As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 17 January 2019

Australia's first tufted duck sighting creates a 'mega-twitch' at sewage pond

Bird-watchers flock to Werribee treatment plant, near Melbourne, to see Eurasia native
Tue 15 Jan 2019 06.46 GMTLast modified on Tue 15 Jan 2019 06.48 GMT
The Werribee sewage ponds are one of the most popular bird-watching locations in Australia. On a good day, says Birdlife Australia’s Sean Dooley, you may see as many as five or six other cars there.
That was before the tufted duck arrived.
 “I counted when I left, there were 35 cars of birders,” Dooley said, adding: “It was a mega-twitch.”
“It’s the biggest twitching event I have witnessed first-hand in Australia — it felt like I was in England,” he said.
The cause of all this fuss is a rather unassuming-looking black duck with white flanks and bright yellow eyes. It was spotted and identified by some visiting American twichers on 2 January as a male tufted duck, Aythya fuligula, a species of diving duck native to northern Eurasia but not uncommonly found in coastal areas in North America.
It is the first time the species has been sighted in Australia.
The visiting twitchers alerted the locals, who shared the find on social media.

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