It was a very grey day at EIDB today, though good light for watching the Thames. The first bird I saw was a Greylag Goose flying west up the river, my first of the year. Orchard Wharf directly to the East of EIDB has been attracting good numbers of Finches, feeding on the seed heads of plants at this private site. Good views can be obtained of Orchard Wharf from the dock and it is worthwhile spending a few minutes scanning the area. Linnet numbers have been good this winter with about 50 birds regular, but this mornings flock of 80 easily beat the 55 seen in October 2010, the previous record. I think this record may not last long as there is still scope for this flock to increase. Shelduck numbers have also shot up over the few days, 23 were in the area this morning which could be a record count. Whilst checking out Bow Creek I got a call from John Archer saying that Kittiwakes were moving west past Crossness. So Nick and I made our way back to the pier at EIDB, but despite watching the Thames for 90 minutes none were seen, though there was a movement of Common Gulls west (65) which I thought was a record count, but 107 is the record recorded in March 2000. Whilst river watching we did find a 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull which drifted west.
Not to be outdone by the Kittiwakes, Nick and I decided to head downriver a few miles to Gallions Reach where we thought we would stand a better chance of Kittiwakes as it is not far from Crossness, and we were rewarded with 4 fine adult birds flying west, though you do have to wonder if they made it as far as EIDB.