AGE – BEST CRITERIA:
In 1cy, whole plumage is fresh and shows pale tips/fringes and dark subteminal barring on coverts, TT and RR. Adult shows worn wing and tail with no or only weak dark subterminal barring on coverts, TT and RR. Moult contrasts are present (but variably positioned) in both age classes.
- Whole wing is fresh. Signs of wear starts to show during mid or late autumn.
- Juvenile LC, MC and GC shows pale tips/fringes and dark subteminal barring. The same pattern is usually present in the TT, but in some birds the subterminal barring is very weak or even missing (see further under Sexing).
- RR are fresh and shows pale tips with variably dark subterminal barring.
- Whole wing is worn, except for a variable number of freshly moulted LC, MC and sometimes single TT.
- LC, MC, GC and TT shows no (or only weak) dark subteminal barring.
- RR in adult male shows striking black and white pattern. RR of adult female are worn with no (or only weak) dark subteminal barring. A few birds may show moult contrast in the tail with fresh post-breeding RR.