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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Lunch break Goodies

A strict 50 minutes lunchbreak stop at Whittlingham Lane Great Broad was in order today after a morning training course at County Hall. 
I was particularly keen to see a couple of new arrivals since my last visit, not least the elusive female Ring- necked Duck, which I'd missed previously at Wroxham Broad.
I walked west of the island and together with Mike P scanned the ducks including several Pochard and there it was at last the excellent female Ring- necked duck but she was asleep. A smaller duck than the nearby Pochard with dark blackish- brown back, grey looking head with peaked rear crown and a tiny prominent tail sticking up a little like a Ruddy Duck's tail. When she woke up twice briefly the greyish head sported a white eye ring and white line extending back and down a little from the eye. The was a was a white band or crescent around the lores and base of the bill.  The grey bill had a wide black tip and white sub- terminal band given the bill a distinct tri- coloured appearance. Often it was seen between 2 posts where 2 Cormorant sat on each one, including 1 white- headed "Sinensis" race Cormorant. A female redhead Goosander swam out right from the island.
While another birder put me onto the first winter male Scaup, dark green-brown head, brown breast with the brown on the flanks getting lighter on the rear of the bird and grey brown upperparts. A distinctive bird when picked out but difficult to pick out unseen when it was right at the back of the broad with some 200+ Tufted duck and around 70+ Pochard.  
walking down towards the Yacht station I saw the redhead Smew swimming right over the far side just right of a wooden jetty. 
Walking further left, seeing Mike P I could see the Great Northern Diver was really close just beyond the trees lining the Broad, Unfortunately he swam back a little before I could get some shots. On one occasion he crouched really low on the water as if wanting to appear inconspicuous, as always a magnificent bird. 
Nearer the Yacht club, some people were working on the boats, a rattling pair of Mistle Thrush flew overhead , on the far side and they had fortuitously for us, pushed the Red- necked Grebe over to our side and I took full advantage firing shot after shot of the camera. It also swam back and right.


Terry said...

Nice RN Grebe shots..!

Peter Ransome said...

Thanks Terry. Hope you were able to see the bird yourself on your recent trip back to blighty!
I liked your shots of the Goosander on your blog too!