Friday 6 January 2023

I've never been so pleased to see a wagtail!

I admit to being moderately frustrated on Christmas Day; an apparent Eastern Yellow Wagtail had been found by John Gale on Colyford Common, about an hour after me leaving that same site. I'd been hoping ever since that I'd get a chance to see it, and a chance I got! With afternoon seeming the best bet from the few reports, I scheduled the day (Thurs 5th) around me spending some time at Coly Common. It was my daughter's 2nd birthday, and I had quite a bit of 'my own' work to do, so I told 'my other' work that I wasn't going to be in. Good move!

At 14:40 ish I heard, distantly, a Yellow Wagtail ish call. I've not got any first hand experience of EY Wagtail calls, but anything sounding vaguely like Yellow Wagtail at this time of year is interesting, and this had to be the bird. It flew over Coly Common from the west, and continued east beyond the tramline and towards the river. At this point I was concerned that that was going to be it. I did manage a couple of VERY ropey pics of it as it flew over, but fortunately it did the right thing and flew to the wires at Coly Common a couple of minutes later. It was distant at first, near the reedbed loop (I was on the main boardwalk), but even so this was very clearly the apparent Eastern Yellow Wagtail that had been seen on 3 previous occasions. 

A few more people arrived and then, much to our gratitude, the bird flew over and dropped down relatively close, maybe 40-50ft from where I was standing. It was pretty obscured by grass, but I didn't care, it was a relief to see it well. An 'I can't believe it' moment came when it found the Issy Wheatear, and they were in the same frame through the camera... At least at that point the Issy wasn't being totally ignored anymore! Is that two 2nds for Devon, on the same patch of grass, at the same time? Incredible.

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