Herald Sun - - NEWS - ALANAH FROST

A WAY­WARD duck has found it­self a long, long way from its na­tive Eurasian home and at a prop­erty in Wer­ribee.

The Tufted duck, which is only found in north­ern parts of Europe and Asia — mainly Rus­sia and sur­rounds — was spot­ted yes­ter­day near Mel­bourne and is thought to be the only duck of its kind to make its way to Aus­tralia.

A caller to the 3AW Ru­mour File re­vealed a pos­si­ble sight­ing of the fa­mous fowl, with keen bird­watch­ers said to be in a flap.

The duck, be­lieved to be a male, is said to be alone and pos­si­bly hid­ing out at the Wer­ribee treat­ment plant.

Ex­pert Sean Doo­ley, from Birdlife Aus­tralia, said the ducks never flew into the south­ern hemi­sphere. “So this one has ob­vi­ously mi­grated and some­thing has gone wrong with its in­ter­nal GPS — un­til it’s ended up with all the lo­cal ducks in Wer­ribee,” he said.

“It’s so out of place that we thought it could have been in a col­lec­tion but we’ve made in­quires and we’re pretty sure it’s wild bird — it’s be­hav­ing like one.

“It’s feed­ing with other flocks and has lots of com­pany.

“They all con­gre­gate at the treat­ment plant. The wa­ter has al­ready been treated so it’s full of nu­tri­ents.”

Mr Doo­ley said bird watch­ers from across Aus­tralia had con­gre­gated in Wer­ribee.

“When I went to see it, there were about 35 car loads of bird watches. It’s quite the celebrity.”

A Tufted duck

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