15 Mar 2015

15 Mar 15 - My Head Hurts (Wagtail Confusion)

After publishing the photos of yesterday's putative White Wagtail at Studland, I had some feedback from Dorset Birder, Brett Spencer that it was a first Summer female Pied Wagtail. Brett is one of those Birders in Dorset that when he is talking about tricky identification, then it's worth listening to what he has so say. Having read some more up about White Wagtail/Pied Wagtail identification & followed up with calls then to a couple of other Dorset Birders, then I agree with the Pied Wagtail identification. I will have to wait until I find a nice adult White Wagtail, rather than try to figure out first Summer individuals. I'm still trying to work out in my mind exactly what a first Summer White Wagtail should look like, but think it would have been a bit paler on the mantle, with a less extensive bib & a general cleaner look. I haven't had chance to talk to Brett yet so will be interested to understand what was wrong for him with this individual. Here are the photos again along with another photo. I will be interested to hear any other thoughts on this individual, so feel free to leave a comment with the reasons why.
Pied Wagtail: First Summer (14 Mar 15)
Pied Wagtail: First Summer (14 Mar 15)
Pied Wagtail: Another photo showing a better view of the bib (14 Mar 15)
On an easier identification subject, Brands Bay still had good numbers of typical Wildfowl & Black-tailed Godwits today along with this first Summer Spoonbill. It's frustrating that despite having a Bird hide overlooking the bay, that the National Trust have made no attempt to request people do not walk along the shoreline. This was the result of some bloke taking his bicycle for a walk along the shoreline.
Spoonbill: First Summer