AGE – BEST CRITERIA:
In 1cy, moult contrast is present in GC, most often in the central or inner part of the arm. Exceptionally, all or no GC may be included, and a contrast is then seen towards the juvenile PC or towards the post-juvenile MC. Birds with few moulted GC may also retain single juvenile MC or LC. Adult birds show a uniform and freshly moulted plumage.
- Most birds include 3-6 inner GC in the post-juvenile moult. Juvenile outer GC are usually slightly more worn, paler brown and shorter than post-juvenile ones. The pale edges and tips are rather variable but in general the juvenile feather shows a more distinct whitish outer edge that often (but not always) reaches the tip and widens along the shaft compared to post-juvenile ones with outer edges in deeper buff, often not reaching the shaft in the tip.
- Juvenile RR are generally slightly more worn, narrow and more pointed, but difficult birds are sometimes seen. The structure is often helpful, with the juvenile feathers being slightly less dense, less glossy and somewhat paler brownish.
- Juvenile TT are generally slightly more worn and contrast to post-juvenile inner GC (or to a single moulted adjacent T).
- Juvenile PC are often slightly narrower, less dense and more loose/frayed than in adult, but difference is not always obvious.
- Whole plumage fresh, lacking moult contrasts.
- GC are rather fresh, dense and often broad with diffuse buff edges.
- RR are generally slightly broader, more blunt tipped and often in better condition.
- PC are slightly more broad, dense and crisp fresh.