Friday 5th February fresh to strong SW rain all AM, cloudy PM
Over to Studland beach to look for black-necked grebes in drizzly rain and mist. I arrive at the middle beach car park and am astonished to see over eighty Mediterranean gulls here. Around twelve years ago when I lived in Swanage it was always good to see one Med' gull. Here was a flock of them of all ages too.
Looking out over a misty, calm sea I can just make out a distant group of six black-necked grebes, bird number 150 for the list.
Wanting to look in the famous WW2 bunker used by Churchill and Eisenhower, Montgomery and Mountbatten to oversee D-Day landing practise on the beach, I walk around to it and further to try and get closer views of the grebes. The rain gets heavier and the views are still poor.
Next stop is Wareham Forest which I reach within an hour. A great grey shrike has been seen sporadically near Strawberry Hill enclosure but I cannot find it and neither can two Dorset birders looking for the same.
I need to cycle over twenty miles to Ringwood in order t be there for an early morning start at Blashford Lakes and the rest of the afternoon and early evening I spend doing so.
Year list now at 150, twenty ahead of this time last year.
45.95 miles 2035 feet elevation up 2097 feet elevation down