[Tweeters] Baikal Teal/Northern Pintail cross Vancouver Island, Tufted Duck Iona Island

Ken Lane ken.lane63 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 10 09:36:58 PDT 2014


Hey tweeters,
In conclusion to my post last night, Fanter, Casey and I started early
yesterday and easily found the Iona island Tufted Duck just after first
light before the ducks started feeding.

We then jumped the ferry and made it to Nanaimo early afternoon. We
searched for 3 or so hours starting at the farm fields where the duck was
seen saturday. Not many ducks and the "public" road was blocked by a do not
disturb the cows sign. We moved to the end of Raines rd and walked the
flats trying to get closer to the ducks. Tough viewing as the ducks were
hunkered down in the grass and quite spread out but the estuary is
beautiful and the sun was out! We talked to some local birders and they
told us that the "Baikal Teal" had returned the previous evening to the
farm fields so with a little time we decided to check the bay from one of
the spots Russell Canning had reported. We went to the end of Maki road to
the Living Forest Campground where we found the duck mixed with a large
flock of Northern Pintail, American Wigeon and Green-winged Teal.

After watching the duck for about an hour we also came the conclusion it
was probably a hybrid. The black dividing line on the face is quite thick
and the tail point is longer then the wing tips but not as long as a
Pintail's tail. The over all shape seemed more pintailish with a slightly
longer neck and heavier chest than the teal. Also the duck seemed to be
interested in the female pintails following them about and chasing off the
male pintails. When the flock separated into two groups, the Green-winged
Teal and Pintail and other dabblers, the hybrid stuck with the Pintails.
Here are our best digi photos although the details are not clear because of
the distance. A very interesting bird for sure and fun to observe and
study. Wondering if anyone has heard of these species crossing before.

Photos at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/98979722@N04/

Good Birding,
Ken Lane
Acme, Wa
ken.lane63 at gmail.com
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