Since we've all but cleared up the malarkey about Treecreeper, I thought I would have a wander round the whole patch today, while I waited for news on the Dartford Warbler at Richmond. No news, so I just about did the circuit. It felt good to be out on the patch. A Woodcock, the first returning bird of the winter, charged over Long Wood from somewhere in the brooms. Could be good, I thought. A mass of gulls and a lack of football going on made me wear towards Alex. The adult Med was on the lake, so no need to go to Southend for me then.
For the first time in an age I made it to the old sewage works, thinking Grey Grey Shrike. I am still thinking it, and one day it will happen. Bar four Goldcrest and four Redpoll (3 Lessers and one bigger Mealy with a profile that looked like it had been on the wrong end of fight) it was quiet as I remember it. I counted duck on part of the ornamentals, but couldn't be bothered to do the whole. Meandered through the yew on the east side of the glade luring Firecrest that weren't there and then looked on Perch and in the Dell for Water Rail. None. So up to the shoulder of mutton for a bit of nuisance. Here the tape worked rather well with two birds responding from either side of the pond.
Back in Bush Wood I met up with the Friends of Bush Wood, who had been doing a bit of maintenance, which is why there wasn't much in the way of birds about. Finally caught up with the Treecreeper (singular) and today it was loud, but of the Firecrest there was no sign in the gathering gloom.