One of my favourite ducks on our quarry list are teal, and although small in stature they more than make up for this in their aerial ability. None of our other duck, residential or migratory, have that explosive turn of speed once disturbed. Although they breed here, they do so in relatively small numbers, probably a couple of hundred pairs or so and mainly confined to the north-west of our wee Isle. That said, I have, on occasion, come across small family groups hereabouts from late August onwards, which I’m pretty sure must have bred locally.
From early September onwards, depending on weather conditions in Scandinavia and other northern climes, winter migrants will flock to our shores to overwinter. They are normally the first of our migrants to arrive and, probably due to their smaller size, are more susceptible to extremes of weather. One can almost tell what the weather is like further north by what numbers arrive and the timing of such arrivals.
I am always quite amused by game shooters hereabouts and their attitude to teal. While some travel far and wide to locate these wonderful aerobatic ducks, others are quite nonplussed, preferring their larger cousins at every opportunity.
I for one will always be a fan, and any night spent in their company is always eventful and exciting. What better way to spend a winter’s evening than nestled among some reeds awaiting that tell-tale pipping which signifies that the first battalions are on the way. Once the pipping stops, ready your gun for within seconds they will fill the sky all around before departing once again with even greater gusto.
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RSPB gives mixed message on shooting
Having recently attended the RSPB’s virtual AGM, Conor O’Gorman discusses the outcome of the charity’s year-long review of game bird shooting
Causeway for concern
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Through a purple patch
The Garrows Estate is taking a conservation-focused approach to restoring the wildlife populations and biodiversity on the Scottish heather moorland.
When the wheels fall off
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Beaches, books & bad behaviour!
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Using the Stop whistle
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The humble teal
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CALL OF THE WILD
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A yen for the Fens
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PADDLE THE DESERT
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ARCTIC TORTURE TEST
Driving the 2020 Alcan 5000 Winter Rally in a ’20 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4
Solo race to the Arctic
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MY MID-LIFE CRISIS AS A RUSSIAN SAILOR
For a book project about 16th-century polar explorer William Barents, ANDREA PITZER needed to reach the remote Arctic island where he and his men came to grief. She booked passage on an expeditionary boat out of Murmansk, then headed north on a trip marked by unforgettable scenery,unexpected loss, and wild magic that changed her life.
WINTER AT 66° N
AN ORDINARY BOAT CAN ENABLE EXTRAORDINARY THINGS.SKIER AND SAILOR JUHO KARHU HAS SPENT TWO WINTERS IN THE ARCTIC CIRCLE ON BOARD HIS BENETEAU IDYLLE.
All From Camp
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