“And then kept on flying further still, until it finally reached the Western Treatment Plant.”
“The moment I got the call, I was running around the house grabbing my camera, binoculars and throwing off my suit (I may have ripped a shirt button),” he joked.
By the time he got there, James said there was already a large crowd gathered at the Western Treatment Plant, all watching the pond eagerly waiting to see the bird.
“The Tufted Duck seemed to be of similar size as Chestnut Teal or Pink-eared Duck, perhaps leaning more on the Pink-eared Duck side,” he noted. “It was quite happy, flappy [sic] about the place, loosely intermingling with the other waterfowl on the water.”
The duck has gained much attention on social media as well, with plenty of people commenting how they hope to catch a glimpse of the mysterious bird and joking how it ended up so far away from others of its kind.
“He looks like he’s a little bit in shock himself ending up in Australia,” one person joked on Facebook.
“I’d look grumpy too if I missed the turn off ,” another added.
While a third said: “Wow, I hope it has a mate and starts generations of Aussie Tufted Ducks!”
Luckily for birdwatchers, the Tufted Duck has stayed put at the Western Treatment Plant, regularly seen diving for food with a myriad of other more commonly known ducks.
BirdLife Australia has urged anyone keen to see the duck to ensure they have a permit to visit the site as it is on Melbourne Water land. The organisation also told birdwatchers to be patient as it may take a while to spot the bird among the others in the area.