With the forecast of rain for most of the day, I decide to hit the patch early.
Arriving at Cornmill Meadows at 5.30am, I'm pleased to be walking towards the hide without any sign of rain.
The view from the hide is disappointing though with only Canada and Greylag Geese, lapwing and Moorhens present.
Next stop is the farms. Where there's a nice flock of Goldfinch in the trees near the cafe. Down by the farms there's a couple of Yellowhammers in the hedgerows along the edge of the ditch.
There's a large flock of geese in the surrounding fields, But apart from the Canada and Greylags the only other geese among them are nine Egyptian Geese.
Further along the footpath I locate a Whitethroat and then another two join it.
The rain starts to fall as I make my way towards the Grand Weir hide, Stopping on route to check out the goose fields for anything unusual.
The rain starts to get heavy so I make for the hide and a scan of the weir and Holyfield Lake. Again it's just the usual birds present, But with the rain still falling steadily I stay longer than I normally would.
This proves well worthwhile, for as I am watching a Long-tailed Tit flock numbering at least twelve birds, and two smartly plummaged Willow Warblers, I catch sight of a bird dropping in on the top of the weir wall.
I Quickly get the bins on it to add Common Sandpiper to my patch year list. It's a long overdue bird and a very welcome one.
On the return walk to the car I bump into Neville and he tells me of a Wryneck that has been found at Wanstead Flats.
It's a quick trip home, and dad and I are heading for Wanstead. On route we pick up Rob and after a fair bit of trouble finding the exact location we finally reach the site, only to be told that it was last seen ten minutes ago.
Some two hours later we still have not had any sight of the bird, So we decide to call time on it and head for home.
Only for the bird to be reported as showing well as soon as we walk through the door.
I'll just have to be satisfied with the Common Sandpiper for the patch.