Parking in the pay and display car park off Grove Ferry Road, we cross the road and head along the footpath towards the viewing platform.
Before reaching the platform, we pick up the "purring" of a Turtle Dove. It sounds close but no amount of scanning can locate the bird.
At the viewing platform there's no sign of the Cattle Egret that has been present for a few days, Good views of a couple of male Marsh harrier's were seen from here. The reeds are alive with the sounds of Reed and Sedge Warblers.
Walking the paths and checking each viewable area for the Cattle Egret still draws a blank. The Konik Ponies are seen but minus the Cattle Egret.
While scanning the flooded fields area just beyond Harrison's Drove Hide a Wood Sandpiper drops in. It quickly disappears back in among the reeds.
Shortly afterwards everything present on the water is put up. A scan of the area reveals the reason why, a male Sparrowhawk is perched on a small tree stump right at the water's edge.
Heading back towards the car, local birder Dave calls to us and points out a Turtle Dove perched atop of a tree. It's too far away for any chance of a photo but it's great to get good scope views of this much declining species.
Cetti's Warblers are seemingly in every bush as we walk along the path and Whitethroats are very vocal.
A brief stop off at Blean Woods in search of any Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers fails to produce any sightings.
So its back in the car and next stop Oare Marshes. A scan of the first pool produces good sightings of Yellow Wagtails. There's also another year tick in the form of three Wimbrels as they fly across in front of us. Birdwise it's again quiet, but the ditches are alive with the sound of Marsh Frogs.
Before heading for home, there's time for a drive along the entrance track at Elmley Marshes.
Yellow Wagtails are seen in good numbers, as are Lapwings, Redshanks, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. At the car park there's no sign of any Little Owls. Nearly into May and still no Little Owl tick!
Normally Little Owl is on the year list in the first week of January, but not this year.
With rain and hail stones hitting the car on the way down towards Kent from Essex today, we did well to avoid most the the remaining showers.
Adding another three year ticks along the way.