|Fitzroy Gardens , Melbourne
I am fortunate that the first part of my walk to work in Melbourne city is through the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens, with its traditional English plantings and ponds. I have discovered here are a few families of birds that live there : two Australian wood duck families, one with ducklings that are just past their fluffy stage, peewees (mudlark), a kookaburra and magpies, crows and my favourite duck…
the Pacific Black Duck.
I liked the descriptions online that call it a sociable and a dabbling duck.
The Pacific Black Duck is found in all but the most arid regions of Australia. Outside Australia, its range extends throughout the Pacific region. The Pacific Black Duck is one of the most versatile of the Australian ducks. It frequents all types of water, from isolated forest pools to tidal mudflats. The Pacific Black Duck is closely related to the Mallard (Source http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Anas-superciliosa
I know where to find them by the pond and how close I can get to them on land before they dive into the water. The more I draw them the more familiar I become with the shape of their body and head – the curves and subtleties that give them their form and character.
I also know immediately which colour of watercolour pencils (Walnut Brown. Burnt Umber and Ivory mixed with a little Yellow) to use to draw them. I can pick the colours out of my pencil wrap and start straight away !
It has a dark body, and a paler head with a dark crown and facial stripes. There is an iridescent green patch on the wing. This is when the Derwent Inktense Teal Green comes out of the box !