|Drake Blue-winged Teal ©Tom Tarpey|
Blue-winged Teal are normally slow to moult out of eclipse plumage and generally the drakes don't appear in full plumage until November. This bird has well advanced head feather moult. The body feathers generally seem to be still in eclipse mode however there are some signs of the white thigh patches starting to emerge.
While I was looking at the Teal a female/juvenile/type Garganey came into view. Tony Mee and I had seen what appeared to be two birds in similar plumage flying around the site about ten days earlier but we didn't get a chance to view them on the water. This bird looks like a possible juvenile bird. It is noticeably different to the adult female bird that I saw there the following evening (4/9/13) in the company of an eclipse male. This bird appears buffer in tone and with a less pronounced head pattern than the adult female. All of these sightings point to the likelihood that the pair may have bred successfully at Coonagh this summer.
Garganey ©Tom Tarpey
Going back to Charleville, the adult birds there were looking the worst for ware after the breeding season, whereas the juvenile birds were looking much fresher.
Adult Chiffchaff ©Tom Tarpey
Juvenile Willow Warbler ©Tom Tarpey