Winter male Scarlet Tanagers are yellow-green with black wings and tail. In fall, most have already made the transition, but a few (like yours) haven't quite finished. Nature is organized in gradients and nowhere is this more evident than in molts. Field guides seldom show these gradients, I guess to save space/money???
Molt migration is a fairly common phenomenon. For instance, Golden Plovers stop halfway to Alaska to complete molt every May, just as many Black-bellied Plovers show up here in fall still in breeding plumage, just the opposite of the Dunlins who molt before heading this way in fall (making them quite tardy compared to other wintering shorebirds). [Let's see you beat that run on sentence.]
Pray for the Noles. ;)
Jim in Galveston
From: <nflbirds...> [mailto:<nflbirds...>] On Behalf Of Harry Hooper <sn_egret...> [nflbirds] Sent: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 11:50 AM To: Nflbirds Birds Subject: [nflbirds] male scarlet tanager
We have been entertaining one to two female summer tanagers and one male summer tanager feeding on the grapes during the summer. The two females are still present. Additionally, on Sept. 22nd, an adult male scarlet tanager in non-breeding plumage and one adult and one first fall female scarlet tanagers in non-breeding plumage were at the birdbath.
Today, a male scarlet tanager in molting (?) plumage was feeding at the suet basket. What caught our interest was that this bird was greenish with black wings with the exception of small red "splotches" on its breast, belly, and flanks. Additionally, a small set of red splotches were on the shoulder part of the black wing. The bird appeared as if it got into a fight with a brush. coated with red paint. Have not seen this molting plumage before.
What is interesting is that with the exception of the Golden Guide and the Peterson Field Guide, this splotching plumage is not shown in other field guides.
Obtained several photos. If interested, I will e-mail the photo(s) to those who are interested,