|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Like the Harlequin Duck, this is basically an American bird which only gets included in European Guides because of its presence in Iceland. It closely resembles the familiar European Goldeneye but the white face patch of the male is longer, making a vertical crescent in a dark head which, at close range, has a blue, not green sheen. Also, the white markings on his scapulars appear as a line of 'portholes' in his otherwise dark mantle. The female is more problematic and has to be identified on head shape, particularly the way the forehead rises almost vertically from the exceptionally short, deep bill, making her face look more 'squashed in' than on our Goldeneye. Resident on lakes and rivers, nesting in nearby holes in rocks. |
An extremely rare vagrant with only one accepted British record - a male at Irvine in Scotland during November-December 1982. Ninety-five per cent of the European population breeds at one site, Lake Myvatn in Iceland, with most birds concentrated at the north-eastern end.
This is an immature male bird from this year's breeding programme at Slimbridge. The eyes are hypnotic.
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