I belatedly arrived at the Dock on Saturday morning 4th December at around 11.20am having had to work first thing at Gorleston Library, I had difficulty parking but finally reached the car park compound and was kindly let in by Andrew E.
Ricky F, OFB, Robert Wil were present and Richard W just leaving. The Gull was swimming around the far end of the pontoons and most disappointingly flew off at the moment I set my camera up and over to the area just east of the pontoon jetty.
OFB went down onto the pontoon so I decided to head in a different direction over to the eastern area of the compound and sure enough the excellent 1st winter Iceland Gull was forced out from there and started swimming into the middle off the channel where I was able to fire off some long range shots.
A fine dainty gull, with black eye, bill and very pale white plumage with pale buff- grey marking on the mantle and upperwing coverts the outer flight and feathers and tail were cream- white. It continued to swim out and then started to head back towards the pontoon again before a Herring Gull went for it and it flew west into Waveney dock and out of sight.
On Sunday, 5th I arrived earlier at around 10am (having had the very pleasant diversion of photographing a Green Woodpecker first seen on the top of a Fallowfields bush that then flew and perched for a few minutes near the top of one of my trees in the back garden before being disturbed by my neighbours) but the Gull had already been and gone so I decided to go for the Scaup at Oulton Broad, initially I couldn't see it but as I walked back I picked her up by the Caldecott Road end very, very close to the Badger building site in exactly the same area that the female Goosander had been on the 15th November. Have a look on Monday, Peter!
The female Greater Scaup was loosely associating with 3 male Tufted Ducks, several Coot and 1 female Scaup-like Tufted Duck with a trace of white near the base of the bill.
A Redwing also flew over calling.
The group started to swim east and I carefully walked down to the end of the fishing jetty and was reasonably close to the group of duck, the female Scaup spending most of her time at the back of them before she swam north over to the Wherry side of the Broad.
3 Little Grebes were seen on Lake Lothing by the Mutford Lock bridge.
Back at Hamilton Dock, I saw Jon E (& later John H) and he said the Iceland Gull was on the brick-lined area just beneath the 3 huts and it then flew onto the beach where it stood for 10 minutes before it was again disturbed by a Herring Gull and it swam due east to the very corner of the dock before it encouragingly swam close to the dock side towards us and was getting quite close when infuriatingly another Herring Gull disturbed it and she flew past us over Hamilton Dock and then past again, albeit distantly, before flying back into Waveney Dock.
A Kingfisher flew in and hovered close by, but sadly right against the light before flying off west. Finally a female Eider was seen on the water near the far beach swimming west.
It was good to see a returning Jon E, & good to see Matthew D, Dick W and Dave H too, oh & I saw Chris D also (taking care not to get in his way!!)
I will add pictures of the Iceland Gull and the Scaup tomorrow.