Today’s walk in the arboretum enticed us to wander along a trail not travelled, we believe, by anyone since the snows started falling last year – in fact it’s a trail not heavily used at any time of the year. Now that most of the snow has melted you just need good waterproof boots to enjoy its many charms … which today included a sighting of a new life bird for us. The rare Yellow Rubber Duck (Anas crepundia crocus ) was believed to only exist today in zoological collections and domestic environments but we have here clear, photographic evidence of the existence of at least one member of the species living in the wild. This is the early stage of northwards duck migration and we were fortunate to happen upon this fellow in such accessible habitat.
Little field work has been done on this species due to the fact that there have not been many field sightings in the past century but we suggest that this sighting in this place at this time of the year indicates the likelihood that A.crepundia migrates from its unknown wintering grounds (possibly they overwinter at sea – check this link) to remote northern breeding territory by travelling incognito amongst flocks of Canada Geese, occasionally hitching a ride to rest its short and stubby wings.