Today I was searching for migrating seabird off the eastern part of Aarhus Harbour when a small group of Eiders invited for a check. Right away a 'Sailed Eider' was apparent. All the other Eiders were in their smart breeding plumage, whereas this one was yet in transitional plumage. However, the white scapular sails were very obvious when the bird was resting as seen in the photos, but just like I have seen before the white sails disappear when it started diving for food.
Other characters besides the white scapular sails indicating some degree of genetic borealis
influence are the head shape with a high and steep forehead; the feathered white area on the side of the bill is more pointed and lack the rounded tip, very narrow black feathering below the frontal bill lobes; narrow and rather pointes frontal lobes on the forehead, brightly coloured frontal lobes even though the bird is still in transitional plumage; long white tertials, and bill thin subterminally and with more dropping tip than molissima
|The bird is feeding and has here and in the the two photos below been photographed between dives, thus the scapular sails are not obvious. The white scapular sails were only visible when the bird was resting just as I noted on the bird I found in Hanstholm Harbour earlier this year.|