The chance of a brand new bird had me heading over to Gateshead today. A SPOTTED CRAKE had been seen at Shibdon Pond, and as soon as I had finished work I was on my way! Gateshead isnt an area I go to very often, so I was desperately hoping someone would already be in the hide as I dont have a key to get in! I neednt have worried. I quickly settled in and began to scan the area. A couple of common waders and ducks were scattered about, and a single Little Egret was on the far side, but the target bird wasnt showing. Thankfully I didnt have long to wait. After less than 15 minutes another guy in the hide spotted the Crake on the far bank and I quickly located it in my scope. It was making a total mockery of its reputation of being shy and elusive, and was happily feeding and foraging out in the open! We were getting outstanding views (albeit through scopes, it was too distant for bins only). We then had a pleasant surprise when a pair of Water Rails joined the Crake and began feeding in the shallows. It was nice to see the two species side by side, for comparison and also for the fact that its something you very very rarely see!!!