Silver Gull - Freckled Duck interaction

To: Russ <>
Subject: Silver Gull - Freckled Duck interaction
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:53:55 +1000
Hi Russ, 

The appearance of Freckled Duck (and other duck species) at Beloga is no 
doubt due to the disturbance occurring at Lake Lorne during the 
installation of the boardwalk and path. 

Beloga would be a much less comfortable place to hang out for the Freckled 
ducks (not only because Silver Gulls are landing on them : ), but because 
its smaller, with less open water, and less roost sites, which would make 
them open to predation.

I'm hoping the new boardwalk and path will not deter the freckled ducks 
from returning to Lake Lorne, and that the species will not become 
'sensitised' to movement and hence be more vunerable to predatory 


From:   Russ <>
To:     Birding Aus <>
Date:   11/08/2013 11:05 PM
Subject: Silver Gull - Freckled Duck interaction
Sent by:        

I saw a most unusual interaction this afternoon at Begola Wetlands in 
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 
pair of Aus Shoveler (which I can't remember seeing there before).

The Freckled Duck were everywhere, but mostly tucked up close to the 
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 
duck! Both birds stayed in place for about half a minute, and then the 
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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