The swamp/pond in the reserve below my block generally looks like a smooth bowling green. But now and then I see dark tracks through the algae topping carpet.
Going closer to investigate, I see two handsome Black Ducks entering the water, joining another bird that from a distance I assume will be a Purple Swamp Hen.
The ducks begin effortlessly gliding across the pond, trailblazing as they go. The trails close back over quite quickly. I could see four Black Ducks on the pond in all.
Black Ducks (Anas superciliosa) are common all over Australia. For once, males and females are similarly striking: the black eye stripes, peach cheeks and stunning individually outlined feathers, with a flashy emerald green ‘speculum’ hiding amongst them.
The other lone waterbird has me baffled. The colours aren’t right on the head and that distinctive yellow/lime beak has me beat. Could it be a Coot in a particular phase? Can anyone help?