Monday 5 September 2016

White Wag - pm Edit

Pretty sure this is an adult winter (or is it a first-winter?) White Wagtail. It stood out like a sore thumb amongst c15/20+ Pied Wagtails, being much cleaner-looking than its much darker and scruffier looking cousins. There was an even more strikingly pale juvenile/fw type further along the beach, but it always kept several steps ahead of me, and I was pushed for time with work beckoning. Also on the beach early this morning - 1 Wheatear, 1 Ringed Plover, 4 Sanderling and a Dunlin. The tide was still coming in when I left so hopefully more waders arrived later on. Good to see Tom there this morning - hope the Stints returned.
On a return visit this evening just 1 Pied and the presumed White Wag - see additional photo.

Still present this evening and a little more cooperative.


  1. Hi Matt, I always find these a little more complicated than often made out. My gut feeling is also adult female as no apparent moult limit in GC and PP look like they're blackish not brown. If so then it must be White with that head pattern, the grey, not black rump, and the clean white flanks. Problem is, not 100% sure about age so maybe not possible to say for certain? Have you got a copy of the Dutch Birding paper from 2010? cheers, Tim

  2. Hi Tim - many thanks. I'm glad it's not just me who finds these tricky. I don't have the Dutch paper but found the Harris, Tucker & Vinnicombe quite useful tho still with gaps. Never tire of looking at alba wags but never 100% sure what sex or age I'm looking at! All the best. Matt

  3. Hi Matt, I've got a PDF of Adriaens et al White and Pied Wagtail: a new look (2010) - must have got it from Dutch Birding at some point. Rather more detailed than Macmillan Guide, want me to email you a copy? cheers, Tim

  4. That would be great if you don't mind Tim. Many thanks.