Eurasian Cootes and a Musk Duck

To: Canberra Birds <>
Subject: Eurasian Cootes and a Musk Duck
From: Denise Kay <>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:34:26 +1000
Today I had a call out to Yerrabi Pond to rescue 20 ducklings caught in a spillway .

I eventually found the spillway a 3 metre walled drop that leads south to/through to the wetlands between Yerrabi Ponds and the golf club. ( thankfully the girls who rang waited for me to arrive ) it was on the bicycle /walking path half way along Merrabei Drive in Gungahlin.
They were not ducks but Eurasian Coots..a lot  there were 17 plus washed over the spillway or had come up the drain and caught by rising water. 

Anyway they are stuck in this spillway until the water subsides.I can’t get down to get them out ( and not because I am a silly old lady…I am ) nor can the rangers, there is a lot of slime making it dangerous for old ducks , young ducks or cootes and rangers alike.

So , Ranger Tyson, my mate Sean , the two girls Sharon and her friend  ( the concerned members of the public who called in the “rescue” ) decided we
could not with any dexterity net 17 Cootes and throw them up over the 3 metre wall into the pond . 

We have left them there ,we are sure the water level will subside allowing escape within a day or so . We also noted one Coote successfully flying out but also witnessed one that hit the wall unable to gain the height. ( Ranger Tyson removed  2 dead birds ) 

Just a heads up to the regulars out there.. unfortunately Cootes don’t recognise wholesome foods from us human folk , they recognise junk food ,when you see the bread …that was from me…so are the grains….. but they responded immediately to the bread that should sustain them for a day or two..unless it rains… I am surprised this issue has not arisen before in this spot it must be a hazard for water birds. Maybe the exit towards the golf club should be expanded ? 

But my  birthday pleasure a Musk Duck…my first ever..hanging around the wall off the spillway…I know usual awful photo ..

Giralang Pond Land Care Group

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