Unusual duck at Western Treatment Plant

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Unusual duck at Western Treatment Plant
From: Russ <>
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2013 11:07:46 +1100
Hi all

Has anyone noticed an unusual shelduck or similar at the WTP recently? I
saw one late yesterday. It wasn't the white-breasted Chestnut Teal that has
been making birders do double-takes. This was female shelduck-size (perhaps
a little bigger), had a very rich reddish-brown breast and neck, and a
bright white face. The crown and back of the head were dark. It looked to
me like a Cape Shelduck (aka South African Shelduck). Does anyone know if
they are kept in collections in Victoria? I can't imagine it would be a
wild bird that arrived independently.

It was with Austraian Shelduck at the northern end of the pond immediately
to the north of Western Lagoon 1. When a Whistling Kite put the Aus
Shelduck up, this bird and about 4 Aus Shelduck stayed. Within a couple of
minutes all the shelduck and this bird had departed.

I did get a photo but the bird was so far away that it doesn't show any
details, just a few blobs of colour. I'd be interested to hear from anyone
who has seen this bird, or who sees it over the next few days.

Russell Woodford

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