Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Freckled ducks at Swan Lake, Phillip Island

A small group of Freckled duck have settled into Phillip Island's Swan Lake since October 2012. I had noticed that they had started appearing on Eremaea lists in recent months and was thrilled to find them still present close to the northern-most bide hide at the weekend. Although not being terribly cooperative for the camera I was pleased to find them readily identifiable - a "lifer"!

Freckled duck, Phillip Island, 7th April 2013
I read that they are irruptive in distribution which is confirmed by the Eremaea lists for Victoria. None were reported at all for the entire state in 2010. This year has seen them in greater numbers than any previous year and we are only up to April!

Freckled Duck sightings in Victoria (Eremaea birds)

The Freckled duck were "roosting" along the edge of the drying lake mixing it with the usual good numbers of Eurasian coot, a few Black-fronted dotterel and the odd Little black cormorant.

There was lots to see on the day with several birds presenting nicely for photography from the hides. Seen below are Black-fronted dotterel, Black swan, White-faced heron, Pacific gull, Hoary-headed grebe, Eurasian coot, Australian white ibis and Little pied cormorant.

It was also a good opportunity to add to my fine photographic collection of Musk duck tail flicks...

Musk duck motoring along. I love how unusual these ducks are in appearance and behaviour.
Cape Barren Goose
"Swan Lake" or "Goose Puddle"?

The walk from the car park to the wetlands also affords good birding of bushland birds. Here we have New Holland honeyeater, some shy Red-browed finch, Eastern Yellow Robin and what I think is a young Golden whistler.

 Bird on!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pete, well yes I can see why everyone needs a collection of Musk Duck tails! Swan Lake at Phillip Island looks great for birding, going by your pics. While the Freckled Ducks weren't so kind to show their faces, you can really see the beautiful plumage. Thanks for posting that. I also love your White-faced heron and the HH Grebe. You must have a very sharp lens, am a bit envious.