[CT Birds] Portland Fairgrounds (Monday pre-duck) 3 Eurasian Teal

kmueller at ntplx.net kmueller at ntplx.net
Tue Apr 2 09:35:47 EDT 2013

This is a late report. I stopped by the Portland fairgrounds yesterday  
on my way to the COA meeting in Middletown. I pulled in the  
fairgrounds around 5:15 and stayed for approx. 40 minutes.

When I arrived there were a handful of Green-winged Teal including one  
drake EURASIAN (the drake with the slightly less developed adult  
plumage-narrower lateral scapular stripe). Also there were a pair of  
Blue-winged Teal and 3 Pintail (1 drake- 2 hen). Also saw 5 Snipe and  
a single Greater Yellowlegs. After 15 minutes more Teal started flying  
into the pond including a second drake EURASIAN (with the well  
developed adult plumage), and another pair of Blue-winged Teal.  
Someone was target shooting to the north on Petzolds Island which  
probably startled the ducks out of the Meadows. The continual shooting  
sent quite a few ducks into the air in all directions including many  
Wood Ducks, Teal and another pair of Pintail which flew down river.

Bird of note- I was able to re find the hen Teal that I suspected to  
be a hen EURASIAN. It was hanging close with the second drake Eurasian  
Teal which also flew into the pond. Since there are only slight  
differences between a hen Eurasian and an American Green-winged it is  
very difficult to differentiate between them unless they are literally  
in your hands. I am quite confident of my ID.

As I mentioned before, I did raise a few when I had my aviary, and was  
familiar with these 'slight differences'. If you are going to the  
fairgrounds looking for this hen here is a general description:- the  
hen is overall slightly lighter in plumage. The head (one of the  
important areas for ID) is lighter in color with a well defined eye  
stripe, lighter lores extending farther back onto the cheeks, less  
cheek dotting, BUT shows no malar stripe. The green speculum area of  
the secondaries is slightly larger with a wider (lower) black speculum  
border, and a missing upper speculum black border (located on tertail  
1). But the most important feature of the speculum being the forward  
wing bar (in front of speculum) of the greater secondary coverts being  
much whiter and wider (appears very prominent and bold). This white  
bar extends nearly the entire length with minimal tan color near the  
top of this wide-white bar.....this is quite obvious when the duck is  
in flight. Hen Green-winged Teal show less white and more tan color on  
this bar. And finally the white edging of the tertials are heavier and  
more pronounced on this hen Teal. This is the second time I have seen  
this hen, and it is usually accompanying the drake with the more  
dramatic and complete plumage.

Hope that helps....Good Luck.

While I was there a second Greater Yellowlegs flew in, and also 9 Kildeer.

Keith Mueller

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