Grey Wagtail – Motacilla cinerea

The Grey Wagtail is the largest of the three British wagtails and more colourful than its name suggests. Found across the UK, but mostly seen in eastern England during winter and northern Scotland in the summer.

Identification

Adult: The male Grey Wagtail has grey upperparts with white eyebrows, black wings, a yellow-green rump, and a long, black tail with white edging. Its underparts are white, with a yellow undertail and a variable amount of yellow on the breast. In the summer, the male sports a prominent black bib.
Female: Less yellow on the underparts and no black bib during summer.
Size: 18—20cm.
Bill: Black, short and thin.
Legs: Pink, medium length.
Habitat: Mostly seen by fast-running streams, but also spotted near waterfalls, weirs, lakes, reservoirs and even farmyards, especially during the winter months.
Behaviour: Walks, perches openly, takes off/lands on vegetation and ground.
Flocking:
Flight: Undulating.
Voice: Warbling similar to that of the Blue Tit, and a metallic tzitzi sound.

Breeding

Nest: Crevices beside streams.
Eggs: 4—6. Buff with grey mottling.
Incubation period: 11—14 days.
Fledgeling: 17 days.
Broods: 1. April—May.
Food: Insects, seeds and nuts.
UK breeding pairs: 38,000.

Suggested feed

Countrywide No Mess Premium Wild Bird Feed, Countrywide Black Sunflower Seeds.

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