Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blue-winged Teal 2011

It was in November 2010 when I last saw a Blue-winged Teal at Mundy Pond. At that time I didn't realize how uncommon they are to the Avalon.

It was this week when I very unexpectedly came across two female Blue-winged Teal at Second Pond. I had gone to the area in search of the Pectoral Sandpiper and was very surprised when I rounded the bend at the lagoon to find these two and a Green-winged Teal. It was very interesting to see these two birds side-by-side. The size difference is significant.

 I also didn't remember last year's birds having such a distinct eye ring. One of these birds was much darker than the other and the light patch behind the beak was really prominent.

My sighting last year lasted for only a minute or so and I wasn't able to study the "look" of the bird. On this ocassion I had ample time to look them over really well. I was struck by the shape of the bill which is wider and more sturdy than I thought. On a return trip to the lagoon I saw them again and this time observed one of them preening. The blue wing was only visible during
that time.

With hunting season in full swing I can only hope that these two great ducks make it to their southern destination safe and sound.

Afterword:  Word just came that two Blue-winged Teal were shot in the Goulds area. Pictures were viewed. It is most likely that it is these two birds as they are not commonly seen in this area.

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