5am-6am: Get Little Owl and Tawny Owl
6am-6:30am: Move on to Sea Wall, view the Great White Egret coming in from roost
6:30-7am: Find first Wheatear of the year in the Ant Field.
7am-7:15am: Pick up Little Ringed Plover on Purfleet Scrape.
7:30am-10:30am: Breakfast in the Visitor Centre.
10:30am-11:30am: Refind the Pendulines in the Reed Bed, take marvellous photos of them.
11:30am-1pm: Raptor Watch on the Sea Wall; Red Kite and Osprey.
It was a resounding failure in every respect, apart from the getting up at 4:30am bit which went off without a hitch. Penduline, Schmenduline. Best bird was a Greenshank, which I didn't even see, and there was also a Blackcap in the Cordite. Both year ticks, but hardly consolation for the antisocial start time. The curious thing is that I'd be raving about what an amazing day it had been if I'd got the Little Owl, which is a really rather common bird, except at Rainham, and especially not today. The story - that of finding zero migrants - was one repeated across the land. Patch workers everywhere are on tenterhooks, waiting for that first Sand Martin to flit through their bins, that first white flash of a Wheatear's backside. They (ok, me) will have looked back through their notes, and remarked to themselves (to myself) that their earlist ever summer migrant was a whatever on the such and such of so and so back in the year such and such (Wheatear, 15th March, 2008 & 2009) and be wondering if they can beat that by a day this year (I couldn't - unless you count the Greenshank, which seeing as I saw one on Jan 3rd at Mersea, would be rather odd)
In addition to failing dismally at every part of the plan, I took some photos. As I was hitting my stride with a very accomodating Reed Bunting on the northern boardwalk, my battery died, neatly summing-up my day. Rather than me continue moaning, here are some of them. I'll try again tomorrow. A jubilant post is surely not too far away....