First of all, I would like to wish a very happy new year to everyone. I hope 2013 will bring you many new interesting birds!
I would like to sound your expertise on the following photo of a mystery duck – it was taken yesterday (January 13, 2013) on Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada. For the most part, it looks like a female Common Goldeneye (COGO) except for the eye, which is too dark (although that could be a trick of the light), and the bill, which is completely dark and is shaped like slightly bigger version of a male COGO’s. Is this some weird hybrid (we get plenty of those in this area) or something else completely? Ideas, anyone? And take a look at the second photo, which I have included for purposes of comparison: this is most clearly a female COGO (with a female Mallard in the foreground).
BTW, bonus marks to anyone who can guess what the duck in the background of the Mystery Duck. I’ll give you a clue: it’s a female!