Silver Gull - Freckled Duck interaction

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Silver Gull - Freckled Duck interaction
From: Russ <>
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2013 23:03:30 +1000
I saw a most unusual interaction this afternoon at Begola Wetlands in Ocean
This is the spot where up over 100 Freckled Ducks have been observed in
recent weeks. I was there for about 20 minutes today on the way home from
work. I didn't really have time to count the ducks, but there were
Freckled, Chestnut and Grey Teal, Pacific Black, Hardhead, Pink-eared and a
pair of Aus Shoveler (which I can't remember seeing there before).

The Freckled Duck were everywhere, but mostly tucked up close to the reeds,
with a few swimming in the middle of the pond, and others on just about
every exposed log. One log had 3 or 4 Freckled Duck and a couple of Silver
Gulls, and not much spare space. A Silver Gull landed on the back of a
Freckled Duck - I had to check that it wasn't just behind it and I was
fooled by perspective. But no, it landed and stood right on the back of the
duck! Both birds stayed in place for about half a minute, and then the duck
dived forward into the water, and the gull took its spot on the log.

Is this a common thing for gulls to do? Does anyone else recall seeing a
gull or other bird standing on a Freckled Duck?

I did get a couple  of photos - poor quality but they show the gull on the
duck, the duck getting away, then the gull standing on the log where the
duck had been.

Russell Woodford
Ocean Grove VIC

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