Baikal Teal Anas formosa

A very rare vagrant to the UK from Asia. Records in Europe are tainted by the possibility that the birds involve escapees, but technological advances have allowed us to discover that some individuals have very probably been genuine vagrants. Stable-hydrogen isotope analysis allows scientists to analyse feathers and determine very roughly where in the world a feather was grown. Feathers taken from a bird shot in Denmark in 2005 and an old specimen shot in Essex (UK) in January 2006 had signatures consistent with growth in Siberia rather than in western Europe. That doesn't prove a natural origin but it is strongly indicative of such. An excellent article about this by Steve Votier, Gabriel Bowen and Jason Newton was published in British Birds 102: 697-699, now available online.

So far my only photos are certainly not of wild vagrants - they show a pairs of birds still in captivity.

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captive pair of Baikal Teals, Martin Mere (Lancashire, UK), 26th December 2014

 

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captive pair of Baikal Teals, Pensthorpe (Norfolk, UK), 9th March 2014