Photo of the Week: 18 December 2023-1 January 2024


Eurasian Teal by Carl Bovis



Watching displaying wildfowl is always entertaining and few species are more enjoyable to observe than Eurasian Teal. This small dabbling duck's soft whistling call can carry some distance in the right conditions and doesn't let up as numerous males gather together to court the nearby females. As such, courtship is often heard before it is seen, but when these dainty birds come in to view, the show really starts. Males busily compete with one another, performing a 'water dance', which sees them twisting, turning and rearing themselves up – as beautifully captured in the latest POTW winner by Carl Bovis. Taken in soft winter light, Carl's photo shows a male Eurasian Teal in all its finery, depicting the beautiful plumage, from the russet-and-green head to the vermiculated flanks and, of course, the teal speculum. It's an image the conjures up the evocative sounds given by the species, and Carl has caught this individual in a perfect pose. Congratulations!


Other notable images


Black-throated Thrush, Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire (Lee Johnson).

Woodpigeon, Ellon, Aberdeenshire (Ron Macdonald).

Waxwing, Hassop, Derbyshire (Glyn Sellors).

Waxwing, Barton-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire (Graham Catley).

Waxwing, Sheffield, South Yorkshire (Tom Hines).

Black Redstart, Nerja, Andalucia (Alex Montacute).

Shore Lark, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland (Fozzy).

Long-tailed Tit, St Aidan's RSPB (Swillington Ings), West Yorkshire (David A Johnston).

Smew, Broadwood Loch, Clyde (Chris Barlow).

Common Crane, undisclosed site, Suffolk (Jim Mountain).

Great Northern Diver, Bredon's Hardwick, Worcestershire (Tim Salkeld).

Eurasian Bittern, Lee Valley CP, Hertfordshire (Robin Lee).

Short-eared Owl, Bear Run Mine, Sullivan County, Indiana (Steve Bell).

Eurasian Sparrowhawk, undisclosed site, Dumfries & Galloway (Steven Fryer).

Written by: BirdGuides