Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Sunday 11th March
Just when I thought I'd put Common Eiders to bed, at least for a while, this happens. I'm not going to go all McKinney on you, but what the b***** f****** p****** b****** h*** b******* is that??

Three male Common Eiders on the sea. One a 'conventional' green-grey-billed bird (actually in the minority around here). Another a yellow-billed 'fake-borealis' jobby. Third one, has a bright yellow bill, with a paler whitish washed-out nail, more white coming up the crown so it looked white-topped, and a weird head-bill profile that was almost convex and lacked the 'step' seen on other birds (step on other birds shown in the smaller diagram). Weirder still, the 'pointy' processes at the top of the bill were all rounded, recalling dresseri, although of course it wasn't dresseri. The green neck patches did not even think about the fleeting possibility of starting to encroach under the eyes.

1 comment:

JH said...

Could it have any Icelandic connections, as shown here, or is Scotland really a haven of Eider variability?