Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 171 - Freckled Duck

I've been trying to get some half decent images of this duck for a while now - and thanks to a long weekend caused by a horse race (I kid you not!) I finally managed.

This duck is a Freckled Duck, which is Australia's rarest wildfowl, with a population of about 20,000 or less.  As with a number of species in this land of flood, fires and droughts it only breeds when conditions are right, and conditions are not right in most years.  In years when it does not breed, the population is rather thinly spread around SE Australia.

There are a couple of reliable sites on the Bellarine Peninsula, to the west of Melbourne, but the ducks tend to hang about at binocular or a 'scope range rather than 'photographable' distances.  So, when I found a few of these species on a much smaller pond I was rather pleased - although it still took me a while to get any images.

The Freckled Duck is so called because of the patterns on its feathers, but this only really becomes clear if you have a close look at them.  I assume it may have gained its name due to the tendency of early bird 'watchers' the shot first and name later.  The formal name Stictonetta naevosa refers to its freckled appearance, and there is no other species in this genus.

In the field this duck can often be identified (at least initially) by its rather pointed head - the back of the head is peaked and it makes the bird look like it has a triangular head.

As far as I can tell these birds are all female.  The base (head end!) of the males beak is red. So, here for your enjoyment are some pictures of Australia's rarest wildfowl!





Now it's over to you.  Click on the blue button to link in with WBW, and don't forget to visit as many sites as possible and to invite any new bloggers that you find.  Cheers - SM

35 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

congratulations! great shots of the freckled one. :)

NatureFootstep said...

a beautiful one. I´m not sure but I saw a similar one in Morocco a couple of years ago. Might have been the same species.

Andrea Priebe said...

Those are the best kind of finds when you come across a rare species. The females are ever so attractive so it makes me wonder how the male differentiates himself from the female. I am thinking I will have to look up this curiously beautiful and rare species. Congtrats on the find, Stewart. Very special ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

Sylvia K said...

Beautiful and not one I've ever seen before!! Thanks, Stewart, as always for sharing your "winged friends"!! Hope your week is going well!!

Sharon Wagner said...

What a beautiful duck. Speckled, freckled or spotted. It's all good.

Chris Rohrer said...

Congrats!!!! I know how that is when it comes to getting the shot. Very cool duck and thanks for the info. This is definitely a new one for me. You have so many great birds over there!

Rhodesia said...

Lovely shots. Great news that Michelle won the Melbourne cup :-) Diane

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

That is a real treat, seeing such a rare bird. Thanks for sharing!

Brian King said...

Beautiful shots! I'm particularly fond of the last one.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Stewart!:) Good shots of the Freckled Duck which is another new species for me, and a very pretty duck.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I like their name!!!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a great sighting ... The pictures are guidebook ready (I am just daydreaming here about being lucky enough to ever actually see one ...but if I did I could ID her! ). Out of total curiosity only, are the males very different in appearance?

Pat Tillett said...

Nice find Stewart! They are very attractive and your photos of them are great!

Linda W. said...

Fantastic reflections in your last photo!

Marcia said...

It lives up to its name.

EG CameraGirl said...

How sad that the conditions are not often right for the Freckled Duck to breed! Lucky you to have seen one!

Beth said...

It is a lovely duck Stewart.

Lee said...

Damn! I'm disappointed! I expected to see his feet paddling wildly under water! :)

Love your photos of the duck. :)

pattisjarrett said...

That's a beautiful pattern on the feathers. So glad you found some and were able to share the with us. Great reflections in the last shot. Nice work, Stewart! Thanks for hosting.

mick said...

Great photos of the Freckled Ducks - especially the last photo. If I want to see ducks I have to go inland a bit and look for a farm dam.

Small City Scenes said...

Very cute
"She had freckles on her~~~~~~but she's pretty" 'Member that old song?
MB

Margaret Adamson said...

It was lovely for you to get these photographs of this rare duck. Thank for hosting.

diane b said...

It must have been exciting for you to get a shot of this rare bird.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

ahhh, they're cute. They need to get busy and do some woop woop and reproduce.

Liz said...

Great shots of a rare Australian bird and congratulations on a lifer!

Marie C said...

How wonderful that you were able to get these images of this elusive duck! I really loved seeing them and learning about them! Hope you are having an awesome week!

Missy George said...

Beautiful shots of such an elusive bird...(duck)..e you have a wonderful day..I must find some birdies
to share..

A Quiet Corner said...

WOW! These are real beauties, Stewart, pointy heads and all. Hey, a dunce cap would fit perfectly, wouldn't it?...:)JP

DeniseinVA said...

Fascinating bird Stewart, very pretty ones too.

Ze Marks Birds said...

Great record!

Mary Cromer said...

Way to go getting these great shots. It is such a beautiful duck as well! Trying to figure out why you got these because of a horse race...were companies closed for the big day?

Phil Slade said...

It's a new one on me Stewart. I can see why it is the only one of its genus as it ir very unlike the immediate duck families that I can think of.

ladyfi said...

Such pretty shots!

nattsyrransphoto said...

Wow, Have never seen such before. Always exciting to look around to discover new birds. Really nice shots. Have a great weekend.

photodoug said...

Stewart, a new bird for me. Thanks for sharing.