The Teal by Matthieu Guillemain & Johan Elmberg
Published by T & AD Poyser October 2014
Hard back price £55.00 320 pages
ISBN 978 1 4729 0850 6
This is yet another great edition to the Poyser series full of great facts about the ducks as the book is about the Common Teal and the Green winged Teal without separating the text. Many facts point to a general understanding of the ducks but with a real question of further information need on a duck which hides away from preying eyes especially in the breeding season. I was amazed how few breed in Britain having found breeding in several areas of Cumbria especially on the mosses. Experiments with pike show a decline in ducklings on larger waters while shallow vegetated pools are preferred in the breeding season especially on beaver dams. So the population of beavers can play a big part in their success or failure. The Teal is definitely a duck that needs quiet areas also in winter as shown especially on new bird reserves causing dramatic increases in their numbers. Rod fishing has shown declines on many waters when anglers move in. As a small duck lead shot in the gizzard has a saddening end to their lives and a map showing where lead has been banned [like the UK!] does not go further to show that the majority of estates in the UK still use lead shot over water! The transport of seed of plants to new water is a bonus for the duck itself adding new food. I really enjoyed this book especially as it is a special duck to see in numbers with the added bonus of a Green wing thrown in on the Solway!