This morning I planned a short visit to the farm in order to have a look at the recent management that has been taking place in the woodland. However, I didn't really achieve that objective, as on arrival I noticed a small flock of ducks that included a drake Shoveler and drake Gadwall. On checking through the small flock of Teal, I was very pleased to locate a drake Green-winged Teal amongst them. This species is closely related to Common Teal but is actually native to North America. It has become an increasingly regular visitor to the UK, but remains an unusual bird to come across with annual totals across the UK of less than 50 individuals. In a more local context it remains a rare visitor and it has only appeared in the Scarborough Birders recording area on one previous occasion, although that occasion was in November 1851!,There are a couple of more recent sightings from Filey, but it is clearly rare hereabouts!
Although not great pics, the record shots below depict the bird (2nd from left and with a drake Common Teal to the right in the first photo). For those struggling to see much difference from a Common Teal, notice that the Green-winged Teal has a vertical white line on the breast sides rather than the horizontal white long along the body (actually the folded wing) of the Common Teal. Note also that the Common Teal has more obvious buff lines outlining the green on the head than the Green-winged Teal. Disappointingly it flew off towards Wykeham Lakes in the early afternoon, but if it reappears on the farm then we will try to arrange access for interested people to come and visit.
Other birds on site this morning included a White Wagtail - the first of the spring here - two Oystercatchers, two Shelduck and the first territorial Curlew I have seen on site this year. An excellent start to the spring!