Driving through Bungendore mid-morning today just before the rain arrived, I turned into Trucking Yard Lane to see the whistling ducks, having heard of them from this chatline but not knowing quite what to expect from the site. Just down from the highway, on the right and opposite a house, was a small and muddy farm dam with a great number of ducks around the edge, and a few on the water - Black Ducks, Grey Teal and Wood Ducks, as Mark notes, plus a solitary proud Shelduck, and many Plumed Whistling-Ducks. No sooner than I had parked just up the road and stepped out of the ute, then the Whistling-Ducks took off noisily, circled overhead a couple of times gaining height, and headed off back north towards Bungendore. I counted 24 in the flock. While I may have spooked them for subsequent visiting birdos, I was no closer than any passing pedestrian on Trucking Yard Lane, so perhaps they were just feeling flighty.
From: Michael Lenz [
Sent: Saturday, 6 December 2014 4:18 PM
To: Mark Clayton
Cc: COG List
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Whistle-ducks
Martin Butterfield has looked closely at all Whistling-duck records for our area and written a paper to come out in the next issue of CBN (to go to the printers in January 15). Hopefully, Martin will have answered all your questions.
On 6 December 2014 at 16:11, Mark Clayton <> wrote:
On Friday afternoon Alistair Bestow and I, while heading to a bird banding site near Moruya, detoured via Trucking Yard Land in Bungendore to see if any of the whistle-ducks were present on the farm dam. It was not easy trying to count them among the many Pacific Black Ducks, Grey Teal and Australian Wood Ducks but there were at least a dozen birds that we could see, and probably others that were hidden. Today coming home from a very wet and soggy washed out Saturday we again travelled via the Trucking Yard Lane dam and there was the grand total two ducks, that in the gloom and heavy rain, appeared to be PBD. Where the whistle-ducks come from and go to is a mystery. Anybody care to take a stab in the dark?
Is anyone (Martin B, David McD?) collating these records?
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