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A Kind of Goose: July 27th, 1811

July 27, 2011

Widgeon

As the Resolution made its steady progress southward, reaching Lat 61 on July 26, and Lat 60, by the 29th, Scoresby observed more birds than before, including gulls, and what he called “a kind of … Goose a Brown Bird with a White spot on each wing”. Jackson wonders if this could be a Greylag goose, but I think it was more likely a Eurasian Widgeon, which is native to Iceland, Scandinavia, and the northern British Isles. The male bird displays a white shoulder spot in flight.

As the presence of birds suggested, “At 3PM descried land … [which] proved to be the black barren Cliffs of Farroe”. Scoresby records a “strange sail” in sight at dusk, and as night fell, the Enterprize “hoisted her Ancient” and left the convoy, heading for the Pentland Firth on her journey to Peterhead.

The image above comes from whatbird.com

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