13 February 2009

Look at each other and say BLARE

The first-winter male Black Redstart showed reasonably well at Sudbrook this morning. You can't see all the detail in this pic, but it has rather obvious moult contrasts in the greater coverts and tertials, and a much less obvious one in the medians. A few median coverts, the outer three greater coverts, the longest tertial and all the alula, primary coverts, secondaries and primaries are retained juvenile feathers; the shorter two tertials, the six inner greater coverts, most of the medians and all the lessers/marginals are moulted adult type feathers. The fact it has broad white edges to the replaced tertials makes for easy sexing (many 1st-winter males don't show this).

Following success at Sudders, I popped along to the reserve where both the female Marsh Harrier and the stonking male Hen Harrier showed rather well.

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