Saturday, 9 April 2022

Green-winged Teal

A nice little spring treat popped up in front of Phil yesterday morning on Bridge Marsh, and gladly stayed put for the day.  The Axe's third Green-winged Teal...

You can't beat vertical white stripes on a Teal

Always distant and the light was just weird

This was literally the closest it came - the nearside of the scrape!

Handy comparison

Full display mode!

I have to hold my hands up and say after watching it for a while, I did actually stutter with the ID. Enough so that I shared my concerns with the only other observer on site at the time (Kev).

Like gulls, hybrids are always something to be weary of when dealing with wildfowl, and this bird often showed a distinctive pale horizontal line too! In fact it was to the extent that if I scanned over the scrape and saw this male Teal asleep (angled just a little more away) I don't think I would have given it another look.  Would you?

But that is the male Green-winged!

On balance I just can't see a hybrid having such a dazzling and broad set of vertical stripes.  Be keen to know others' thoughts, although do appreciate the quality of the pics do not help.  

To complete the picture, the previous patch records of Green-winged Teal are as follows:

Drake on Colyford March 29th January 2013 (one day only).
Drake on Bridge Marsh 19th December 2015 remaining in the valley until late March 2016.

Assuming this is a spring migrant heading back north with its Eurasian cousins, it would be great to know where it spent the winter. Presumably somewhere in southern Europe or maybe even further south?  

My next post will be a summer migrant update... unless something else unexpected appears in the meantime!  In one sentence though, the cold wind seems to be stalling spring just like last year.


  1. Hi Steve a smart looking bird but likely a hybrid, much rarer in Devon though!


    1. Hi Kev, thanks so much for the comment and link to that paper. Really interesting, and I didn't know a broad white vertical could be shown by a hybrid! I do think the quality of my pics don't help though, whether they may be enhancing the horizontal stripe making it look whiter than it actually was. Hope it reappears for better views!