Sylvia communis - autumn

Common Whitethroat / Törnsångare

AGE - BEST CRITERIA:

In 1cy, moult contrasts are present in the wing, most often within the inner GC, and sometimes also in tertials and tail. Adult birds show a uniform and fresh plumage, but quite a few suspend their moult and retain single or several SS. Colour of iris is (often highly) supportive.
 
1cy: 
  • Moulted GC (often the 1-3 innermost) are slightly more dense, longer and show more vividly rufous edges that are more distinctly set of to the daker (blackish) centre than the unmoulted juvenile ones. The lattes ones are generally slightly more worn and a trifle paler (more buffish-rufous) in the edges, rather diffusely set of to the dark centre. Birds that have included no, or all, GC may be more difficult but are usually recognized by following the criteria mentioned below.
  • The colour of the iris in 1cy is dark olive-brown (often with a sightly darker brown internal ring).
  • A few birds include tertials or RR (often R1) and may show a moult contrast here.
  • Juvenile RR are generally slightly more narrow, more pointed and worn and have a more pale brownish hue with only diffusely paler tips, lacking the pure white pattern seen in adult.
  • The juvenile PC usually shows slightly looser texture and are often warmer brown (less grey) in the edges than adult, but differences are not always obvious.
  • The juvenile alula is generally slighly paler brown (less dark and glossy) with brown edges.
2cy+:
  • Whole plumage fresh, lacking moult contrasts. Note, however that some birds have suspended their complete moult and may show single or several unmoulted worn SS (or other feathers as well).
  • Adult post-breeding GC (as well as tertials) have a darker blackish centre that is more distinctly set of against the rufous edges.
  • The colour of the iris is paler, from pale olive-brown with a weak yellowish tone to brighter orange-brown. There is an average sexual difference with more males showing the warmer orange irises.
  • Adult RR are generally more fresh, more blunt tipped, shows a darker grey ground colour with pure white tips, distinctly set of.
  • Adult PC are generally more fresh and often, but not always, shows a paler greyish (less brown) edge than juveniles.
  • The adult alula feather is darker, more glossy and often shows a paler (buffish-grey to whitish) edge.
1cy August. A typical young bird showing moulted post-juvenile inner GC9-10 that are fresh, dense and show vividly rufous edges in rather sharp comtrast to the dark (blackish) centre. In contrast, the juvenile outer GC1-8 show slightly paler buffish-rufous edges, more diffusely set of to the dark grey centre. [1ES24983]
1cy August. A few young birds are slightly darker with little difference in the colour of GC edges between post-juvenile and juvenile feathers. Here, GC 9-10 are recognized as post-juvenile by the more dense struture and sharper contrast between the eadge and the dark centre than the juvenile GC1-6 (GC7 is missing). [1ET29939]
2cy+ (male) August, showing rather typical post-breeding GC with distinct pattern. Perhaps not seen here, but some birds exhibit inner GC that differ slightly in pattern (a 'false contrast'), and the structure of the feathers should therefor be examined. Note that this bird have suspended it's moult and still shows some worn pre-breeding LC and innermost alula. [1ET80074]
2cy+ September. All wing coverts and alula are fresh post-breeding. [1ET80166]
1cy August. The colour of the iris is dark olive-brown (often with a sightly darker brown internal ring). [1ES24983]
1cy August, showing variation in the iris. [1ET29939]
2cy+ August. The iris is paler olive-brown (with a weak yellowish tone), more commonly ound among females. [1ES23952]
2cy+ (male) August, showing a pale and warm orange-brown iris. [1ET80074]
1cy August. Rather typical juvenile tail with narrow and pale brownish RR with diffusely paler tips. [1ET29939]
1cy August. A few juveniles may show a slightly more difficult tails with broader and darker grey RR, but note that the pale tips are off-white and diffusely set of. [1ET29961]
2cy+ September. Adult RR are generally more fresh, more blunt tipped, shows a darker grey ground colour with pure white tips, distinctly set of. [1ET80074]
2cy+ August, showing variation in the RR. [1ET80286]
1cy August. A rather typical juvenile wing showing (still) fresh but brownish PP and SS. [1ET29939]
1cy August, showing variation in the PP and SS. [1ET29940]
2cy+ September. An adult bird showing suspended complete moult (two SS are still growing, and three central SS will be retained until the pre-breeding moult during winter). Compare the recently moulted, broad and dark, PP to the juveniles above. [1ET80166]
2cy+ September, showing suspended complete moult. This bird have retained innermost S6 and the central tertial. [1EV20402 ]
1cy August. Typical juvenile tertials, with broad rufous edges that are rather diffusly set of to the dark centre. [1ET29939]
1cy August, showing variation of juvenile tertials. [1ET80086]
 
2cy+ August. Adult post-breeding tertials are denser and have a more distinct pattern where the rufous edge is more sharply set of against the dark centre.[1ET80074]
2cy+ September, showing a moult contrast in the tertials where the central one is retained pre-breeding in contrast to the longest and shorest that both are fresh post-breeding. [1EV20402]
1cy August. Juvenile PC usually shows slightly looser texture and are often warmer brown (less grey) in the edges than adult, but differences are not always obvious. Note also the rather brownish alula with buff-brown edges. [1ET29940]
1cy August, showing variation (slightly paler edges) in the juvenile PC. Note also that alula is typically juvenile brownish, but show slightly paler edges than average. [1ES24983]
2cy+ August. Rather typical adult PC, with dense structure and slightly greyish edges. Not also the alula: The innermost is retained and worn while the outer two are fresh post-breeding showing a glosy dark centre and pale edges. [1ET80074]
2cy+ September, showing variation (less greyish edges) in adult PC. Alula are fresh post-breeding (glossy dark) with pale buff edges. [1EV20402]
More Sylvia communis:
Sexing autumn
Ageing spring
Sexing spring
Moult
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