Wednesday 1 April 2020

April Fowl's Day 2020

On Monday James Holdsworth found a stunning male Common Teal, the Eurasian (nominate) subspecies of Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca crecca) in Lambton Shores, near Port Franks. While many authorities consider our usual American Green-winged Teal (A. c. carolinensis) and Common Teal to be two different species, here in North America, they are currently considered one. Perhaps one day they will split it!

I missed seeing the Common Teal that showed up at Hillman Marsh a couple years ago, so since this bird wasn't too far, and it was a nice day for a drive, I decided to go for it. Distancing myself from others wouldn't be an issue, since it was in a field on the side of the road!

Upon arriving, I could see the fields were flooded a lot more than what they were last week when I checked out the area (after seeing Middlesex's first nesting record of Common Raven close by). Lots of American Wigeon and Wood Ducks, along with many Bonaparte's Gulls were present. I saw my first Tree Swallows and Blue-winged Teal of the year, and heard my first Eastern Meadowlark. I only saw a few Green-winged Teal, all Americans, so I hopped back in the car and went a bit further up the road. On the other side of the creek, was a larger group of ducks, the majority of them Green-winged Teal.

I scoped out the flock, and on my third pass, I picked out the target bird. I was soon joined by "MB" who also got to see the bird.

Photos are pretty bad, but they show the characteristic bold white horizontal stripe on the side, and the lack of the vertical white bar (American Green-wingeds lack this bold horizontal stripe, and possess a vertical bar). In person, the bird also appeared a bit paler.

A successful little outing, and it was nice to see some more migrant birds coming through.

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