AGE – BEST CRITERIA:
Moult contrasts are present in both 1cy and 2cy+. However, the extent of the moult is rather restricted and sine the juvenile feathers (e.g. GC and TT) are easily recognized, ageing of Spotted Flycatchers in autumn seldom renders any problem.
- Juvenile GC are easily reckognized by being rather fresh, and by having pale buffish edges that broadens to a paler tip. Most individuals show 0-1 inner post-juvenile moulted GC with somewhat darker and more glossy centre and very fresh olive-brown edges/tips.
- Juvenile TT are rather similar to juvenile GC, showing a brownish centre and broad warm buff edges widening at the tip. 1cy does usually not include any TT in the post-juvenile moult, but an odd moulted post-juvenile T is reckognized by being more fresh and dense, having a darker greyish centre and olive-brown edges (and lacking the wider pale tip).
- Juvenile PC are fresh, often showing narrow pale tips.
- Juvenlie RR are fresh and slightly more pointed than adult feathers. A few upper tail-coverts are often retained juvenile, showing distinct pale buff tips.
- GC are worn pre-breeding feathers (lacking fresh buff edges and wide pale tips), and some individuals show 1-2 inner moulted post-breeding GC with somewhat darker and more glossy centre and very fresh olive-brown edges/tips.
- Pre-breeding TT are worn brownish-grey, often lacking (worn off) pale edges. Many individuals have included some or all TT in the post-breeding moult. Such feathers are very fresh and show a dark greyish centre and olive-brown edges (and lacks the wider pale tip seen in juvenile TT).
- PC (pre-breeding) are rather worn.
- RR are usually uniform pre-breeding, but many are still in rather good codition (likely moulted during late winter). A few adult may have included 1-2 RR in the post-breeding moult.