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.