Away from the Penwith valley, the rest of us headed out to Predannack (National Trust farm near Mullion) this morning to try for our first Skylarks of the winter. The fields were pretty quiet, so it's perhaps a bit early in the season, and pre-dawn drag-netting saw three birds slip under the net. We were slightly more successful mist-netting, though nine nets did still only produce four birds!
|A rather grainy dawn photo, but the colour difference in these birds is hopefully still apparent,|
with two rather grey birds (left)
This bird was an interesting aside though, as it had hints of pinky-colour coming through on the breast (suggesting a male), but an incredibly dull, grey head. So we might presume that this was a winter-plumage male, but the moulting wing, and in particular the worn state of the unmoulted inner secondaries (and very dull head), suggested this was an adult part-way through moult. So quite why an adult male Linnet would look quite so shabby is a mystery, but we presume this is a second-year bird, having had a dull first-summer plumage and, so far, a delayed moult of its head feathers.