Belongs to: ducks

Garganey Anas querquedula

Also known as: summer teal, cricket teal

BoCC Amber list


Best time to see: late Mar to mid Oct

Key facts

Small migrant duck that is among Britain's rarest breeding birds

Breeds near fresh water on marshes and damp meadows with plenty of cover

Winters in equatorial Africa; most breed in Scandinavia but some stop off to breed in Britain and occasionally in Essex

Recognition

Male, brown head with bold white streak, grey flank and black-and-white upperparts; female speckled brown; 37 cm

Feeds by dabbling or up-ending in areas of shallow water, eating aquatic invertebrates and plants

Flight fast and direct

Lifecycle

When pursuing females, male gives a croaking call that sounds like a cricket chirping; courtship displays also on water

Female lines a space in wetland vegetation or tall grass with grass and down and lays late April to May

One brood of 10–11 creamy-buff eggs incubated by female, who also tends the ducklings

  • Main photo

Photo © Robin Chittenden