By the way, I was not able to find the Common Teal yesterday morning.
The teal numbers were way down from a few days ago (about 15 instead
of close to 80), but a lot of water had opened up on the east end
where there is a lot of vegetation, and a lot of the dabblers were in
there, so I could easily have missed it.  I will try to check later
today and will report if I refind it.  Not too many other new ducks,
either.  I have seen a Tundra Swan on and off at Dryden Lake, and I
saw a single TREE SWALLOW there yesterday.

This morning we had 7 FOX SPARROWS under the feeders, digging little
holes in the snow which the other sparrows, Song and American Tree,
were taking over occasionally.

Jay McGowan
Beam Hill (for a few more weeks)
Dryden, NY

On Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 10:51 AM, Jay McGowan <> wrote:
> The teal was still there when I left at 9:45.  All the ducks took
> flight shortly after I posted, but luckily almost all of them settled
> in again after a few minutes.  When I left, the best viewing was from
> Rt. 38 at Hart Road, where you can pull off on the north side or park
> on Hart Road and scope from there.  Most of the birds were along the
> shore in the open water there, though when I first found it, the
> majority of the birds were closer to George Road.  In the afternoon
> when the light has shifted, viewing might be better from George Road.
> As I mentioned before, Common Teal is currently considered a
> subspecies of Green-winged Teal, but it is still a very rare bird
> around here and could well be split before long.  They are common in
> the Old World.  I have found this form twice before at George Road,
> first on 5 March 2004, when the birds  was present for a few days and
> then refound (presumably the same bird?) on April 25; then I found one
> there again on 27 March 2007.
> Although it might not stand out if you're not looking for it, this
> subspecies is pretty distinctive.  The most obvious character is that
> instead of having the small white vertical shoulder bar of our
> American subspecies, it has a long, bold horizontal white bar along
> the side where the wing folds.  American Green-wingeds can show some
> white in this area too, but it is never as bold as on Eurasian (and
> Eurasian lacks the vertical shoulder bar.)  Other less obvious
> characters include bolder pale edges on the face (the green mask has
> bright gold edges) and a white (not buff) wing-stripe (haven't seen
> today's bird in flight yet.)
> Here are a few pictures I got this morning.  No matter where you look
> from the ducks are a little distant, so they're not great, but you can
> get a good sense of it (and even compare with some Americans in some
> shots.)  Scroll on from this photo to see more.
> Other new arrivals at George Road were a male Bufflehead and a second
> female Redhead.
> I will post updates in the coming days if this bird sticks around.
> Good luck if you try for it!
> Jay McGowan
> Dryden, NY


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