Ducks and Surfing Black Swans

To: brian fleming <>
Subject: Ducks and Surfing Black Swans
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2013 18:16:38 +1100
These stories remind me of a much milder version I've seen with ducks on Lake 
Borrie at WTP, or at least on the pond next to it.

When the Northern Shoveler was around earlier this year, I noticed that it, 
along with the Australasian Shovelers, was allowing itself to drift with the 
wind to one side of the pond, then it would swim to the upwind side again, and 
start over.  I rarely saw it feeding during these movements. Occasionally it 
would rest on the sheltered bank for a while before resuming the cycle.

Not as exciting as surfing or a fast flowing channel, but still the same kind 
of repetitive drifting and returning. Why? Perhaps just a desire to be on the 
water and moving? Or prey is scarce enough that this is the most efficient way 
to increase chances of encountering some?

Peter Shute

Sent from my iPad

> On 14 Dec 2013, at 9:14 pm, "brian fleming" <> wrote:
>    Some years ago we saw ducks riding downstream on a strong current 
> in one of the outlet channels at the Western Treatment Plant, Werribee.
> Mostly Pinkears and Australian Shovelers but a few Black Ducks with 
> them.  There was no doubt in our minds that the birds were doing this 
> for enjoyment, whizzing downstream among clouds of foam and then 
> battling upstream, or sometimes flying, to do it again and again.  This 
> was in a channel leading seawards from the road leading east to the 
> Borrow Pits.  The tide was very low and water levels in the ponds were 
> high, so a strong current developed.  The channel was quite crowded with 
> the birds - we made no attempt to count them at the time but in 
> recollection there were dozens and dozens of them.  I still have some 
> print photos of the scene.
>   The Black Swans in the clip also seemed to be enjoying the waves.
> Anthea Fleming
>> On 14/12/2013 3:07 PM, Jenny Stiles wrote:
>> Hi list,
>> I thought you might enjoy this clip of Black Swans surfing! I don’t think I 
>> have seen Swans on the open ocean, much less enjoying the waves! 
>> From Jenny Stiles
>> -----
>> No virus found in this message.
>> Checked by AVG -
>> Version: 2013.0.3462 / Virus Database: 3658/6918 - Release Date: 12/13/13
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU