The original plan for Saturday was to join fellow NGBs on a trip to the New Forest. Unfortunately, a meeting relating to some university work cropped up so I had to pull out. It sounds like they all had a great time. I wish I could’ve joined them so I can’t wait to read blog posts about it!
After reports of the surf scoter continued for the rest of the week, some of the NGBs wondered whether going over to Gosport as part of the trip was doable and ended up deciding to go for it. With Gosport being easy for me to get to, I briefly met them at Stokes Bay just after lunch. They had just enjoyed great views of the surf scoter and 2 common scoters, which flew off just as I joined them.
They had been there quite a while, watching the ducks and kindly waiting for my bus to arrive, so the plan was to continue on a quick tour of Gosport by stopping at Walpole Park to catch up with Waldo, the ring-billed gull. To our disappointment and amazement, he (or she) was nowhere to be seen. We, and other birders, checked the park itself and the creek but sadly had no sign. Has he already left?
We did, however, see an adult Mediterranean gull and around 100 brent geese but not much else to note. The others then decided to head back to the New Forest. It was nice to see them, even though it wasn’t for long, especially Tiffany, Emma and Tash who I’d not met before.
The bus, although a rather long route, conveniently went back along Stokes Bay so I went to look for the scoters again hoping for more good views. I wasn’t disappointed. They were slightly closer in this time, and the tide was out so I stood on the beach watching them for a good 40 or so minutes. How time does fly!
The sea was quite rough so they kept disappearing below the waves.