Blue-billed Duck at Gatton

Subject: Blue-billed Duck at Gatton
From: Gloria Glass <>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 19:22:10 +1000
Lake Galletly at Gatton (within the UQ campus, southern Qld) is at
present host to a male Blue-billed Duck. The sight of this bird was the
highlight of a wet day's birding for the three of us. Not far behind in
the excitement stakes was a Hoary-headed Grebe. There was only one of
each of these birds, as far as we could see - and they were on the
distant side of the lake from the road, needing a telescope for good

Earlier in the wet day, we had identified two (or three?) White-backed
Swallows over almost-dry Lake Apex on the western outskirts of Gatton,
and were surprised to find some almost-mammalian cries we followed up
were being broadcast by a juvenile Channel-billed Cuckoo who was
attended by two Torresian Crows.

The day was capped with the sight of a Black Falcon at Lake Dyer near
Forest Hill, south-east of Gatton. The falcon fled twice from mobbing by
assorted Noisy Miners, Magpies and Pied and Grey Butcherbirds and took
refuge some distance away, only to emerge, when we came too close to it,
from a thick clump of young acacias. It had been perched only two metres
from the ground. On its then unattended escape flight we were able at
last to identify it by colour, shape and wing-holding-pattern.

Gloria Glass, Esther Townsend and Helen Wilson

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