Eastern Yellow Wagtail in Spring?

On Helgoland

Looks the part doesn’t it? Seen on Helgoland (first Bird Observatory in the World etc. etc.) last month: 10th May 2011 by Marc Förschler. He strongly suspected the bird to be an ‘Eastern’ and commented that the  call was ‘quite sharp and similar to a Citrine Wagtail’.

I agree with him. The parsimonious explanation is that it is an eastern tscutschensis type, based on plumage and call. What’s new? It’s in the spring, adding to the potential time of year to look for this taxon following confirmation of a likely British first only last December.

Photos of Devon Bird     Call of Devon Bird


added comment 27/6/11- one thing that I simply don’t know enough anything about is this plumage type in spring. It is very like first autumn/winter plumage. To me it appears too cold and grey for most greyer examples of western taxa. Whether eastern taxa have a (presumed first summer) plumage like this normally I don’t know. More to learn about!

Suggested best chance of finding one? Join me in Shetland in the last week of September!

Friday 23rd September to Friday 30th September 2011 . More info  here

About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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