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Thread: Cinnamon Teal, Mottled Duck, Bald Eagles - John Bunker Sands Wetland 10/7

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    Default Cinnamon Teal, Mottled Duck, Bald Eagles - John Bunker Sands Wetland 10/7

    I had a nice day birding and photographing at John Bunker Sands Wetland Center in Kaufman County earlier this month on October 7. It has very dark and gray most of the morning, almost too dark for photography. My auto ISO setting was regularly bumping me up to the 2000's and 3000's so some of these images are pretty noisy. Only as I was leaving in the afternoon did the sun finally break fully through the clouds.

    Identifying a Cinnamon Teal in North Central Texas during fall migration has traditionally been very difficult task since the males along with the very similar Blue-winged Teal retain their female-like eclipse plumage well into late fall and early winter. I have first seen full breeding plumage males in our region for the winter period only after Christmas in late December and early January. It has been even more difficult to convince anyone of your sighting when you did see one. Some hunting buddies and I provided Warren Pulich with the forty teal heads taken during the September early teal season which he mentions in his book. I was sure we had at least one or two Cinnamon Teal among the group but he-who-wielded-the-calipers was not buying it. Pulich rejected almost all fall sightings of this duck absent specimens or photos. So, Cinnamon Teal has always been considered casual or very rare in our area for fall migration.

    This image of a male Cinnamon Teal is an extreme crop taken from an image like the one below of a large flock of several duck species taking
    flight. The teal was only noticed well after the fact while pixel-peeping the image during post processing. The teal seems to have acquired most
    of its cinnamon body plumage but still has a female-like look to its head. For all I know this might be the first photographic evidence of a fall
    Cinnamon Teal for NCTX:
    CINNAMON TEAL 11 by k.nanney, on Flickr

    JOHN BUNKER SANDS 17 by k.nanney, on Flickr

    Most of the many male Blue-winged Teal, such as this one, spotted during the day still retained their female-like eclipse plumage. Only a handful among
    hundreds where seen to have begun molting into their characteristic white crescent mark in front of the eye:
    BLUE-WINGED TEAL 41 by k.nanney, on Flickr

    It's been a good long while since I saw a Mottled Duck in North Central Texas so I was happy to see two to four pairs flying over the marsh during the course of the day:
    MOTTLED DUCK 4 by k.nanney, on Flickr

    MOTTLED DUCK 6 by k.nanney, on Flickr

    The Bald Eagle pair has returned to their traditional nesting site on the power pylon at the preserve:
    BALD EAGLE 28 by k.nanney, on Flickr

    BALD EAGLE 25 by k.nanney, on Flickr

    Great Egret:
    GREAT EGRET 48 by k.nanney, on Flickr

    Tricolored Heron:
    TRICOLORED HERON 4 by k.nanney, on Flickr

    Immature Little Blue Heron:
    LITTLE BLUE HERON 12 by k.nanney, on Flickr

    Many more images from the day including some nice dragonfly and butterfly shots can be found on my Flickr page at the link below. Watch especially for the submerged fishing
    spider captured by accident while photographing a damselfly (Rambur's Forktail 14 & Fishing Spider 1).

    Thanks for viewing.
    Last edited by Y Cymry; 11-01-2017 at 10:36 PM.

    ...and they will see teal, blue-winged, green-winged, shelldrakes, whistlers, black ducks, ospreys, and many other wild and noble sights before night, such as they who sit in parlors never dream of. H. D. Thoreau - A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

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