Blue-winged Teal at Col Sam Smith Park: April 2021

Once again I arrived on site just before dawn. Today it was at Col Sam Smith Park. After several hours of walking, I still didn’t have a “new” bird for this spring and was heading back to my car. One last look at the wet area just to the east of the parking lot revealed a species that I seldom see: the Blue-winged Teal.

Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal

These little ducks are about 2/3 the size of a Mallard and are very shy. Try as I might, I couldn’t get very close.

Blue-winged Teal (male)
Blue-winged Teal

Blue-winged Teal are reasonably common on shallow marshy ponds and mudflats. They feed mostly by swimming with bill outstretched picking seed and plant material from the surface.

Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal (male)

TODAY’S TEST BIRD

At the conclusion of the post, I will identify it.

Other birds:

Song Sparrow
Black-crowned Night Heron
Mute Swan
Brown-headed Cowbird (male)
Brown-headed Cowbird (female)
Brown-headed Cowbird (male)
American Robin
Ring-billed Gull
Red-breasted Mergansers (male)
Mallards (male)
Long-tailed Duck (female)
Song Sparrow
American Goldfinch (male)
Song Sparrow
Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Mergansers
male Red-breasted Mergansers threatening lone female
male Red-breasted Mergansers threatening lone female
Buffleheads
Mute Swans
European Starlings
Red-winged Blackbird (female)
Tree Swallow
Song Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Tree Swallow
Common Grackle
Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow
Red-necked Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Hairy Woodpecker (female)
Song Sparrow
Double-crested Cormorants
American Robin
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Common Grackles
Red-necked Grebes
0Common Grackles
Brown-headed Cowbird (female)
Common Grackles
Red-winged Blackbird (female)

MAILBOX

NATURE POETRY

A flower is looking through the ground,
Blinking at the April weather;
Now a child has seen the flower:
Now they go and play together.     – Harold Monro (1879–1932)

TODAY’S TEST BIRD

This stocky, short-tailed bird with a blunted bill is a female House Sparrow. It has a plain drab crown unlike the male which has a striking black “bib”.

House Sparrow (female)

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Blue-winged Teal at Col Sam Smith Park: April 2021

  1. Patricia Lund

    You fooled me Miles with today’s “mystery bird”. I came up with some fancy answers never dreaming that you would display a very ordinary drab little House Sparrow with which to quiz us and make us scratch our heads. Haha.

    Reply
  2. Lisa Volkov

    Ha! A House Sparrow! Good one, Miles! That is often the ONLY bird I get to see, and I didn’t recognize it!
    These Blue-winged Teals are lovely, delightful ducks. I’m so glad you looked back! Thanks for the beautiful pictures of all the other birds and ducks, too! I walk early, but maybe not early enough, and I can’t wear my hearing aids with a mask. So I don’t get enough in the way of birds, walking in neighbourhoods (though I do get to hear Cardinals!) I sure am grateful to you for this. Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

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