Started the day at Lambton Pond in thick fog. No sign of the Smew, but the fog was so bad I could barely see half of the pond. Back in Gateshead I had a walk around Watergate, which was overrun with dog-walkers and the only highlight was a fly-through Kingfisher.
After a bite to eat I had another shot at Smew, this time at Big Waters. The fog was even worse here, so I headed north. At Cresswell the Long-billed Dowitcher was asleep on the spit, but no sign of the Ruff. I just missed the Water Pipit at Druridge, so headed north again.
At Newton scrape the 6 European White-fronted Geese were easily picked up, but the Tundra Bean Goose took some effort, looking into the sun amongst 100+ Pink-footed Geese.
On the way back south an optimistic look at East Chevington failed to reveal a Bittern, but there were 3 Scaup and the Slavonian Grebe.
A bonus Tawny Owl over the road finished the day.