When we arrived at Blacktoft, we were hoping to see a Spotted Crake which had just turned up there yesterday late in the evening. When we got into the first hide there wasn't a single bird to be seen until a Common Snipe dropped in and then right at the back of the lake a Water rail started to emerge from the reeds.
After a while we made our way up to the Singleton Hide, this is were the Crake had been seen, we sat down for around an hour but no luck but at one point I did think I saw it run out of the reeds then go back in after a few seconds but wasn't 100% sure.While we were waiting a flock of waders dropped in, most of them were Dunlin and Ringed Plover but then we noticed that about 5 of them were Curlew sandpipers! I was delighted to see these because it was my first sighting.
We decided to leave the hide after a while to go to another hide on the other part of the reserve, when we got there on the scrapes there was tons of birds, most of them were Lapwing but then I managed to spot some Ruff in amongst them. After that we went to the Marshland hide were we saw 2 stunning Ruddy Shelducks! They were showing very nicely too which was fantastic also on the scrapes around them there was Common snipes, Lapwing, Ruff, Ringed Plover and a Grey Heron.
Afterwards we went back to the Singleton hide for the Spotted Crake. When we got to the hide it was packed but we still managed to get some seats, we asked some people to see if it has been seen and they said yes it ran across from one part of the reeds to another part of the reeds quite a few times and after about 5mins of waiting we finally got our first ever views of a stunning Spotted Crake! Although it was very far away we were absolutely thrilled also we managed a few record shots of it.
After that superb surprise we decided to leave Blacktoft to spend 30mins at North Cave before heading home. While we were at North Cave we didn't see much apart from a Common sandpiper and a huge mixed flock of Canada Geese and Greylag Geese. Watching the geese was amazing they were so loud! Also at North Cave we got great views of a Great Crested Grebe.
Great Crested Grebe
After a great day we went home with 3 new lifers, Spotted Crake, Ruddy Shelducks and Curlew Sandpipers!