Thursday, 1 December 2011


"It's all gone quiet." said Roobarb. "Too quiet." said Custard. So here's something to make a noise about after a 2 week lull in TEAL blogging:

All pics courtesy of Dave Leech

First seen in Jeff and Alison Kew's garden (easily the most nyger-rich spot in Thetford, if not the whole of East Anglia) on 23 November, caught and ringed by Dave and I at the Nunnery Lakes on 26 November.

Shame the rest of it wasn't as white as its head! See comment below as to why it should be described as leucistic (as opposed to a 'partial albino'), and for more information about plumage aberrations in birds, this detailed article in Dutch Birding.


  1. From previous discussions about white birds, it comes up that despite common usage there is no such thing as 'partial albino', as albino means a complete lack of pigment. There are also more options than just leucism, depending on the missing pigment(s). I don't know if there is a term that would universally be used to describe a bird with white patches. As the missing pigment is probably melanin it may be partial leucistic, but that tends to conjure up ideas of washed out birds.


  2. Can I point out that as a RSPB staff member, that the RSPB was on to this bird several days before the BTO got their hands on it!

    Jeff Kew
    (RSPB) Thetford