I spent the first part of the morning at sunny Scaling Dam. Behaviour is often a guide to something different so when I saw a "Tufted Duck" associating closely with a Goldeneye for 30 minutes or so I was suspicious. Closer observation confirmed that this bird did not look like a Tuftie but it didn't look like a straightforward Scaup either. The round head and the big bill pointed to Scaup (and excluded Lesser Scaup bye-the-bye). Views with the scope at reasonable range seemed to indicate a bill pattern that was inconsistent with Scaup, black beyond the nail. There seemed to be an indistinct pale patch to the rea of the cheek. Fortunately I clicked off some - rather distant I'm afraid - pix. Magnified up these seem to show that the black is indeed just retricted to the nail, perhaps water on the bill made it look dark in the field. I reckon this is indeed a first winter female Scaup but I'll stand to be corrected by any quacker experts out there.
It wasn't really a birding day, not living in Kent anymore, so much of the day was spent in Whitby Pavillion. However, emerging I gave the sea a quick scan and a Great Northern Diver flew by, conveniently close.
We went to Sandsend for a walk by the sea, not such a good mix of gulls this time but this Kestrel was a bit of a poser. Only two Red-throated Divers in the bay today.