AGE – BEST CRITERIA:
In 1cy, moult contrasts are generally present in GC (but may be difficult to detect, esp. if only GC10 is moulted) and often also in TT and tail. In 2cy+ the whole plumage is fresh and uniform, including wing and tail. Colour of iris is often helpful, but some adult seem to retain a rather cold brown-grey colour, difficult to separate from 1cy.
- Most individuals show 2-5 inner post-juvenile moulted GC with darker and more glossy centre and slightly more olive green egdes in contrast to the juvenile outer GC with somewhat buffish-green (or brownish-green) edges. Contrast between juvenile GC and post-juvenile MC not always easy to see.
- Juvenile RR are somewhat narrower, show more pointed tips and are generally of less good quality (less dense, slightly paler brown and progressively more worn during autumn) than adult. Many 1cy include central R1 (or sometimes other RR) in the post-juvenile moult, contrasting to the still juvenile RR.
- Many 1cy also include single (or all) TT in the post-juvenile moult, showing a slightly darker centre and brighter green edges than juvenile ones. A few 1cy also show one or two moulted inner SS.
- Juvenlie PC are not always easy to separate from adult ones (esp. not during early autumn), but generally shows a looser and less dense texture, and get slightly more worn as autumn progresses.
- Iris coloured in cold and dark grey.
- Whole wing is fresh and uniform, lacking moult contrasts. GC, TT and PC are fresh with dark centre and olive green edges and has generally a denser texture than juveniles.
- RR (as well as PP and SS) are uniformly fresh and dark, often showing broader feathers than in juvenile.
- Iris is generally slightly warmer brown-grey (but some seem to remain slightly colder, difficult to tell from 1cy).