Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Musk Ducks - a-splishin' and a splashin'

Biziura lobata

We took advantage of yesterdays public holiday to visit Narawntapu National Park. While most of the time was spent enjoying a BBQ and the beach we still managed to see 30 species of bird (see list below), as well as the usual kangaroos, pademelons, and wombats. A little outside the park area, we also saw an echidna. While there, we payed a visit to the lagoon bird hide. The lagoon itself is looking healthy with the water level the highest I've seen in in my limited three years of visiting this site.

The highlight for the day was having 3 male Musk ducks displaying right in front of the hide. So close in fact that I had to wait for them to move further out so I could focus on them with my camera. We also spotted one female.

(Click on images to enlarge)

Musk Duck (Male)
Splish Splash, I was takin' a bath
about a saturday night, yeah

Musk Duck (Female)
Rub-a-dub, just relaxin' in the tub
Thinkin' everything was alright

Male displaying
Yes, I was a-splishin' and a splashin'
I was a-rollin' and a-strollin'
Yeah, I was a-movin' and a-groovin'...woo!

Male displaying
We was a-reelin' with the feelin'..ha!
We was a-rollin' and a-strollin'
Movin with the groovin'
Splish splash, yeah!


Male - Detail of lobe

Below is a list of all 30 birds species seen at Narawntapu for the day:

  1. Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
  2. Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)
  3. Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
  4. Musk Duck (Biziura lobata)
  5. White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)
  6. Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)
  7. Australasian Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo novaehollandiae)
  8. Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)
  9. Tasmanian Nativehen (Tribonyx mortierii)
  10. Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
  11. Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)
  12. Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)
  13. Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae)
  14. Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus)
  15. Swift Tern (Thalasseus bergii)
  16. Brush Bronzewing (Phaps elegans)
  17. Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)
  18. Blue-winged Parrot (Neophema chrysostoma)
  19. Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus)
  20. Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera)
  21. Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla)
  22. Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)
  23. Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa)
  24. Satin Flycatcher (Myiagra cyanoleuca)
  25. Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus tasmanicus)
  26. Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)
  27. Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)
  28. Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
  29. Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)
  30. Beautiful Firetail (Stagonopleura bella)
* Song Lyrics above from Bobby Darin's, Spish Splash


  1. Great photos - and I like the lyrics too! That's a bird I haven't seen but I guess I spend too much time out on the bay to see too many ducks.

  2. Great post.A bit different having to wait for them to move away.

  3. Happy jukebox days! Ducks must have known "there was a party goin' on".

  4. Hi Mosura
    The investment in the teleconverter and the long lens is well worth it.
    Wonderfully clean images.
    Love the splash shots.
    They make an amazing Plonking sound, don't they?
    Was your male Whistling too?

  5. Thanks Mick - Apparently Musk Ducks have been spotted at sea so you just might come across one :-)

    Thanks Neil - Yes I wish it happened more often.

    Thanks Tony - Yeah the ducks new but "How was I to know there was a party goin' on" until I "opened the door" on the hide.

    Thanks Denis - No whistling this time just lots of splashing. Mind you I was probably so concerned with getting a photo that I wasn't listening all that well.