Baikal Teal – BOOM!

Flamborough 15th April 2013

Well done Brett Richards. He rang from the seawatch spot having seen a funny duck with 2 Wigeon fly into towards Selwick’s Bay. Not fully resolved on the ID, not sure what had been seen on such brief view but he did mention Baikal Teal. This was the morning I had given to getting some boring work done so wished he luck as he headed to Northcliffe Marsh, the obvious drop-in for a dabbling duck. The next message was a ‘knock yer socks off’ type. Male Baikal Teal on Northcliffe. Panic! with insufficient oxygen reaching leg muscles I ran (OK stumbled) to the hide. Just as we arrived to join Brett, 2 Pinkfeet Geese came in ad spooked the dabblers- off they flew to Old Fall. Arrghhh! Another dash and thankfully, ‘scope up and BINGO!

Here’s a couple of shots. It will get discussed I am sure. Haven’t seen anything that suggest a 2cy male on it- though very tricky at this time of year. So for now male. It does have gaps/ feather damage of some sort on the right wing towards inner primaries and mid secondaries. Not sure what that means but I like the arrival style/timing with Wigeon.

Baikal Teal 7

.Baikal Teal 9Baikal Teal 8

Baikal Teal 2

Baikal Teal 1

Baikal Teal 5.Baikal Teal 4


About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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11 Responses to Baikal Teal – BOOM!

  1. Jim Middleton says:

    Sewerby Hall list Baikal Teal in their education pack. Just a thought…

  2. Dave Britton says:

    It’s worth remembering that I found an un-ringed female Baikal Teal at Scaling Dam Reservoir, North Yorkshire, on 21st May 2008 in the late morning. It stayed until dusk but was gone the next day. So far so good. The snag was that it was accompanied by a pair of colour-ringed Baikal Teal. Had it arrived on its own, a major twitch might have occurred. It should be noted that Scaling Dam is well placed to receive vagrant wildfowl being only 5 miles from the coast but has also had multiple records of obvious escaped wildfowl in recent years including Baikal Teal, Speckled Teal, Grey Teal, Wood Duck, Fulvous Whistling Duck, White-faced whistling Duck, Lesser Whistling Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Bar-headed Goose and Hooded Merganser. Presumably Flamborough Head has had no such problem history.

  3. Pete Smith says:

    The arrival of theBaikal Teal coincided with a large departure of wintering dabbling ducks, particularly Wigeon, in the Wakefield area. 92 Wigeon at Anglers CP on the14th April had dropped to 13 by the following morning. Similarly at Pugneys CP 46 Wigeon on the 14th had dropped to 8 by the following morning. It is conceivable that it could be the Tacumshin bird of early March migrating with Wigeon back to Russia in the favourable weather conditions prevailing that night. There doesn’t appear to be any immature body feathers so it may well be an adult male. However, smaller dabbling ducks are not as easy to age as say diving ducks.

    • Martin Garner says:

      Hi Pete

      very helpful data thank you. Wonder if other places with Wigeon noted similar exodus??


  4. Adrian Kettle says:

    I wonder whether there are actually signs of immaturity on the bird.
    Very pale belly, Dull leg colour, Very thin breast line, Scapulars may be slightly shorter than an adult also the undertail coverts are not wholly black with apale central area.
    Photos of an adult male in Holland in Feb 2010 are at
    The wildness of any of these birds will never be known for sure but accurate ageing and critical plumage examination are fun.
    This is my 3rd Baikal teal for britain the others being 1stw male at Minsmere & the juvenile male seen at Chigborough Essex.

    • Martin Garner says:

      HI Adrian

      Yes have been exploring the aging a little further here and with comments from Nial Moores in Korea. You make some good points. I have some shots fo 1st w and ad male in captivity and hope to do a follow up post. Do you have any open wing shots of the juv male you found?

      Cheers Martin

  5. Hi Martin, one unringed is in south central Sweden today, found yesterday the 23:th. No good photos as yet.

    • Martin Garner says:

      Thanks Christian. We think this is probably a 2cy male. Any photos of wing showing feather displacement, specula and face pattern of Swedish pattern might tell us if same bird or not.
      Cheers Martin

  6. Pingback: Baikal Teal at Flamborough. Further thoughts. | Birding Frontiers

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