For 2017 The One Stop Nature Shop Blog is going to feature some of Norfolk's most iconic species and where and when to find them.
To kick off we have the Eurasian or Common Teal.
The Teal is Europe's smallest Duck species at around half the size of the Mallard. This dainty and delicate species is widespread throughout winter on the Norfolk coast and can be easily seen in the tidal pools and creaks of the coast. Some of the best spots to catch up with Teal are Titchwell, Thornham, Burnham Overy Staithe and Holkham.
Male - Largely uniform grey with a variety of markings across the body, from speckling on the chest to striped markings on the flank and wings. The tail is white with a black border, although this white area can appear yellow. There is also a white stripe across the wing. Finally, the head is a mixture of a rich brown-red with a large velvet green patch across the eye and back of the neck. In flight they are fast and agile and appear compact.
Female - As is often the case with Duck species the female Teal is rather drab compared to the male. It is uniform brown with paler highlighting to the edges of feathers which do stand out. The only real colours of note are a white patch on the tail and a green patch on the wing.