Narrabeen's Ugly Duckling

To: "" <>
Subject: Narrabeen's Ugly Duckling
From: Kevin Vang <>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2006 15:42:28 +1000
Dear Aus-Birders

For some weeks, the busy shores of the Narrabeen Lagoon near the Narrabeen
town centre has been host to a particularly ugly duck or at least one very
confused White-winged Cough.  Usually when the children approach the shore,
a gaggle of feral, noisy and quite portly waterfowl of a wide and unusual
range of hybrid colours and assortments comes waddling forward as fast as
their chubby little legs allow for their usual snack of bread ends and bits.

In recent weeks the melee has been joined by a White-winged Chough who seems
to be quite convinced he is a duck.  He hangs out with the ducks, sticks
very close to the water and can push his weight around with the most portly
of geese, muscovies and mallards when the bread arrives.  The ducks seem to
regard him with utmost suspicion and are not quite sure what to make of this
fiery-eyed waterfowl want-to-be, but it does not seem to phase the Chough in
the slightest.  Interestingly he is silent, making neither Chough-like
grating/gurgling nor quacking (neither is he swimming ;-), so he has not
quite yet got the duck-thing down pat.

He is very easily approached, but wary enough to take wing when a
more-then-usually rambunctious youngster or unleashed pooch dodges in his
direction. The Chough, not a common denizen of Narrabeen, is always in the
same general area by the lake near the town centre and is easily
photographed in a wide array of positions.  We have a great photo of the
inside of his mouth while he is sighing as he itches his neck with his foot.
In fact this is the only Chough we ever seen on the Northern Beaches and the
closest we have seen to the Sydney CBD, and to the Pacific Ocean front.  Our
other Sydney Chough sightings are all from the west and northwest outskirts
(Windsor, Richmond, Colo Valley).

On the bird photography front, we have been re-organising and updating our
Australian Photo Galleries at Bird Explorers.  The Queensland Channel
Country, ACT, Sydney and Cowra Galleries are all nicely updated.  The Cowra
Gallery includes the most interesting picture of the ³Yellow-billed,
Orange-bellied Turquoise Parrot² which is quite an odd set of colours on
this already colourful species.  That particular set of photos is in the
hills between Cowra and Grenfell on the Cowra Bird Survey.

Our Australian Photo Galleries can be viewed at:

We also have updated many of our Africa Galleries:

And added a new gallery for the remote Kutch District of Gujarat, India on
the border with Pakistan.
Click Asia, South
Click India

We are still debating about going to see the Grey-headed Lapwing.  The
nearest we have seen that species  to Australia is in the Mai Pao Marshes in
Hong Kong.  We have really enjoyed reading about all the trips everyone has
made to see it as well as all the humorous email surrounding the sighting.


Kevin and Wojciech
Bird Explorers

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