Ditch Ducks- Blue-winged Teal Edition

By josh • Nature, Wildlife • 17 Apr 2012

Blue-winged teals might be my favorite ducks.  These little dabblers arrive in Vermont in small numbers about this time of year and then leave early in the fall because of the distance of their migration.  I’ve never found them anywhere regularly, but I’ve seen them more than once on the flooded fields of Creek Road in Middlebury and the farm fields east of Cornwall Swamp WMA in Salisbury.  I found this pair in Pond Brook where it crosses Mountain Road in Monkton.  These were the first I’d seen this year (4/15), which brings me to 86 species for 2012.

Blue-winged Teals

Blue-winged Teals, Pond Brook, Canon 400mm f/5.6L at f/13, 1/200s, ISO 200

As far as the photos are concerned, I’m reasonably pleased with these given that I was leaning out the window of my “car blind”, sprawled across the passenger seat with the mini-birder snoring in the backseat.   We were on our way to Shelburne Pond for a walk in the woods but he couldn’t stay awake until we got there.  I decided to let him sleep while I looked for sandhill cranes- we dipped on the cranes but found this pair of teals instead.

Blue-winged Teals

Blue-winged Teals, Pond Brook, Canon 400mm f/5.6L at f/11, 1/200s, ISO 200

The white crescent and flank patch on the male are so reflective that it’s impossible to avoid overexposing them on a sunny day.  You can just barely see the cloudy blue coverts on the female.  Hopefully I’ll get a flight photo soon that will better demonstrate where the blue-winged teal gets its name.

Pond Brook, Monkton 

Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. Jim Phillips

    Your remarks about your mini-birder don’t suggest what an excellent birder he actually is (for one less than two years old). I suspect you’ll feature him at some point.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *