Friday 30 December 2011

Rain doesn't stop play

Four gloomy days of on and off rain, plus the ready availability of board games, unfinished Lego and Meccano sets (Christmas presents for the kids, not me) had seen me virtually housebound since Boxing Day. By today the whole family was in danger of losing the will to breathe fresh air ever again so we defied the rain with a trip to Middle Beach, Studland. Among the dozen or so Black-necked Grebes present this one was unusually close inshore.

Dropping the family off after this excursion, I headed to Middlebere following a tip off from Steve Smith that 4 Barnacle Geese were present. Steve was leaving as I arrived but came back to the hide for the last of the light, where the Geese were still present, along with 800+ Avocet and good numbers of Wigeon, Teal and Lapwing. Amid the showers we were fortunate to enjoy views of a male Hen Harrier coasting up the creek and a Short-Eared Owl hunting in the gloom. Probably the last bit of 'proper' birding I shall do this year, so a good way to end 2011. 

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