Birds of Victoria - by Damian Kelly
The white under-tail confused me, because the field guides tend to show the hardhead / white-eyed duck as having the white under the tail, and not the blue-billed. But further research gave one book showing some white under the tail of the blue-billed.
With the stiff-tail clear in this image (my checking indicated only the musk duck and blue-billed are stiff-tailed ducks in Australia), I concluded that you are right and I am wrong.
So field guides should mention rear views - we see them often enough!
The water rat is my bogey-mammal. For forty years I have tried to see one, when everyone else was seeing them regularly. I finally saw one in the Avoca River, but not as close as our photos. Fantastic critter.
I gather the white ti on the tail is a definitive ID, although there is not much you could confuse them with.
Watching the little Sanderling run in and out with the wavefronts was amazing. This is definitive jizz for Sanderling. Well worth a trip to Point Impossible to watch.
Are grebes the only birds who make nests like this? Are they a key identifier of only grebes?
Had a wonderful day at Point Impossible, on the Victorian coast, where we went specifically to see Sanderling. The key identifier for me is the way the run in with the waves and chase them out to feed on the remaining critters. It was a gorgeous dance and a delightful little bird.