The Skern Wagtail Identification

What a cracking bird!

A white throat doesn't rule out Black Headed (feldegg) as first-summer males can have a white upper-throat, they also can have a greyish nape: both features on this bird. It could also be Black-Headed from it's far eastern range, also known as 'melanogrisea' which has a white line separating the black ear coverts from the yellow which this appears to have. It could also be a feldegg intergrade.

One can never be 100% sure of course with Yellow Wagtails, my second thoughts are a very dark headed Grey Headed Wagtail, thunbergi, but it does have jet black on the crown which these rarely have.

Best reference for sorting these out is 'Pipits and Wagtails of Europe,Asia and N Africa (Krister and Alstrom), page 279 particularly useful.

Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 7:05 am by David Cope in Bird News