Saturday 5 March 2011

Two Yanks in Essex: Green-winged Teal at Connaught Water, and Rossi

Making a late start this morning, I diverted from my planned trip to Rainham based on news from Connaught Water: the Green-winged Teal first seen a couple of weeks ago was being reported again. On arrival, the bird was showing fairly well around the wooded islands at the north end of the lake. It’s a rather poorly marked individual, with the vertical white fore-flank stripes appearing rather diffuse and creamy, and at least a hint of horizontal pale bars above the flanks. These led to some suggestion of a hybrid origin when the bird was first found, but as the photos show, they’re very faint. On the plus side, the cream borders to the green head panel are much less prominent than on Teal, and the base colour on the breast was noticeably warmer toned, quite peachy. If I have time, I’ll do some research into Green-winged x European Teal hybrids, but for the moment I think this one’s OK.

Unless Paul sees it.


After this, I headed out east to replace the hat and gloves I lost in Vilnius, from Go Outdoors in Pitsea. For a moment or two, I wondered if my luck was in, as the pager announced news of ‘probable Slaty-backed Gull’ at, you guessed it, Pitsea. Despite being very close to home, this bird has completely given me the run around, and I’ve still not seen it after four or five attempts. And now… I’ve still not seen it. Plenty of large gulls loafing around on Vange Wick, viewed from the marina beyond Wat Tyler CP, but nothing of note.

Given that I hadn’t made a visit to see Rossi in 2011, I decided it would be rude not to pop in having got so close – and as usual, he posed pretty well for photos. Some sunshine would’ve been nice, but hey, there’s always tomorrow!


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