darker nominate iliacus Redwing?
For connoisseurs. I think Peter’s account and assessment stand alone and are spot-on. Crickey he knows the subject well enough. Fascinating to consider, that this location at least you can build a clear picture that so many of the Redwing occurring are nominate birds.
So the Northern Isles and NW locations remain premium for Icelandic birds. BUT we can still look and find the odd coburni in ‘the south’. We just gonna have to work at it!
Have a read:
I caught another 68 Redwings this morning (31st Oct) and have now ringed 860 this autumn. No more coburni’s, I think, but I did catch one that was a near contender this morning. It had a wing of 124mm and was a heavily marked bird but not quite dark chocolaty enough. The legs were quite brown but not as dark as the recent coburni. It is the sort of bird that needs its identity confirmed via DNA or having been ringed on the breeding grounds. If it is iliacus, which is what I think it is, it shows how well marked they can be and is the sort of bird that could pose a problem and just possibly overlaps with some coburni. It has quite well marked undertail coverts and I have been keeping my eye on the undertail coverts of all the iliacus just to see how much variation there is.
Best Wishes, Peter Alker
Bardsey Bird Obs.
One of those west coast locations that gets Icelandic coburni is the marvellous Bardsey Bird Observatory. Here a coburni trapped a couple of days ago (7th Nov).
I see a dark swarthy plumaged bird above, bit more yellowishness in the pale underpart plumage, broad dark feather centres to underparts that spread and to fill in the middle of the breast. My favourite. feature, the undertail coverts are less useful on this individual. But it helps us learn.
Back to a couple of my shots of nominate iliacus- to try to grasp/ process the differences. Love the big white lower breast and belly on these. Dead giveaway 🙂