Family commitments again keep me from my Warwickshire patch, but the Essex coast was a more than satisfactory consolation this weekend.
I saw absolutely nothing spectacular by local standards, but when you live about 80 miles from the coast, a cornucopia of waders and sea birds is never a disappointment. I first visited Fingringhoe and then Abberton Reservoir, and saw in all more than 60 species.
Personal highlights included a pair of Red-Breasted Mergansers, the big numbers of waders (Curlew, Dunlin, Redshank and Turnstones) and the Brent Geese. As I say, nothing spectacular at all, but try finding that lot in Warwickshire!