A day of mixed fortunes yet again.
An early morning Green Woodpecker perched up in one of the trees at the back of the garden framed by frosted and dusting of snow landscape was a good start.
On the journey along the Acle Straight just west of the "Cadillac Roadhouse" AKA Stracey Arms about 300 Lapwing and 100 Golden Plover huddled in the field to the north of the road.
A foray into Norfolk was initially spectacularly unsuccessful with the hoped for Ring- necked & Ferruginous Ducks well and truly dipped at the Wroxham Broad. More than a gaggle of Geese, nearer 300 Greylags continually calling and flying close in, a meagre 30 Tufted duck, 10 Pochard, A Jay rooting around in the wood and singleton Redwing & Fieldfare failed to lift the spirits.
I then visited the Great Broad at Whitlingham Lane and saw just about a who's who of Norfolk/ Suffolk birders. Birder sightings included the ever sharp and helpful boys from Dereham who quickly pointed out a Black- necked Grebe by the posts on the opposite side of the broad. These boys, in my opinion, should be invited onto the Norfolk rarities committee. The Grebe was a super bird in black/ white winter plumage and red eye, but constantly diving.
On the far western side of the broad they also pointed out a redhead Smew seen briefly at the back of the broad near the reeds on the far bank and a smart redhead female Goosander seen more in the middle of the back of the Northern section of the Broad through Ian's scope, cheers Ian!
After they left seeking the Diver, I also picked out a brief sighting of a female Ruddy duck.
I then bumped into Robin C who just seen a Shag but it dived just as I raised my bins and it completely disappeared, this was to be my only dip here.
Another rare sighting was Morris B accompanied by Roger C who told me they'd seen the Diver earlier by the yacht club end.
Walking over to the southern section of the Broad by the yacht club end, the far section was iced over but another excellent redhead Goosander hugged the reed fringed far bank diving frequently and disappearing for long periods. But the master of this game was the Diver who could not be seen and hadn't been seen for some time. It took me an hour and a half, before I saw the bird. Following up a report from a birder who had just seen it, 10 minutes earlier, on the Northern section of the Broad, I finally, at last, had a brief glimpse of the excellent immature Great Northern Diver.
A large bird with large steely grey upturned bill and obvious scalloping on its back providing proof of its age.
It was seen at the far northern end diving between a pink buoy and in front of an isolated tree,the last of a stand of trees.
The Diver continued to be elusive showing only occasionally until later (after the sky had clouded over, darkening considerably) I viewed the Great Northern with Andrew H and it showed well in the middle of the Northern section of the broad. behavioural posture noted included a "crouching" very low in the water and on another occasion it caught a couple of fish and its neck was positively bulging with its prey, a fine bird indeed and always nice to see.