 Red-throated Divers all heading S and 1 Guillemot and a further 2 Cormorants that flew N. MR.
14th - Of particular note this morning (07.55-08.15hrs), 2 Purple Sandpipers were viewed 'distantly on breakwater near Sailing Club'. GE.
15th/16th - No reports returned.
17th - Of note during a visit this afternoon, a S E Owl was viewed. MP.
18th/19th - No reports returned.
NB: Honey Buzzard has been retrospectively added to the Haven 2017 Year List for 19th October per photos/descriptions – the bird was originally reported to HHB as a probable 'due to the time of year'. (PRD/CA approved).
20th - In hazy conditions, a visit this morning (c2hrs) gave some rewarding views for the observer - including that of the Little Owl that was in its Hawthorn along the Approach Road and a Kingfisher that was seen from the hide. On the seawall near to the Sluice were 2 Purple Sandpipers, while c200 Brent Geese were sat upon the sea. The counts from the Main Hide also gave a single Stonechat, while there were 'lots of' Lapwings over on the arable in the mist and the c1500 Brent Geese in the area were moving back and forth arable/scrape/sea during this visit. A single Canada Goose and 130 Greylag Geese were noted, alongside 2 Shelducks, 6 Shoveler, c300 Wigeon and c400 Teal, as well as 1 Grey Heron, 8 Cormorants, 2 Snipe, 4 Blk-T Godwits and 9 Curlew. The return walk to the carpark added a Grey Wagtail that was at the Sewage Farm. MR.
21st - Of particular note today, an adult Bewick's Swan* was located at c75 yards off the coastline near the Frinton end of the site (near the beach huts). The Swan was initially drifting slowly S in the mist and as it drifted closer to shore each time, it would paddle back out again into the mist. PRD.
22nd/23rd - No reports returned.
24th - No reports returned. MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and for those avoiding 'kitchen duties' tomorrow (or just making the wise move to stay out of the kitchen) Happy Christmas Day Birding too!
25th - With a need for a Christmas Day 'burst of fresh air', a morning visit and an hour spent viewing from the Main Hide, provided the noted counts of 2 Snipe, 2 Blk-T Godwits and 8 Curlews, 2 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, 2 Shelducks and an estimate of 1,250 Brent Geese (no Pale-bellied nor Brants could be located amongst them). SC/PC.
26th/27th - No reports returned.
28th - Of note between 14.30-15.00hrs, some 500+ Brent Geese flew inland from the sea, while 3 Turnstones were seen to be feeding along the shore. SJ.
29th/30th/31st - No reports returned.
Wishing everyone a safe, enjoyable evening on this last night of 2017 & have a very Bird-filled Happy New Year 2018. Good Luck to all of you heading out for 1st January listing.
As at 31st December 2017 the Haven 2017 Year List stands at 185.
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