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I saw this duck about 200 feet off of the rocky coast of Fort Foster Park in Kittery, Maine today (2/29). The picture is horrible, but you can see a clean transition between a dark head/neck and light colored chest. The back also looks boldly patterned. The forehead is steeply sloped. The color pattern suggests common merganser but the head and bill shape are all wrong. I feel like I can rule out other ducks with similar color patterns (goldeneye, pintail, shoveler). I appreciate your input!

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I brightened the image. The head shape matches Common Goldeneye. And on the brightened image, I think I can see a slight cheek patch and golden eye..

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Edited by Jefferson Shank

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It moved a little bit, but not in a way that was helpful for IDing it! I attached another photo but I doubt it'll be of any help.

I ruled out eider because of the head and bill shape, but the color pattern certainly makes it a possibility.

 

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The head shape is fine for Eider

Not really... The bird on the picture has a much steeper forehead than the slant of the common eider and the bill shape of the common eider is different too.

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Thank you both for you input. @Jefferson Shank, genius idea of brightening the image! I hadn't thought to do that. I lean towards goldeneye over eider because I can't get past the slope of the forehead and shape of the bill. It's a strange combination of ducks of ducks to be deciding between. But I had already seen both species in the general area today, so I can deal with it. I was sort of hoping someone would suggest shelduck!

Thanks again,

Brett

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6 minutes ago, Brett H said:

Thank you both for you input. @Jefferson Shank, genius idea of brightening the image! I hadn't thought to do that. I lean towards goldeneye over eider because I can't get past the slope of the forehead and shape of the bill. It's a strange combination of ducks of ducks to be deciding between. But I had already seen both species in the general area today, so I can deal with it. I was sort of hoping someone would suggest shelduck!

Thanks again,

Brett

Problem is it is 100% a Common Eider 

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Brett H said:

It moved a little bit, but not in a way that was helpful for IDing it!

It moved enough to show it wasn't a washed-out stray decoy.  As@Kevin said, "Never mind".

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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