Today, after doing some scouting for the Concord CBC (which is now on hold after finding my territory all ice and deep water), I headed over to the Charles for a few minutes. It was on the quiet side (no mergansers, only 1 ring-neck) but the first goldeneye of the winter had arrived. Interestingly, the female had an entirely pale bill. With a bunch of Barrow’s reported lately (including one at Fresh Pond), I got excited for a couple seconds, but it was shaped more like a Common.
Note that the head is slicked down a bit in the first photo.
Another update: I’ve posted 3 more photos, with a second bird for comparison.
Interestingly, I had a very similar bird here a couple years ago (January 2005). Two photos of that one are below.
The previous one seems a bit more intermediate in shape, although I’m not sure whether that means anything. If you have any feedback on these birds, I’d like to hear it.