27
Dec
19

Eastern Wanderer

We’d been told it was a bit of a mud skating rink. Farm vehicles had churned up the site and the numerous visits of bird watchers had made their own repeated furrows in the rain soaked track. Freed from the shackles of Christmas we ploughed our own runnel today to see the Eastern yellow wagtail site at Sedgeford in West Norfolk.

Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Blue-headed Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Alaskan Yellow Wagtail, Tschutschensis Wagtail; I’ve now seen a handful of names attached to this vagrant. As we slipped up the track to the assembled group it was easily found among the adjacent muck heaps feeding with dunnocks and Pied Wagtails. I was never going to get a great photo at the distance I was from the bird and the dark winter sky pushed the camera to its limit.

I was quite surprised as to how it looked. Yes, I’d seen photos of this and other Eastern Yellow’s but not having landed on one of these birds before it struck me how very much like what I would have expected a winter plumage Blue headed Wagtails would look. In the time we shared with the bird it did a fly round and gave several calls that were no different to my ear than previously Blue headed Wagtail calls I’d heard. Bizarrely nothing like the short ‘peeping’ Eastern Yellow Wagtail calls I’d heard on the net. I have little ‘verified’ literature on the fascinating very variable Yellow Wagtail group. A great Norfolk first for the finders and a very interesting species to come across in this incredibly mild winter. Definitely worth the mud laden boots and I’m sure it will be an educative experience … especially for me.

 


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