I thought it would be safe to leave the patch for the day, nothing much was happening and the crappy weather was holding back things likely to happen. Or so I thought. I'd forgotten Dan. Halfway to Rainham he calls me saying that he's just had 7 Curlew fly over Bush Wood. FFS, the first in 42 years. Worse was to follow, Jono actually managed to stagger out and get 2 more in the company of Mr Hennessy flying over the broom fields. Double FFS. My mood dived further when a text from Mr H mentioned a Rook walking around Jub. I was thinking of ending it all there and then in the muddy gloop by the Concrete Barges. I had made a grave mistake.
An hour scanning the big gulls behind the tip surprisingly didn't make me feel any better. No gulls with funny head shapes or lanky legs. Not true, most of the gulls were pulling funny head shapes as they tried to vomit up some shite or other they had just scoffed on the working tip. I gave up again. A flock of 18 Avocet brightened the mood slightly, and a couple of Oystercatcher were a LYT (London Year Tick). Nothing else of note before we (I'd met Mr Messenger at the barges) got to the centre. Caked and Coffeed up and pounds lighter in the pocket, we made to set off round the reserve. Mike noticed that someone had just added Back-necked Grebe to daily sightings page. I'll have some of that!
Hurrying round to the Aveley Pools we met a few birders on to the winter plumaged bird. Job done and smart bird. For some reason I prefer winter-plumaged BN and Slavs to their gaudy breeding ensembles. Soon tired of watching empty water my mind and scope wandered elsewhere. Hang about I am now looking at a Black-necked Grebe again. Nothing twigged, the fact that it was coming into breeding attire didn't register, but what did was that it had a companion, which I waited for to get his head out of its arse to confirm it wasn't a Little Grebe, and after awhile it did just that. It was only when Mike mentioned the bird he watching had dived did I realise I wasn't actually looking at the same one(s). Sweet, 3 birds. Rare enough a Rainham to get a visit from twitchy Mr Lethbridge and few other Rainham regulars, Mr Harvey and Mr Astley to name the only two I can... Even Howard V came to have a look-see, and thereupon spotted a Little-ringed Plover the width of the reserve away. Got good eyes.
A couple of Waxwing back towards the centre as I loitered by the woodland dipping the Redpoll. FFS.
Back on the patch tomorrow and I bet nothing happens. Weekend birders, arse!