The grey wagtail is a common bird of fast-flowing rivers and can be found in high densities in the hills of England, Scotland and Wales. They have gradually increased their range in the past 150 years and in the UK have expanded into the English lowlands from the northern and western uplands. Often seen near water. Tweet of the Day is a series of fascinating stories about our British birds inspired by their calls and songs. Breeding males have a black throat. Fairly common by flowing water with nearby rocks or surrogate rocky habitat, from mountain streams to weirs in suburban parkland. The two can be separated by the colour of their backs: the grey wagtail has a grey back while the yellow wagtail, which is a summer migrant to the UK, has a green back. Despite its name, the grey wagtail is a very colourful bird with a beautiful lemon-yellow rump, a feature which often leads to its mis-identification as a yellow wagtail. UK breeding is the number of pairs breeding annually. The reserve has seen more than thirty species of wading birds. In winter they can be spotted on farmland, lowland streams, and city centres. In winter, they move to lowland areas and can be spotted in farmyards and even in towns. At all ages, they have a vivid yellow undertail, and pinkish-brown legs (yellow wagtails have darker legs). Northern European birds, however, do migrate, along with some British birds, to southern Europe and North Africa. Registered charity number 207238. The Wildlife Trusts is a movement made up of 46 Wildlife Trusts: independent charities with a shared mission. Classified in the UK as Red under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015). If you can’t get outside, why not bring the outside in by downloading our bird song radio app? Listen for high-pitched, piercing call note. Chris Packham presents the grey wagtail. Messages 10,554 Name Jeff Edit My Images No Nov 22, 2020 #1 one from today feeling reflective by jeff and jan cohen, on Flickr . This fantastic wetland site is located north of Southport town centre and has some of the best wildlife in the region. This is an insectivorous bird of fast flowing streams, although in winter it will move to slower flowing lowland waters. Common in the uplands of the north and west, retreats to lowland areas for the winter. Yellow Wagtail populations are reasonably spread out across much of the UK, preferring moist environments where possible such as lowland meadows, river valleys and grazing marshes. The grey wagtail is more colourful than its name suggests with slate grey upper parts and distinctive lemon yellow under-tail. Grey Wagtail Although the pied wagtail is usually called the ‘water’ wagtail, it’s the grey wagtail that is the more eligible for the name; possibly ‘waterfall’ wagtail would be much more appropriate, with regard to the water that it is nearly invariably connected is usually drinking water in quick motion. These bright-coloured summer visitors are declining across much of their range and a frequent mistake is believing that any wagtail showing yellow in its plumage is this species. Yellow wagtails are summer visitors to the UK, arriving … Our commitment to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI), Different types of protected wildlife sites. The Yellow Wagtail has clearly defined wing bars as formed by the pale covert feathers. When food … It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations. Grey wagtails are found over most of the UK, with the exception of the Northern and western isles of Scotland. Look out for them near fast-flowing water in the summer. Some Northern European birds winter in the south and east of Britain. Buy Grey Wagtail Nest Box: NHBS. This is the classic, common black and white (or black and grey and white) wagtail that scurries around playgrounds, car parks, parks and gravel pits across the country. As well as a free gift and magazines, you’ll get loads of ideas for activities to try at home. Preferred habitats include upland streams, rocky places, cliffs, and lakes and rivers. We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy, The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. The Grey Wagtail is the largest of the three British wagtails and more colourful than its name suggests. Grey wagtails can be seen all year round across most of the UK except for the northern and western isles of Scotland. See our toolkit for ways to campaign with us to protect nature and save wildlife. In winter they can be seen around farmyards and lowland streams, even in city centres. Grey Wagtail: Resident throughout the UK and Ireland. Find out how to identify a bird just from the sound of its singing with our bird song identifier playlist. See our ideas to keep you connected to nature during coronavirus, From our regular emails to your favourite social media, there’s more than one way to keep in touch with nature. Likes fast-flowing rivers in summer their greatest densities are in the hills of England, Scotland and Wales. If there was a prize for most unsuitable British bird name, grey wagtail would win hands down. Read more advice about what to do if you find a bird that needs help. Grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) Grey wagtails are resident all year in most parts of the UK and Ireland, winter visitors in others (from coastal areas of Yorkshire, down through East Anglia and much of Kent), and summer-only visitors in northern parts of the UK, such as Scotland. The Grey-headed Wagtail in Lothian. The species is widely distributed, with several populations breeding in Eurosiberia and migrating to tropical regions in Asia and Africa. Heathland home to more than 2565 species. Granivores are seed-eating birds. Here we will look at the UK subspecies. * This map is intended as a guide. Even a small pond can be home to an interesting range of wildlife, including damsel and dragonflies, frogs and newts. As its name suggests…. UK passage is the number of individuals passing through on migration in spring and/or autumn. The species looks somewhat similar to the yellow wagtail but has the yellow on its underside restricted to the throat and vent. These beautiful areas…, The Wildlife Trusts: Protecting Wildlife for the Future. British birds of the subspecies yarellii have jet black backs in the male and dark grey backs in the female. Pied Wagtail. A group of wagtails are collectively known as a "flock" of wagtails. Attractive ground-dwelling bird. The Grey Wagtail was first described by Marmaduke Tunstall in his 1771 Ornithologia Britannica. Teeming with invertebrates, rich in plants and a haven for mammals, wetlands offer an unforgettable experience. Likes fast-flowing rivers in summer their greatest densities are in the hills of England, Scotland and Wales. Find out more about the nature and wildlife outside your window. The female Grey Wagtails however does not have a black bib or have such bright yellow underparts. Consequently, they often turn up in cities and even gardens, but usually never too far from water. In winter they can be seen around farmyards and lowland streams, even in city centres. A breeding bird of fast-flowing, upland rivers, the grey wagtail can also be seen in lowland areas, farmyards and even towns in winter. Preferred habitats include upland streams, rocky places, cliffs, and lakes and rivers. All plumages have gray head … Publish date: 22/05/2003. 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