The Old Duck Test

A close up of a Pacific Black Duck with an Australian Wood Duck in the backgroundThe old saying: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck (known as the Duck Test), is an expression broadly used to infer that we should trust our judgement about what we are looking at. In the world of birds, there are few birds that look, swim and quack like a duck, so you are probably looking at a duck! But which one?

Continue reading The Old Duck Test

My First Streaked Shearwater

A Streaked Shearwater gliding over the surface of the oceanThose of you who have read some of my previous articles will know that I failed dismally on my goal of seeing 400 Australian bird species in the 2015 calendar year. I managed a grand total of 277 which, considering I had a trip to Cairns, a trip to Brisbane, a trip to Melbourne and a trip to Canberra, as well as two pelagic trips and quite a lot of days out in my local area of the beautiful Illawarra region, was not very flattering. I had a secondary goal of adding 50 new species to my Australian life list, which faired somewhat better with 37 new species observed. This all came about after my curiosity was roused from watching the movie “The Big Year” starring Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin. Worth the watch!

Continue reading My First Streaked Shearwater