I too have seen plenty of Barrow’s and I don’t see a problem here. There are pictures of male Barrow’s online sitting next to a female that looks a lot like the FF bird. You can find whatever you want on Google images and probably half of the IDs are botched on that anyway.
Anyway, I will let the bird police decide.
I, like Harry, do not see a Barrow’s Goldeneye in Jamie’s photos. It looks fine for Common to me, though hell, I rarely see either goldeneye any more (but I lived and birded in Seattle for 5 years, so Barrow’s used to be a neighborhood bird).
Jamie, I think you are being disingenuous. I mean, go ahead, argue for what you feel is right, but I don’t think you are playing fair. You have already submitted the photos to the Advanced ID facebook group and I lost count, but I think it was 12 commenters there, with lots of experience, said they thought it was a Common (and they made largely the same points Harry did about head and bill shape, among other points) and only one person (you) was persistently arguing that it wasn’t. So that is some bird police right there, and they decided.
And as for checking Google Images - there probably isn’t a better way to get a good sample of birds to evaluate head color on, except to check field guides, which Harry also did, he said. I don’t get why you’re being so dismissive of that except that you have convinced yourself and are aren’t really listening to other people’s arguments. I see the color difference you point out, but to me it doesn’t say “Barrow’s” it says “this one is colored slightly differently.” That could happen for lots of reasons.
I mean, head shape is hard to measure so we all have to rely on our “judgement” or “impression” or whatever, but when 14 people in good faith say “we just don’t see what you’re seeing…”
As it says in the internet meme, “change my mind” :-) And yes, I did skim through your blog post on it and evaluated the photos there.