As the high moves NE, winds whip round the bottom of it in a clockwise direction and straight down the river Thames. Filling the estuary with sea birds.
My instinct is correct. My timing is awful. High tide was 8:30, low tide 2:30. The birds come up on the rising tide, and are nowhere to be seen when I am there at 12 just before low tide. There were Black-Tailed Godwits, a Bar-tailed Godwit, various common waders, some Sandwich Terns squabbling on a sand bank.
I cut my losses and went back via Hanningfield Reservoir to try and get Curlew Sandpiper on my list. Again, lousy timing - I couldn't see them anywhere and wader numbers were down on yesterday. Even so there was a juvenile Black Tern mid reservoir, a Garganey popped its head up at just the right time. There was a Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Green Sandpipers, about 8 Common Sandpipers, and 2 Pintails in eclipse. Nothing that looked remotely like a Curlew Sandpiper. sigh.