That all changed at 17:55 when news came through of a Baillon's or Little Crake at Monks House Pool. I love crakes with their speckled blue and orange-brown plumage along with their skulking and hard to see nature, so the twitch was a no-brainer really.
Dinner was hastily eaten, and I promised to continue my revision in the car. We arrived 40 minutes later to find a crowd of about 20 local birders waiting on site. A drake Garganey was showing nicely and calling but nobody really thought we'd see the crake.
However, my dad suddenly picked it up lurking in the rushes. Panic ensued, though I was able to get onto it pretty quickly, and it wasn't long before everyone had it in their scopes. It was a superb BAILLON'S CRAKE without a doubt and started to preen right in the open. Everyone was stunned to be seeing this at all, let alone in Northumberland.
Over the next half an hour or so, the Crake continued to show on and off as it worked its way around the thick vegetation at the north end of the pool, and came out into the open again to preen on at least two occasions. It was awesome seeing one of my most wanted birds for the UK so well and a lot better than my photos below suggest!
With exams the next day we had to leave, but it still hasn't been seen again since we last glimpsed it running between two rushes...
We've actually had a decent couple of weeks in the NE and more on that when I get time...
Baillon's Crake - video should be viewed in HD at 1080p