For such a well used public recreational facility Gunners Park at Shoeburyness does seem to pull in more than its fair share of goodies. Last year it was the long-staying Long-tailed Duck and Common Scoter, which were followed by the highly twitched Parrot Crossbills, which I somehow managed to miss by 20 minutes. So this time I wasn't prepared to risk missing out on the two male Serins there, so headed off down the A127.
As per usual we were met with "you should have been here 10 minutes ago, but they've flown off now", so we settled down for what could be a long wait. What always impressed me with the theme parks in Florida was the way they used to entertain you while you were queuing up waiting. Well, Gunners Park is no different. The entertainment today was a cracking male Stonechat who positioned himself between the Serin tree and the row of twitchers and worked his way up and down the row entertaining them while they waited. Full marks to Southend Borough Council. Not only would he pose for the camera, but would also select some of the local flora to compose the photo, in these cases some rose hips, a young Turkey Oak and some Bramble. MAGIC!!
But then the moment we had all waited for. A couple of small yellowy-green finches had flown into the Corsican Pine so now it was just a matter of time before they would put in an appearance. Eventually, a slight movement amongst the needles gave away their position and gradually they came into view and allowed a few shots to be taken. Success. Not quite as close as I would have liked, but now time to move on to Two Tree Island for the high tide roost.