Freckled Duck at Mount Isa

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Freckled Duck at Mount Isa
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 18:00:19 +1000
g'day all,
Any Freckled Duck experts out there ?

A correspondent of this mailing list wondered if my observation of a FD 
drinking could in
fact just been dibbling (sic)

This has now forced me to do some checking of dibbling and dabbling.
I looked up the Dictionaries of Newton, Landsborough Thompson, and Campbell & 
Lack which
don't mention the words.
Cox and also Weaver do.
Weaver's "The Bird-watcher's Dictionary" is available on line at
In fact look at

then click the links to
.. surface dipping (Immersing the head and neck in the water without upending
.. upending

The duck I saw, as it paddled along slowly, just lowered the front (flattened ) 
part of
its beak into the water then raised its head right up to apparently swallow the 
(Just as I do to swallow a pill !)
The water at this depth appeared to be free of any surface growth.

When it was standing and feeding on the edge of the grassed area its beak was 
going up and
down rapidly into the mud, obviously feeding. It did not raise its head. And it 
did not
exhibit a scything motion as described in Hanzab.

Hanzab says under "behaviour" ..
" wade in shallow water less than 5cm, taking most food by bottom filtering, 
often from
very shallow water or soft muds. Method called suzzling. Bill held just above 
bottom, head
scything from side to side. Rapid pumping movements of tongue cause food 
particles to be
sucked in near tip and stream of water expelled from upper sides of recurved 
Also surface filter while swimming, peck and sweep up floating food; nibble at
algae-covered logs ...etc "

Hanzab ref is Vol 1 Part B, p1160-1173 (Food is p1163)
"suzzling" is from P.J.Fullagar, Wildfowl 41  Is this a UK publication ? 
Anybody got
access to it ?

The bird when "drinking ?" was in water greater than 5cm. Temp at the time was 

Is there anything more we can add to Hanzab ?
Any responses about their feeding pattern will be welcome.

Regards, Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.

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