9th December 2012
With the weather getting cold over the past week I headed to Whitlingham to look for newly arrived wildfowl. There had been an increase in the numbers of Tufted Ducks, Pochard and Gadwall, and four Shovelers were new. Near the island loads of Teal were busily swimming around, as were three Wigeon. Whilst trying to count the Tufted Ducks I was drawn to a female duck with a white area at the bill base and a clear white streak across the bill. A pale eye-ring was just visible, and the paler area around the ear-coverts gave it a slight capped appearance. I recognised it as a female Ring-necked Duck, presumably the returning Broadland bird that was first seen at Whitlingham in 2008. It was swimming around near the cormorant posts just east of the island. These photos don't really due it justice, mostly because they're rubbish.
I power-walked around to the north shore of the broad to try and get a closer look, but failed to do so. Looking south the light silhouetted many of the birds, and a large part of the flock was obscured from view by the smaller islands. Walking back around to the south shore I scanned again trying to find the Ring-necked Duck but this time I couldn't find it. I did however find a female-type Common Scoter, another self-found duck tick here.