Not Quite a Duck Not Quite a Duckling

Australian Wood Duck

Chenonetta jubata

Gunning NSW 2581, Australia

22 October 2020

As an American, I find these Wood Ducks much cuter than the green headed mallards I'm used to seeing. The big head, tiny beak, and big eyes have those "cuteness proportions". In fact, the eye markings look a lot like the face of the Pretty Faced Wallaby (AKA whiptail Wallaby).

Wood Ducks are common throughout Australia, but I found this one in a small stream beside a beautiful free camp site in Gunning, NSW. Gunning is a tiny town with a population of around 700, and its got my approval for its wonderful campsite with warm showers, barbeques, and a duck filled stream. My friend and I walked up to the train station on which one side of the platform reads "To Sydney" and the other "To Melbourne". At this time in the Covid crisis, Melbourne was in strict lockdown, and we had just left Sydney, so this train station was of no use to us. Interestingly, there were upside down crosses cut into the peaks of the terminal buildings, tripping my Amero-centric sensitivity to the separation of Church and State and also Satanism.