05 February 2016

Something for Saturday? Second ever ringed Green-winged Teal sighted in Suffolk!

With the wildfowl shooting season either finished or nearly finished (depending on location), our recovery rate of ducks and geese is about to reduce substantially. Birders and ringers, however, will continue to provide much needed data on distribution, longevity and movements.

Green-winged Teal, a scarce visitor to Britain & Ireland from North America, is a good bird to record on your BirdTrack list when out birding. Some individuals will have escaped from captivity, which complicates the situation some what, but that deserves a whole post in itself.

BirdGuides are currently reporting a very interesting Green-winged Teal at Blythburgh, Suffolk which, importantly for the BTO Recoveries Team, is wearing a nasal saddle, and thus has a known history!

Green-winged Teal taken by Barry Yates

The nasal saddle works by only covering the top of the upper mandible, thereby not interfering with feeding or other behaviour. Even though we don't use nasal saddles as part of the BTO Ringing Scheme, this marking method is used to great effect in Portugal, as a previous report of a Lesser Scaup on the Demog Blog shows.

Green-winged Teal taken by Barry Yates

The origin of this bird is unknown. It may have escaped from a European collection or it may be a genuine vagrant. We do know however that it was ringed as a juvenile male at São Jacinto Dunes Nature Reserve, Aveiro, Portugal (40º41’N 08º44’W) on 21/01/2015. Since then it has stayed in the area until at least 10/02/2015 when it was next reported and photographed in Suffolk on 01/02/2016 and is still being reported at time of writing.

There have only been two British or Irish ringed Green-winged Teal in the 107 years of our Ringing Scheme (in 2001 and 2003) and in that time we've only had one report of a foreign-ringed Green-winged Teal being found in Britain & Ireland, which was shot on the Isle of Scilly in 1971. Hopefully the Suffolk bird will continue to be reported to us and our Portuguese colleagues on its journey.

For more information on the work done by our Portuguese colleagues, check out their website, www.pt-ducks.com and if you see this bird feel free to report it to BirdGuides and to us via www.ring.ac (using the ring number J15195 and scheme of Lisbon).

1 comment:

  1. I was surprised to know that we marked more GWT since 1993 than since ever in UK - see captures at www.pt-ducks.com