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Female Green-winged Teal at Newford Duckpond??

4th October 2019

Found this female teal five days ago at Newford Duckpond and thought it was a good candidate for a probable Green-winged Teal.

However, this all changed when I contacted James Lidster and received info through WhatsApp on identifying female GWT from Teal. The duck showed a large amount of cinnamon for a Teal when it’s wings were half open. Mark Addison arrived after me contacting him and he also agreed, when it’s wing bar was in view, that it was unusually a lot of cinnamon for a Teal. I also let Martin Goodey know as he lived just around the corner but he couldn’t make it. Looking at what Lidster had sent me, the cinnamon on the wing bar fitted both GWT and Teal as there is a overlap between the two. After a long wait, the duck started to preen in bad light in shade of the trees and Mark and I waited hoping it would stretch it’s wings. That it did and it didn’t look so good now with the cinnamon appearing to not even reach half way across the greater covert bar. With no obvious loral spot, I thought it’s a very confiding Teal and left it at that.

Today, James contacted me ‘Why isn’t this a GWT??’ My reply was ‘I didn’t know we had trains on Scilly?’ It was still present on the duckpond. We talked about it on the mobile, not about Great Western Trains, and James made others aware on the Scilly WhatsApp Group in saying ‘It resembles female GWT with a fair amount of cinnamon on the greater coverts (but maybe it’s well within variation of Teal’ Adam Hutt replied with an article on the group about identifying the two species where it showed the tertial pattern was different between the two species and the Newford individual pointed towards a female Green-winged Teal! Also, James told me that he’s observed females of the latter species in the states showing no loral spot and they can vary a lot. With all this new info coming to light, now things started changing the view on the duck and it was indeed looking more than likely that this was a female Green-winged Teal! If accepted, it would be a first for England!!

When I first saw this teal five days ago, it was this amount of cinnamon that it was showing when the wing was only half open that got me goin. However, when it stretched it wings, the cinnamon appeared to fade from less than half way across the greater covert bar but that was the dark light from it being in the shade.

what a difference it makes when in better light. I kidnapped the main man, Keith Vincombe from Old Town and we both went to see the bird this afternoon and after feeding under the over hanging branches it came out into the light and started to preen where I took these images. Here you can clearly see the cinnamon fades but still reaches all away across the greater covert bar. A feature that you cannot see on the main top image I took five days ago in the shade on sunday. Keith and I also heard the Yellow-browed Warbler

However, it’s this tertial pattern that might be the clincher for positive identification for a female Green-winged Teal.

Before Keith and I looked at the GWT, at 13.00 I had to pick some guest up from the stables. Before I got to the stables, I stopped off at Normandy to kick some fields when I heard what I thought was the Pink-footed Goose that Mark Anderson had early this morning at Porth Hellick. But I could clearly hear 2 Pink-footed Geese and from Kittidown they flew NE low towards Pelistry. Shortly after they were relocated in fields at the latter site and at the same time, the individual from Porth Hellick was now on Tresco Abbey Pool. At the stables itself there were single Yellow and Pied Wagtail.

2 Pink-footed Geese low over Normandy

Jo and I went to the airfield this evening hoping to see the probable smiths from last night that I had. No sign but a quick look at the golf course as it was almost dark and there it was before flying off towards Tresco to roost. It later came out that it was seen on the roof at Porth Mellon Dump at 10.00 this morning!!


A great shot of a Pied Flycatcher at Old Town by Chris and Juliet Moore


But what about this image also taken by Chris and Juliet! What a cracker!! Firecrest at Holy Vale.

As soon as Jo and I arrived back home from seeing the gull, we did an ivy bash for 30 minutes but it was quiet in the strong NWW winds with 3 Rusty Dot Pearl

1 Rush Veneer

And 2 forms of Diamond Back Moth including the typical form top and a first for me from Europe, dark form. We also had 4 Lunar Underwing and 1 Turnip Moth

And this beautiful C Spider feeding on a caspid bug

However, the highlight for Jo and I was seeing Graham Gordon (top) and Coal fly for the first time across Porthloo Beach!! Magic stuff!!


Author: Kris Webb 10

I love to throw sticks at trees! I also can’t get enough of music! I also blog about my observations on Scilly and wherever I go around the world and what’s sometimes on my mind. I’ve visited over 30 countries and some more times than once. I’ve worked and volunteered in Nepal, USA, Peru, Gambia, Costa Rica, 3x Australia, and refugee camps in Palestine The profile image is one I took while in Palestine of a brave Israeli holding high the Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli Offensive Forces during protests in Belin

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