KelsaeJohn's picture

Young Mallard or Teal?

Observed: 25th September 2012 By: KelsaeJohnKelsaeJohn’s reputation in BirdsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in BirdsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in BirdsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in Birds
A very small mallard for this time of year
Young Mallard or Teal?
Juvenile Teal or Juvenile Mallard? Edited Pic for more clarity
Description:

A very late juvenile!
I have uploaded another (enlarged) pic. to assist with ID. (3rd Pic)Hope this is helpful.
Another amendment! I have replaced Pic with a new one which I edited in Picasa to show colours more clearly. (It looked better in Picasa!)

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

KelsaeJohn's picture

Teal?

Hi Ian, I would normally bow to your superior knowledge on this subject but I am convinced this is not a Teal for 3 reasons:
1) It doesn't (to me) look like a teal - other than size.
2) I have never seen teal at this location, and
3) It seemed to be attached to one particular adult mallard.
I have uploaded another (cropped) image for you to look at. Is there anything about the plumage that still suggests Teal? If there is, I can't see it.
I look forward to your response
Cheers

John

ophrys's picture

Teal

It does look like a female/juvenile teal to me, partly becuase there are few defining features. The white patch at the tail base is right, though, as is the size (a young mallard would be bigger than this, when in adult-type plumage) and the face pattern looks right, as does the whitish edge to the tertials.

The fact that you've never seen one there is not important, but I think that you would certainly expect to see one occasionally, since Teal turn up all over the place. I would also expect a lone Teal to associate with a Mallard, as there is safety in numbers for a lone bird.

Happy to be proved wrong!

Ian
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Donald Hobern's picture

Bill colour?

The bill colour does seem yellowish which suggests Mallard more than Teal, but it is hard to judge from the picture.

Donald Hobern

acr293's picture

Teal

The size of the bird in the picture says to me that its a teal, although I have seen small juv / female Gadwall that looked similar, especially with the yellowish bill and the little bit of white on the wing.

Cheers, Calum.

gramandy's picture

what....

..would have helped would have been any sight of green speculum. I am swayed that this is Teal due to white slash towards rear end (tends to be absent in mallard).

Donald Hobern's picture

Swayed towards Teal

As well as the characters mentioned, although I still find the bird a little too "open-faced" (breadth and evenness of supercilium, pale patch over bill and how conspicuous the eye appears), I think the spotting on the undertail coverts and the actual pattern of yellow on the bill look good for a female teal or perhaps an eclipse male. See the two paintings on te BirdGuides site at http://www.birdguides.com/species/species.asp?sp=027076# and the IBC photo at http://ibc.lynxeds.com/photo/common-teal-anas-crecca/male-eclipse-plumage.

Donald Hobern

KelsaeJohn's picture

Another photo

For everyone who has contributed so far. I have replaced pic 3 with a version edited in Picasa which I think improves the colours/clarity of the image.
If the consensus is for a juvenile teal I am not disappointed at losing the debate but pleased to be able to record a new species for the site. (Thank you Ian {Ophrys})
PS - to be honest I am coming round to Teal myself based, mainly, on the white flash on the speculum. My problem is that I have never seen a juv. Teal before -only mature birds.

RoyW's picture

Definitely Teal.

...I wouldn't want to say that it was a juvenile rather than an adult female from this single photo.

acr293's picture

Teal

with the new edited pic, im sticking with teal. Whether its a juv or female, I cant tell.

Cheers, Calum.