A diary of my birding activity covering highlights and photos from my birding adventures. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I might mention the odd thing that isn't avian, but for moth and other insect news check out my mothing diary.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

White and Grey Wagtails

Monday's lunch break was uneventful despite the fine weather - this Kestrel was as good as it got:

Kestrel, west of Burnham Market, 9th February

Yesterday was better.  A Barn Owl at Shernborne was followed by some good wagtail-watching at Ingoldisthorpe Sewage Treatment Works.

This Grey Wagtail appeared - stunning as they always are.

Grey Wagtail, Ingoldisthorpe, 10th February

This Pied Wagtail was interesting, still showing a lot of yellow in the face.  This is sometimes said to be a feature of White Wagtail but that was never a contender for this bird.  I've seen apparently adult (but possibly first-summer) Pied Wagtail with yellow in the face before so it's not always lost early in their first winter.

Pied Wagtail, Ingoldisthorpe, 10th February

Another bird seemed to show a lot of white in the greater coverts and also had a very open-faced expression with lots of white on the head and neck.  That prompted me to refresh my memory of how to identify leucopsis (Amur Wagtail), but once I'd done that there were lots of reasons why this wasn't one (it would have had even more white in the greater coverts, little or not grey on the flanks and a much smaller isolated dark breast patch, I think).

Pied Wagtail, Ingoldisthorpe, 10th February

Last but not least was a very pale grey bird that seemed to be a really good contender for White Wagtail until I got a good view of its rump - the lower half of which was decidedly dark.  Mind you, it was well short of black, and I wondered if it was in range for White Wagtail.  Well, a bit of research this evening shows that it is within range - indeed this bird seems to me to tick all the boxes for White Wagtail - first winter male I suspect.  Note the yellow face on this one as well.

apparent White Wagtail, Ingoldisthorpe, 10th February

Not a bird I expect to see in the first half of February - a wintering bird, or did it arrive with last weekend's Chiffchaff and Garganey...?  Let me know if you have any comments on the ID.

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