After a week cooped up some fresh air and shutter abuse seemed a reasonable tonic, so I toddled off to Shoeburyness at first light hoping that the female Long-tailed Duck and Common Scoter might still be present on the lake at Gunner's Park - scene of my OBP triumph (successful twitch) a couple of months ago. Happily they were both still there, and, with patience, sore knees, and a cold, wet bottom, showed extremely well. What was not quite so wonderful was the abysmal light throughout my visit, and a near continual soft mizzle. Oh for a bit of sunshine, but I guess you take what you can get in these situations, and without wishing to bore you overly, it's amazing what can be done with high ISO speeds these days. Interestingly they stuck together the entire time, mostly very closely indeed, which I gather is causing untold problems for the Church of England.
After three hours of happy pappage (more of which can be seen here), I decided I was cold and had had enough, and so toddled back down the A13 to civilisation. Passing Rainham I noticed, illegally, that the Ross's Goose was back. Not that I think it has a snowgoose's chance in hell of getting on the list, but you can never be too careful, and in any event I've never seen one, plastic or otherwise. And very cute and dinky it was too, albeit distantly from the sea wall, and in rather dodgy and highly undesirable company. To be clear, I didn't meet Dick until back near Aveley Bay car park; the goose was with Greylags. Much year-tickage also occurred, with my first 2013 Wigeon, Little Egret and so on - in fact there was a bit of that at Shoeburyness as well now I come to think of it. A Kestrel near the Serin Mound was fairly confiding - I can see myself going back on a sunny day.
Finished up back on the patch, where in a daring mission of high skill and lightning-fast reactions, I found both Firecrest and Nuthatch in Bush Wood, and didn't get mugged.