Motacilla alba - autumn

White Wagtail / Sädesärla

AGE - BEST CRITERIA:

In 1cy, moult contrasts are always present in the wing, most often within GC, and regularly also in tertials and tail. Adult bird shows a uniform and fresh plumage with no moult contrasts, but note that many individuals show a sudden change of pattern on the inner 3 GC, creating an impression of a (false) contrast.
 
1cy: 
  • Unmoulted juvenile GC are already slightly worn, brownish with distinct and rather narrow white (or buffish-white) edges and tips, contrasting to fresh post-juvenile GC having a dark grey centre with more diffuse and broader grey to greyish-white edges and tips. In birds with no moulted GC the contrast is seen against the post-juvenile MC, and in birds with all moulted GC the contrast is seen towards the juvenile PC (may be somewhat more difficult to detect). 
  • Moult contrasts are often seen in tertials where the juvenile feathers show a brownish centre, narrower and whiter edges and are variably worn, in contrast to fresh post-juvenile feathers with darker blackish-grey centre and a broader and more diffuse grey edge.
  • Juvenile RR are generally slightly more pointed, worn and have a more brownish hue contrasting to any post-juvenile RR being more blackish, blunter and fresh. Note that a few 1cy may have moulted all RR.
  • The juvenile PC are usually brownish-grey, shows slightly looser texture and turnes more worn during the course of autumn compared to adult birds, but differences are not always obvious.
2cy+:
  • Whole plumage fresh, lacking moult contrasts.
  • Adult post-breeding GC have dark grey centre with slightly diffuse and broad grey to greyish-white edges and tips. Note that many individuals show a sudden change of pattern on the inner 3 GC, creating an impression of a (false) contrast.
  • Tertials are uniform with darker blackish-grey centre and a broader and more diffuse grey edge. Some individuals show a more brownish hue to the tertials, but still with darker blackish centre to the feathers.
  • PC are generally more fresh and with a more grey (less brown) basic colour than juveniles.
  • RR are generally more fresh and slightly blunt shaped in the tips.
1cy September. LC, MC and GC7-9 are post-juvenile, while rest of wing is juvenile. Note the moult contrast with unmoulted juvenile GC already slightly worn, brownish with distinct and rather narrow white (or buffish-white) edges and tips, contrasting to fresh post-juvenile GC7-9 having a dark grey centre with diffuse broad grey edges and tips. [1ET80133]
1cy August. LC, MC and GC4-10 (as well as the two inner tertials) are post-juvenile, in contrast to rest of wing. [1ET80054]
2cy+ September. Fresh and uniform adult wing showing lack of moult contrasts. Note the slightly differing pattern of the inner three GC8-10, creating a 'false contrast' (that may be more pronounced than here). [1ES25171]
2cy+ October. Fresh adult wing lacking any moult contrasts. [1ES79660]
1cy August. The two inner tertials are moulted post-juvenile feathers (same generation as the inner GC) while the longest tertial is still juvenile (like the SS). Juvenile tertials show a brownish centre, narrower and whiter edges and are variably worn, in contrast to fresh post-juvenile feathers with darker blackish-grey centre and a broader and more diffuse grey edge. [1ET80054]
1cy August. This individual have all three tertials unmoulted juvenile. [1ET80086]
2cy+ September. Adult tertials have a darker blackish-grey centre and a broader and more diffuse grey edge. [1ES25304]
2cy+ September, showing variation in tertial pattern (this individual being a bit more brownish). [1ET80247]
1cy August. Moulted post-juvenile R1 (both still growing) in contrast to the rest of the tail which is juvenile. The juvenile RR have slightly more pointed tips, and are more brownish worn. [1ET80054]
1cy August. Whole tail is moulted post-juvenile (and, thus, gives no clue concerning the age of the bird). [1ET80086]
2cy+ September. Adult RR are more blunt tipped and in better general condition. [1ET80416]
2cy+ August, showing variation in the RR. [1ET80286]
1cy August. Juvenile PC are usually brownish-grey, shows slightly looser texture and turnes more worn during the course of autumn compared to adult birds, but differences are not always obvious. [1ET80054]
1cy September, showing variation in the juvenile PC. [1ET80133]
2cy+ September. Adult PC are generally more fresh and with a more grey (less brown) basic colour than juveniles. [1ET80416]
2cy+ September, showing variation in adult PC. [1ET80286]
More Motacilla alba:
Sexing autumn
Ageing spring
Sexing spring
Moult
Ringers' DigiGuide main page
Ringers' DigiGuide is sponsored by:
[Not showing? Disable adblocker for this site.]
 

Ringers' DigiGuide - main page