Thursday, 29 April 2010

Ashy-headed Wagtail at St Mary's?

A report came in of a Grey-headed Wagtail at St Mary's Wetland this afternoon and I managed a visit this evening and took the following images. If I'm not mistaken this bird is in fact an Ashy-headed Wagtail Motacilla flava cinereocapilla. The well defined white throat and the faint white supercilium behind the eye look good for Ashy-headed. But it could be first summer Grey-headed, thunbergi which can show white on the throat. Also, thunbergi regularly shows a dark spotted necklace - this bird has a necklace of sorts but not what I would describe as dark. Comments welcomed. The truth is out there..............

Some feedback on Birdforum:

Looks like 'Ashy-headed' (cinereocapilla)

These cinereocapilla by Daniele O. (among others) shows range of variation in terms of the sharply defined white throat. However, possible intergrade with 'Spanish' (iberiae) could perhaps explain the non-shaprp border in some of these?


PS. Got my first 'on patch' House Martin over the Wetland for this year - the year of the Wagtail!

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