Two of the Scaup had gone missing too so there seemed a reasonable bet that it had tagged along with them and flown to the flash?? After a few minutes, I headed off!
I checked out a large group of Tufties opposite the 'promenade' on arrival and almost the first bird I picked out - OMG Velvet Scoter a 1st winter female (first Shropshire lifer of the year!) !! Geoff and Graham were shortly there and a trickle of other birders later. It was 3.30ish by now and the light was fadinhg fast but here's a few of the record shots:-)
The locals were wondering wtf is that :-)
A muddy walk to the far side followed including a fall which I hope hasn't resurrected my back problem.... Oh well that's a better view!
The cheek patch is clearly more defined on the left side!
A retreat into darker walker came next but sadly the shutter speed was now getting into 'difficulties'!
A quick flash of those secondaries.....
A few more of the same!
Saved the the pick of the bunch til last?
Shropshire bird no 225 :-) Putting the calibre of this Scoter into perspective.....Only the fifth occurrence in the County, the last one was in 1994!!