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Redstart at Flamborough, England (1 Viewer)

Brett Richards

Well-known member
United Kingdom
The bird in the attached photos was present at Flamborough on 17th & 18th September. The extent of white fringing to the remiges conjured up thoughts of samamisicus, but a study of the British Birds paper (BB 109:84-97) indicates otherwise.

The Flamborough bird is a male and has to be 1w because of the pattern of the forehead, lores and chin, but I can’t detect any moult in the greater coverts; however, the rectrices are worn, which supports its being 1w, as their rectrices are up to three months older than those of adults, which latter have a complete post-breeding moult. The possibility of an old female showing male characters came to mind, but the worn rectrices make this unlikely. If the bird were samamisicus, the white outer edge to the outermost one or two tertials & of the innermost secondary should expand at the base, and they do not. The bird is similar to the 1w nominate bird in plate 58 (attached) of the BB paper, but has broader fringing to at least the tertials and secondaries.

I did find the paper a little confusing. The comments on page 91 (attached) about the closed wing appearing uniform on 1w nominate seem puzzling when you look at Plate 58. Even the comments in the second paragraph don’t really come close.

My conclusion is that it is a 1w male nominate with exceptional white fringing to the remiges, but I would be pleased to hear any comments.



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