29 Apr 2015

More Greenland Wheatears

I found myself back on Hilbre again recently at first light and although only a small handful of birds were caught the total did include two male Greenland race Wheatears. These were interesting as one had undergone an extensive post juvenile moult and was a much brighter bird whereas the other hadn't renewed any feathers and was much duller.

Bird 1 (above) has moulted one of its tertials (possibly pre-breeding moult as its much brighter?) and its inner greater coverts whereas the 2nd bird (below) hasn't moulted any.

A female Blackcap was caught in the obs mist net and two Willow Warblers in one of the heligoland traps.

Interestingly John Elliot has pointed out that the pdf version of the ringers moult guide by Jenni & Winkler shows (2011) Wheatears having an extensive post juvenile moult of the greater coverts whereas the book (1994) shows a much more limited post juvenile moult. I wonder if this is a typo or as the result of new research.

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