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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Common Teal

Hebrides bird sightings - Teal
Adult male Common Teal has horizontal white stripe,
Green-winged Teal has vertical white stripe

Common Teal

(Eurasian Teal, Teal)

Anas crecca

Gaelic: Crann-lach, Lach-bheag

Photography © Terry Fountain
South Uist - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
14th January, 2008

 

Our Teal photographs

Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
with common Teal and Garganey

 

  • Common Teal (Eurasian Teal, Teal)
  • Anas crecca
  • Gaelic: Crann-lach, Lach-bheag
  • UK: Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor (See anytime, but mostly in winter on wetlands, coastal & inland)
  • UK: 1,600-2,800 pairs. AMBER LIST due to large European wintering population 197,000 birds RSPB
  • WI: Uncommon breeder (recorded in low numbers each year), fairly common winter visitor (occurs in small numbers)
  • Breeds: Nests on ground, near water, under cover. 2 clutches of 8-11 eggs. Northern moors, marshes that have tallish vegetation near edge. Northernmost Europe, Asia
  • Winters: Strongly migratory - mostly south of breeding range to Africa, Asia. (Mild parts of Europe breeding/winter ranges overlap - eg in UK small population breed & large numbers arrive from Siberia and the Baltic in winter). Gregarious out of breeding season - forms large flocks on wetlands
  • Habitat: Machair lochs, lakes, marshes, ponds, shallow streams, sheltered wetlands (with some taller vegetation)
  • Diet: Omnivorous. Feeds mostly by dabbling in shallow water for plant material & insects. Also grazing. Feeds mostly at night
  • Small dabbling duck. Breeding male grey flanks & back. Yellow tail with black edges. White-edged green wing patch (speculum) Spotted chest. Chestnut head with narrow buff lines and broad green eye-patch. Horizontal white shoulder stripe. .
    Females mottled light-brown, & similar to female Mallard. Non-breeding male looks similar to female. Flocksin flight resemble waders. Almost vertical take-off
  • Typical lifespan 3yrs. Max recorded lifespan 18yrs
  • Listen to a Teal (RSPB site) Males gentle piping whistle. Female a feeble "quack".
  • Similar birds: Mallard, Garganey

 

 

Eurasian Teal records in the Western Isles

Uncommon breeder (recorded in low numbers each year), fairly common winter visitor (occurs in small numbers)

Wintering grounds include
Machair lochs - like loch Stiapabhat in Ness
Broadbay near Stornoway (and all along that part of the coast)
East Loch Roag beside the Callanish Tea Rooms


On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the Eurasian Teal is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)

 

 

Male and female ducks and their collective nouns

Collective nouns for teal: A spring, string, coil or a diving of teal.
The name spring describes how Teals take flight almost vertically.

Some people use the word duck only for an adult female and drake for an adult male whilst others say hen and drake.

Waterfowl collective nouns (From WIKI):
waterfowl (on water) A raft
waterfowl A bunch of waterfowl
waterfowl (less than 30) A knob
ducks, swimming A paddling of ducks
waterfowl A plump
ducks, idle in water A raft of ducks
ducks, diving A dopping of ducks
ducks, on ground A badelynge of ducks
ducks, flying A flight, plump, or team of ducks
ducks A brace, bunch, flock, skein, sord, string, flush

 

Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section


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