Monday, 21 August 2017

Adult male Black Redstart in moult

Updates on this blog are becoming less frequent than a rarity in Oslo. There are many reasons for this with the latest being a recurrence of a trapped nerve leaving me a bit immobile but a good dose of anti-inflammatories seems to have helped. I still have little desire to spend time in front of the computer though which I see as a good sign (still in holiday mood) but also means that I have yet to finish going through holiday pictures and videos.

A lunch date today in the city centre with old colleagues (from those distant times when I had an office based career) gave me a chance to look for the Black Redstarts that have bred this year (Norway’s only pair?) and I also had the bazooka with me so was hoping for some good photos. I found the adult male but no youngsters. The male was actively feeding in a small area but I saw no sign that he was collecting food for youngsters in a second or even third brood. He was also in heavy moult and looking very tatty and unmale like. In fact, in many ways he looked like a young bird or female bird with the only give away that he was an adult male being the white wing patch on black flight feathers.  Searching online I haven’t manage to find other pictures in moult but the grey new feathers around the face do seem to agree with the written description of flesh plumage in BWP. The grey (and brown) tips wear off to reveal the black feathering that one sees in spring (worn) plumage.

Adult male Black Redstart (svartrødstjert) in active moult. The bird is aged and sexed due to the white wing patch on the black flight feathers. The gret and brown feathers on the head are new feathers that will wear down to be black 

here it looks like it has a loose secondary feather and is also missing greater coverts 
the brown feathers on the head and breast are very noticeable. Could they also be dirt?

I don't think dirt is the explanation though as here one can see that the different coloured feathers seem to be of different quality
surprisingly he often flew high up into trees

A landscape photo from Årnestangen a damp morning last week with a Marsh Harrier (sivhauk)

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