I have been birding at Seaford Swamp (near Frankston,
Victoria) for twenty-five years now and have never seen Freckled Duck. It has
been recorded before on nearby wetlands such as Edithvale, Braeside and the
Eastern Treatment Planty at Bangholme, but never at Seaford.
This morning I was to join Birds Australia's Chris Tzaros for
our monthly bird census for Melbourne Water and was about ten minutes late. By
the time I had got there Chris had found a Freckled Duck on the lagoon
immediately opposite the viewing platform off Austin Road. Twenty-five years of
looking and I'm beaten to the punch by a matter of minutes!
It was a great bird, though it spent a lot of time hiding in
the fringing reedbeds. When we came back to the spot at the end of our survey
four and a half hours later (its an extensive area) we couldn't locate the bird
60 species were recorded on the
census, good sightings being: nesting White-faced Heron, Rainbow
Lorikeet and possibly Asutralian Hobby, 9 Blue-billed Ducks, a large flock of
Whiskered Tern and only the third record for the swamp of Sacred
But the Freckled Duck really took the cake.