Putative chestnut teal and three chestnut-breasted shelduck, Tip Lagoon Invercargill

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sjacques
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:28 pm

Putative chestnut teal and three chestnut-breasted shelduck, Tip Lagoon Invercargill

Postby sjacques » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:56 pm

Hi I'm Sean Jacques, I have been living in Bluff for the past month having just moved back over from Scotland. I am a very keen birder and have been paying a bit of attention to some of the local sites. At the tip lagoon this lunchtime three chestnut-breasted shelducks were immediately obvious in the middle of the pool. Two were females, and the third, less well marked bird was possibly an immature male? Image attached - the best I could manage of the three together.


Scanning through the large flock of shoveler and grey teal, a strikingly dark teal stood out. Overall plumage tone was dark chocolate brown, slightly warmer on the chest. Head was dark, looking 'hooded' rather than the 'capped' look of grey teal. Palest part of the bird was a small patch on the lower neck sides and throat. Eye was red. My brother Paul joined me and had good views of the bird; he saw the wing pattern as it flapped and noted a green speculum and white bar, similar pattern to grey teal. Looking at images on the net we feel the bird is a strong candidate for female chestnut teal - any views welcome!
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sjacques
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:28 pm

Re: Putative chestnut teal, Tip Lagoon Invercargill

Postby sjacques » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:20 pm

Re-visited the Tip Lagoon today (09/10), and had excellent views of the putative female chestnut teal at close range in better conditions. Have attached a side to side comparison with grey teal, and today noted the following features;

Size; slightly larger than nearby grey teal.
Irridescence; in strong light the chest and breast sides shone bronzy, the long folded tertials and top of the tail shone dark green.
Head shape; different to grey teal, appearing more angular and less rounded, peak of head in front of eye rather than behind eye as grey teal.

Other features noted as yesterday; overall strikingly dark compared to surrounding grey teal, dark cap and rear of head, grading through dusky face down to small pale area on neck.

Having looked through images from Australia, I strongly believe this is a chestnut teal, any comments welcome.
Chestnut vs Grey.JPG
Chestnut vs Grey.JPG (247.78 KiB) Viewed 750 times
sjacques
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:28 pm

Re: Putative chestnut teal and three chestnut-breasted shelduck, Tip Lagoon Invercargill

Postby sjacques » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:58 am

For comparison I have attached a picture from the internet of a female chestnut teal taken in Tasmania (website;https://www.hbw.com/ibc/photo/chestnut-teal-anas-castanea/female-swimming).

As you can see all plumage and structural features correspond to the tip lagoon bird.
female chestnut teal aussie.jpg
female chestnut teal aussie.jpg (107.27 KiB) Viewed 715 times
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RussCannings
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Re: Putative chestnut teal and three chestnut-breasted shelduck, Tip Lagoon Invercargill

Postby RussCannings » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:21 am

Hi Sean,

Looks like you're onto a winner! Well sleuthed. I doubt there would be many single female records of Chestnut Teal that are as well documented as this bird.

Russ C
Morrinsville, NZ
Colin Miskelly
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Re: Putative chestnut teal and three chestnut-breasted shelduck, Tip Lagoon Invercargill

Postby Colin Miskelly » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:47 am

Hi Sean

Great images and research here. The sighting is certainly worthy of submitting to the Records Appraisal Committee as an Unusual Bird Report. If you are new to the New Zealand birding scene, these processes may also be new to you. You can find more information (including the online submission form) here:

https://www.osnz.org.nz/rarebirds.htm

Cheers
Colin
Phil Rhodes
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Re: Putative chestnut teal and three chestnut-breasted shelduck, Tip Lagoon Invercargill

Postby Phil Rhodes » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:31 pm

Well spotted Sean / Paul - I would think this is a first sighting for Southland but as usual happy to be corrected. This may be the start of another bumper rarities season for the lagoon after the sightings we had last November.
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sav
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Re: Putative chestnut teal and three chestnut-breasted shelduck, Tip Lagoon Invercargill

Postby sav » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:10 pm

Hi all,

Just a word of caution. This would be as difficult as id problems get in NZ. Grey Teal are notoriously variable in plumage and structure.

I agree that this bird looks different to the norm, but it still has a very pale chin. The photo from Tassie looks exactly like a Grey Teal to me........

When you find the stunning drake Chestnut Teal swimming next to it things will get easier!

cheers
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
Steve Wood
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Re: Putative chestnut teal and three chestnut-breasted shelduck, Tip Lagoon Invercargill

Postby Steve Wood » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:56 pm

I think this might just be a good one, the best example yet I believe.
Attached an image of a Grey Teal taken recently for comparison in Nelson.
clearly a much paler bird than Sean 's. and also size wise, Sean's duck looks heavier which would fit for Chestnut. Teal 505-800g & Grey Teal 350-670g.
Grey Teal female  - nelson poo ponds Sept 2018.jpg
Grey Teal female - nelson poo ponds Sept 2018.jpg (210.33 KiB) Viewed 601 times
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RussCannings
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Re: Putative chestnut teal and three chestnut-breasted shelduck, Tip Lagoon Invercargill

Postby RussCannings » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:47 pm

As mentioned above I reckon it looks as good as it gets for a chestnut teal (short of deomonstrating attributes possessed by those with more more cloacally protuberance of course).

While it does have a pale throat it's the extent of dense dark markings in the cheek and dark chest (little contrast with the flanks) that does it for me and the chunkier size and slightly different head structure strengthens in the case. A feature that I haven't come across in field guides but sometimes stands out to me are the pale fringes to the fromt flanks/scap feathers---Wider and paler in Grey Teal; thinner and a bit more rufous-tinged in Chestnut (compare the photos above which I think helps make a case for the Taz bird as well).

Finally the centers to the flank feathers appear to be darker brown on average in Chestnut to me whereas Grey seems more pale brown-grey (warmer).

Hopefully it sticks around for further scrutiny.

Russ C
Morrinsville
Tim Barnard
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Location: Okere Falls

Re: Putative chestnut teal and three chestnut-breasted shelduck, Tip Lagoon Invercargill

Postby Tim Barnard » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:06 pm

I have to agree Russ ... this looks a great candidate, heavier, larger, darker ... well worth a UBR.
Cheers
Tim

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