[Tweeters] Re: Very strange wigeon -- Storm Wigeon!

Jason Hernandez jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 8 20:42:35 PST 2014

Thank you, Chris Rurik, for figuring it out!  So what I saw was a "storm wigeon," which, according to what I have managed to find on the Internet (mostly hunters' forums) is even rarer than the Eurasian.  (Of course, the Eurasian is only rare from the North American point of view; I have found pictures taken in Europe which show the one rare American Wigeon in a flock of Eurasians -- as much a find for them as the Eurasian is for us, I'm sure.)  A bird blog points out that it is not found in field guides, and the Wikipedia article on "American Wigeon" makes no mention of the "storm" phase.  I am curious as to where it got its really cool name!
Jason HernandezBremertonjason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com

Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2014 00:03:02 +0000 (UTC)
From: Jason Hernandez <jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com>
Subject: [Tweeters] Very strange wigeon
To: Tweet Ters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
    <1512057703.3902423.1417996982927.JavaMail.yahoo at jws10094.mail.ne1.yahoo.com>
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So I was at Evergreen Rotary Park in Bremerton, and saw that the American Wigeon flock has now swelled to about 450 or so (hard to count the furthest ones, especially in thick fog!).  The Eurasian pair is still among them, but in addition, now I saw, close-up, something most curious indeed -- two with very unusual head coloration.  On one, the normally white forehead was a bright cream, almost yellow, and so were the cheeks, clear and unstreaked; and on another, right next to him, the same bright cream forehead, the cheeks half bright cream, half the normal gray streaked with black, with a sharp demarcation between the two zones. 

I was so startled, I stood and stared for a long time, to make sure I wasn't seeing things!  But yes, those two were distinctive, as shown by the hundreds of others around them which all looked normal.  When I got home, i even got out the bird guides and looked up the Baikal Teal -- but no, that has a different head pattern; these, except for the unusual colors, had definitely a wigeon pattern, and anyway the rest of their bodies were typical American Wigeon.
I just scrolled through a whole lot of images of American Wigeons, and I did not see any resembling what I saw today -- a few perhaps had a bit of cream in the white foreheads, but definitely no clear, unstreaked, cream cheeks.  Unfortunately, I had no camera with me, but since I am sure there are other members in Bremerton, and Evergreen Park is a popular place, perhaps someone else can verify that I was not imagining things?
Jason HernandezBremertonjason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com

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