Another trip out to the Walka Recreation Reserve at Maitland - hoping to see some of the less common birds closer to shore. One reward was the three Blue-billed Ducks who floated just ten meters from shore.
Along with the Musk Duck, the Bue-billed Duck belongs to a group known as the "stiff-tailed ducks" which tend to have highly varied and elaborate display behaviours. Unfortunately the blue-bills were not displaying, though their tails were raised and not lying flat on the water as they normally do.
An interesting read, if you have access to it through a database, is "Behavior of the Australian Musk Duck and Blue-Billed Duck" by Paul A. Johnsgard, The Auk Vol 83 N1 (Jan 1996) pp 98-110. (Later located a pdf file) The article describes the courtship behaviour in detail, with line drawings and observations on the possible evolutionary reasons for the behaviour.