We set off to Gosforth Park thinking that we would have to wait hours for the Duck to show. Thankfully that wasn't the case, just 45 minutes after we arrived the smart male Ferruginous Duck showed well on the water for a couple of minutes, before heading back into the reeds.
It was another half an hour before it reappeared, flying off into the reeds. I'm pretty sure everyone is in agreement that the bird is pure, and it's on my list. 2 Swallows were also at Gosforth Park.
After seeing the Duck we headed for Druridge Pools, hoping to get Egyptian Goose on our county lists. At Druridge Pools there was no sign of the Goose but 4 Ruff, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Pintail, a White Wagtail and a fly through male Marsh Harrier and a Common Scoter.
Just as we were leaving we were told that the Goose was at East Chevington. Sure enough when we arrived the Egyptian Goose was in the field west of the South Pool with Greylags. They all flew off after about 15 minutes. The Black-throated Diver was also still on the North Pool as well as 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and a female Marsh Harrier. A further 2 Pintail were at Cresswell with an Avocet.
|The black on the bill was restricted to a 'nail' on the tip. See also photo 4.|
|They eye was the perfect white colour, and the body and flanks also looked just right. The head peaked in the middle.|
|The bird was always sat quite low in the water so the white on the undertail-coverts was mostly hidden, but I'm pretty sure I saw it when the bird took off and in a couple of views of it on the water|
|The distinctive bill pattern shows here.|
|The wing-bar was pure white and showed no trace of grey.|
|There is a white patch on the belly, but again the tail covers the undertail-coverts. The underwing was pure white.|