21 December 2011

Wandering Whistling-Duck

Wandering Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna arcuata, photographs  were taken at the Hunter Wetlands Centre, Shortland, N.S.W.  My  Birds of Australia book tells me that they have a distinctive, high-pitched twittering whistle.

With lens focal length as far as it would go at 72 mm, and me in a hide, you would think they were looking straight at me.  A rather comical experience getting into that hide too, at the end of a long wooden walkway with hessian along the sides, creating a tunnel-like effect,  so the birds wouldn't see you entering.  However as I started on that walkway, an ibis was already in there, and it decided to make a run for it, down to the hide ahead of me.

I decided to continue at a slow pace so as not to panic the ibis, and when I came to the entrance of the hide I proceeded to walk to the right of the bench next the viewing slot, beckoning and ushering the ibis in a calm voice, to continue around to the left.  Something like 'you go that way, and I'll go this'.    As it stepped tentatively further to the left to get away, I slow-shuffled further to the right, until it worked out that it actually now had a good escape route to re-enter a freedom opportunity, back up 'the tunnel'.  He then kind of made a fast trotting road-runner style, exit.  It left me to cool down after quite some time walking in the heat on a 35 deg. celcius day, have a bite to eat and some water, ready then to start photographing the ducks out there.

They were way out in the distance unfortunately, and I didn't really expect to get as good as I got with my camera.







An informative fact sheet is linked here, on the Wandering Whistling-Duck from the Birds in Backyards website.

Sharing with The Pine River Review for:

16 comments:

heyBJK said...

I love the brown tones in those ducks! Very pretty coloration. Great job, Carole! You got some nice photos.

Gary said...

They're beauties!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

TexWisGirl said...

these are beautiful, carole! we have the black-bellied whistling ducks here that come every summer. i love them and their silly whistles!

mick said...

I like your description of the walk with the Ibis. They are very inquisitive birds. Great photos of the ducks and the habitat around the hide.

Andrew said...

They are so beautiful to see Carole.
Your pics are lovely to see and many thanks for all the information

I wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas and wouldn't it be lovely if it snowed in Oz..

Big hugs Andrew xx

eileeninmd said...

They are pretty ducks, great shots! Thanks for sharing your world bird.

Arija said...

What a sweet conflict of interests with the ibis. Nice looking ducks you have there. So different from those common to our ares. MSW has such a lot of good birding spots and variety of birds.

Have a very Happy Christmas!

Nature Rambles said...

Wonderful shots of the whistling ducks. I've yet to go into the world of ducks but WBW is a great learning place. Thanks for including the link too.

Merry Christmas!

Jedediah said...

Your description of your encounter with the ibis made me laugh. The ducks are beautiful, especially their eyes.

NatureFootstep said...

great shots of a nice duck. :)

holdingmoments said...

Lovely looking ducks Carole.
Only ever seen them in collections over here.
Quite an encounter with the Ibis.

Rambling Woods said...

I had to laugh at the IBIS story..if only they would just pose..like the ducks...lol..

Pat said...

Lovely captures of these cute ducks!

Hilke Breder said...

Neat shots of the Whistling Ducks, Carole! They are similar to our Whistling Ducks that I saw in Texas. I had to laugh about the Ibis story. I guess your body language was good enough to reassure the bird somewhat. 35 degree Celsius! Wow, that's hot!! Happy Holidays to you and your family, and a happy and productive 2012!

Springman said...

Great catches Carole! Liked the story too. Nice stelth.
Happy holidays!

NixBlog said...

Great captures of these ducks.