Experts converge on Gympie after rare species discovered
AN AVID birdwatcher for more than 60 years who has travelled and seen multitudes of bird varieties, Graham Parr was surprised last week when he spotted a female freckled duck in the waters of Lake Alford.
He was even more surprised when, a week later, it was joined by a male freckled duck.
The freckled duck is the rarest water fowl in all of Australia, with its native areas being southeast and southwest Australia.
The freckled ducks have never been spotted in Queensland before, let alone the Gympie region, and bird watchers from all over the coast are travelling to Gympie to see and photograph the birds.
Graham Parr has said he has seen as many as 50 people come to Gympie with the sole purpose of photographing the freckled ducks, with more expected to come.
Even in its native habitat in south east and south west Australia, the freckled duck is not a common sight and is rarely seen by bird watchers.
Mr Parr, with his many decades of bird watching, has only seen freckled ducks twice before and is delighted that two have found their way to Gympie, and has been to see the pair of freckled ducks many times since they were found at Lake Alford.
It is thought the freckled ducks came to Lake Alford in an attempt to find water and escape drought conditions elsewhere in Australia.