Two possible Eastern Yellow Wagtails on North Uist
Posted: 11 Oct 2016, 22:26
There were two grey-and-white Yellow Wagtails on North Uist today. The first was seen fairly briefly at Clachan Farm before flying off calling. There was no yellow in its underparts or green tones in the upperparts. The call did not sound quite right for nominate flava. Astonishingly when I walked up the road this afternoon at Carinish another flew over Steve Duffield's garden (he happened to be working in it). Again the calls did not sound right for flava. Although rather flighty we managed to get some photos and these certainly suggest that it was one of the Eastern Yellow Wagtail complex. A paper on Yellow Wagtails can be found in British Birds109 (July 2016): 389-411. Apparently essential features are a harsh, rasping call reminiscent of Citrine Wagtail - neither of the North Uist birds gave a particularly harsh call however. Supporting features are the grey-and-white first-winter plumage and a long hind claw. This can certainly be seen in one of the photos.