Bird Watching (UK) - - October ID Challenge -

And so we fin­ish with a sin­gle bird, stand­ing on what looks like the muddy shore of some pool or pud­dle. It is in a per­fect side-on pro­file, hid­ing noth­ing and is ob­vi­ously a passer­ine. The fine, longish bill, longish legs and that long tail sug­gest we are look­ing at a pipit or a wag­tail (which are closely re­lated birds). Our pip­its are streakier than this bird, though, so we are look­ing at a wag­tail. There are three Bri­tish wag­tails: Pied, Yel­low and Grey. The lat­ter has a su­per-long tail, pale (not black­ish) legs and would not show that dou­ble transvese wing-bar. The rel­a­tively short tail, yel­low­ish belly and un­der­tail coverts and cheeks all point to this be­ing a Yel­low Wag­tail; the black fa­cial and throat mark­ings show it is a ju­ve­nile Yel­low Wag­tail.

KEY FEA­TURES †Typ­i­cal wag­tail shape †Rel­a­tively short tail for a wag­tail †Yel­low tones in belly and un­der­tail †Face pat­tern de­notes ju­ve­nile plumage

Clas­sic wag­tail shape Two trans­verse wing-bars Medium-long tail Dis­tinc­tive face and breast of ju­ve­nile

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