As a child growing up with an interest in birds, one of the first species to really stick in my mind was the Pink-eared Duck aka ‘Widgeon’ or ‘Whistling Teal’. Their extraordinary bill and beautifully patterned plumage made them an easily recognised and remembered species.
Last evening I sat on the shores of Cairn Curran as the sun descended after a baking day. There were lots of birds around – Australian Pelican, Australian Shelduck, Grey Teal, Straw-necked Ibis, some Hardheads, a Black kite or two, and a single Royal Spoonbill. All were too distant for a decent photograph, but the expedition was redeemed when this lone Pink-eared Duck whirred into view. Clearly it hadn’t spotted me as it rocketed past at head height, less than ten metres away.