or for that matter Nightingale both crap birds...
Can't be bothered with Saturday it was hard work but the alternate day rule was working against us, but Sunday.....
Late up because of some little hitch in my un-questionably fantastic birding skills, Dan was already texting good stuff before I was out of the door. Mr Brown soon included his haul from down the Alex and it appeared there was very little to add. Wrong!
Just south of the Centre Road car park it was all going off in a small patch of bramble and broom: 2 Redstart, 5 or 6 Whinchat and a Blue Tit. The birds finally made off towards the brooms where I caught up with Dan and Bob coming the other way. We tried counting the Whinchat but came up with different numbers each time. Tony had had 3 along with 6 Wheatear along the ditch leading to the Alex, so they wouldn't cause us any trouble. In the end as I left the flats for Rainham I got up to 8, so all in all 11 birds - getting near the good old days.
Then it was the Redstarts that caused us numerical trauma: Tony's one down the Alex, 1 i found later back at the Angel copse, the 2 I had moving north through the brooms - did they become the 3 or 4 found later in Long Wood, plus the one I found in the SSSI and later Tim found 2 back down at the Alex so, 7, 8, 9 or 10? Sorting out the Spotted Flycatcher was even worse and in the end we settled for 14 of them but there could have been twice that number. The Tree Pipit was easy: one.
There was just too much going on, especially in the SSSI where a warbler whirlwind was going through the birches with a few Spotted Fly caught up in the maelstrom.
Quite easily the most exciting day on the flats ever
All pics: Tim Harris, the usual photographer has been sent away to rehab