Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Migrating Teals come and gone?

It's been a weird spring. Migrating ducks seemed to have skipped their usual stopovers in SE VT and just flown right through. Perhaps prompted by the unusually early warm weather they were in a hurry to make it to their breeding grounds in Canada. Migrating at night, they rested maybe for a day and then were gone again. Reports of an Eurasian Green-winged Teal had lured many birders out to a local birding hot spot this morning, but the teals were far from the observation area, partially hidden by banks of grass and weeds and even with a scope the Eurasian GW Teal remained elusive.

Blue-winged Teal pair

Male preening, showing green speculum

Green-winged Teal showing bold white bar down the side of the breast.

Eurasian GW Teals lack such a bar but look similar otherwise.

A Song Sparrow was singing loudly from his perch on a  tree.

The Red-winged Blackbirds seemed more interested in food than in territorial display.

Of course no dearth of Canada Geese, both in the water and flying over:

They often become a  nuisance in local parks and on golf courses, but with their prim white kerchiefs wrapped around the jaw they are still one of the handsomest birds around.

When I came home a rather imperious looking Common Grackle had taken possession of the crab apple tree and feeder. But he couldn't keep the Goldfinches, White-throated Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Titmice and Chckadees away for long.

A White-throated Sparrow is checking out the scene.

Good Birding!


  1. I finally saw the eurasian teal yesterday around noon time after 2 missed attempts! a lifer for me! persistence is needed and at least for me, Herrick's is close by.

  2. I love that White-throated Sparrow! The ones in my area are long gone, and I didn't get a good look at any this season. Hope spring brings you yet more goodies!

  3. Congrats, JoAnne, on the Eurasian Teal! There were many frustrated birders this morning at Herrick's Cove. I don't have a scope; so I didn't try for too long.

    Thanks, Felicia. The White-throated Sp are just now turning up here in VT. I have seen about 4 or 5 at my feeder. I love spring, always something new, but that also makes it easy to miss...

  4. White-throated Sparrows are very pretty birds, and I miss them dearly here in Germany. Bummer about the GW teal. Have you seen them in Germany at least?

  5. Hi Hilke,
    What a nice post,. I'd like to see a blue-winged teal!
    I think what you call a Eurasian GW teal is in fact a Eurasian common teal.... There is one GW teal around here and it is very funny to see this white bar going down on its side!

  6. @Jochen: Thanks. It looks like you'll have to travel to NA to see sparrows we have many more species here than you have in Germany. Most are hard to photographs, usually hide in brambles and shrubs as soon as they see you coming.

    @ Chris and Jochen: I did see the Eurasian GW or Common Teal in Germany and took a photo, the one you see on my post for comparison. Chris, I think Blue-winged Teals with their white blaze are much better looking :-)

  7. Its been strange for waterfowl here in Ontario as well. We are not far from Long Point, a traditional stopping point for Tundra Swans but this year with the warm weather, they never stopped.

    Thanks for the great shots and info.



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