He’s a long way from home...around ten-and-a-half thousand miles to be precise but an Australian Wood Duck has happily settled in Horncastle.
The rather rare visitor has been spotted on the River Bain - just yards from the entrance to the town’s Tesco supermarket.
Within hours of the Horncastle News revealing details about his presence, crowds of onlookers had gathered for a glimpse.
Some early visitors nicknamed the duck ‘Kylie’.
There was just one slight problem with that, though - the duck is a male!
Alan Judge, who was among the keen twitchers, said: “I reckon we’ll have to call him Jason!
“We don’t get many Australian visitors in Horncastle so it’s great to see him.
“At least the weather the last few days has been suited to him.
“It will be interesting to see how he manages once the cold weather sets in.”
‘Jason’ is happily living alongside hundreds of mallards - and the town’s ‘infamous’ swan who locals have called Cyril.
A resident contacted the News last week to tell them 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.
And, amazingly, the duck 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.
Alison Newton, 28, said she would not have spotted the Australian duck among all the resident mallards.
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.
The spokesman added: “It is pretty common in Australia but it is unlikely to have travelled all the way to England under its own steam.
“It is rare in this country - even in private collections.
“It’s certainly worth a tick in the old book.”
As for Cyril, he appears happy that someone else is hogging the limelight - and not pinching all the bread!
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.