Who knows?

We have talked about the variations of Yellow Wagtails before https://letterfromnorfolk.wordpress.com/2010/04/25/wayward-whimbrel/ and it is a complicated group but a local bird on the hill last week got me taking a few photos. The potato field next to Falcon Cottage has been turning up a few Wheatears (ten together at the time of writing) and it was only a matter of time before Yellow Wagtails found it on their journey north.

The odd bird among three wasn’t a Blue headed. Blue headed are the continental variation (Motacilla flava flava) of our own Yellow Wagtail (M.f. flavissima) and have a wonderfully blue head with a white supercillium, a short sub ocular crescent to match and tiny white chin. It wasn’t a Channel Wagtail either. These are the hybrids of our own Yellow Wagtail and The Blue headed continental birds. The head was not the pale Wedgewood blue it should have been and the white on the throat extended far too far onto the breast. It wasn’t a Syke’s or any of the darker headed varieties either Spanish, Ashy headed, Grey headed or Black headed. What it was … was a very interesting bird. Perhaps best described as a white throated integrade?

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May 2012


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