A weird immature male Goldeneye

I found this bird early February at Valley Memorial Park in Hillsboro, OR, where is has been ever since.

goldeneye2.jpg

goldeneye1.jpg 

I misid’ed this bird for several weeks as a female Common Goldeneye (as I never had a scope view of the bird) until Lars Norgren suggested Barrow’s. This had me run back to the park with a scope. In an hour of watching the bird near sunset I never had the impression that this bird could be a Common. The field mark’s I noted:

– Head shape was a dead ringer for Barrow’s. Bill was on the large end of the spectrum for Barrow’s

– A limited amount of white (not visible on the horrible pictures) seemed to come up above the eye suggesting Barrow’s

– The white wing patches looked like an emerging male breeding plumage pattern of Barrow’s. Both the solid wing patch in the rear and the dotted white wing patch seemed to be present.

Since then it was suggested by Paul Sullivan that bill and head shape would make this a Common.  Without seeing the bird, David Irons suggested a possible hybrid. A subsequent visit back to the park had me even more confused. At one end of the pond it looked like a Barrow’s, at the other end like a Common.

Infinitely better pictures (taken by Scott Carpenter) can be obtained http://picasaweb.google.com/slcarpenter/Goldeneye.

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