Ay up me duck! Rare Aussie bird spotted in Horncastle

Bird-lovers could be going quackers and flocking to Horncastle to grab a sight of a rare duck

An Australian wood duck has settled on the River Bain, just a few hundred yards from a busy Tesco supermarket.

Australian Wood Duck on the River Bain, Horncastle, Lincolnshire EMN-160824-132703001

Australian Wood Duck on the River Bain, Horncastle, Lincolnshire EMN-160824-132703001

It is happily living alongside hundreds of mallards - and the town’s ‘infamous’ swan who locals have called Cyril.

A resident contacted the Horncastle News today (Wednesday) to tell us about the duck.

She said the duck appeared camera shy and swam off...whenever she attempted to take a photograph.

However, the News contacted Horncastle-based photographer John Aron who quickly spotted the Aussie invader.

Australian Wood Duck on the River Bain, Horncastle, Lincolnshire EMN-160824-132620001

Australian Wood Duck on the River Bain, Horncastle, Lincolnshire EMN-160824-132620001

And, amazingly, the duck happily posed for photographs in the Bondhi-beach-like weather.

The duck immediately attracted a large crowd, who admitted they were surprised to see it in Horncastle.

Alan Judge (37) said: “We’ don’t get many Australian visitors here. In fact, it should have come tomorrow (Thursday) - it’s market day then and there’s a lot more to see!”

Alison Newton (28) said she would not have spotted the Australian duck among all the resident mallards.

Australian Wood Duck on the River Bain, Horncastle, Lincolnshire EMN-160824-132639001

Australian Wood Duck on the River Bain, Horncastle, Lincolnshire EMN-160824-132639001

She added: “Now it’s been pointed out to me, it is a lot different looking. Perhaps it quacks with an Australian accent!”

An RSPB spokesman confirmed the duck was likely to have escaped from a private collection.

He said he did not know of any other Australian Wood Duck in this country.

The spokesman added: “It is very common in Australia but it is unlikely to have travelled all the way to England under its own steam.

“I’m not aware of any in a private collection (in this country) so it is pretty rare.

“It’s certainly worth a tick in the old book.”

Earlier this year, Cyril The Swan hit the national headlines after town councillors raised concerns he could be a threat to young children who often feed birds at the Tesco Bridge.

Cyril went missing for several weeks but is back and happy sharing the water with his new Australian friend who has already been dubbed ‘Kylie’.

There’s just one slight snag with that....apparently the duck is a male!

Did you know:

The Australian wood duck was first described by the English ornithologist John Latham in 1801 under the binomial name Anas jubata.

The 45–51cm duck looks like a small goose, and feeds mostly by grazing in flocks. The male is grey with a dark brown head and mottled breast.The female has white stripes above and below the eye and mottled underparts.