A semi-lifer: ‘British’ Western Yellow Wagtail

I simply could not resist not to go out today for another spring bird walk so packed up with the whole family and took a taxi to Caldecotte Lake in a beautiful weather. My wife stayed with our daughter at the play-ground and I decided to walk all around the lake. The number of waterbird species was very low but there were some songbirds which were new for this year. I found a couple of Eurasian Coots and Mute Swans incubating as well as some possibly guarding drake Tufted Ducks on the south lake.

A view to the Caldecotte Lake from the south end. © Gyorgy Szimuly

A view to the Caldecotte Lake from the south end. © Gyorgy Szimuly

At the south end of the south lake I saw the first Common Swifts of the year flying together with a dozen of Common House Martins over the Amway HQ. Sedge Warbler was also a new bird for the year. Some birds were singing on the western bank of the south lake. Just next to the sailing club I saw two British subspecies of Western Yellow Wagtails (M. f. flavissima) (alternate name is Yellow-crowned Wagtail). I was happy with this find as I have never seen them before. I probably have a better view of them in the coming days.

Wild side of the Caldecotte Lake with willow trees. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Wild side of the Caldecotte Lake with willow trees. © Gyorgy Szimuly

At the north lake a Carrion Crow hunted on a Grey Squirrel and almost collided with a tree after a sharp turn made by the scurried squirrel. At the northern point I saw a female Eurasian Sparrowhawk diving with legs outstretched like an Osprey when hunting. Just after the the sparrowhawk disappeared behind the woods I found a Western Osprey gliding over the lakes towards Willen. This time the sunglass helped a lot to pick up the bird in the sky.

I will revisit the area soon to survey breeding birds around the lakes.

Greylag Goose. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Greylag Goose. © Gyorgy Szimuly

White or Pied Wagtail. © Gyorgy Szimuly

White or Pied Wagtail. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Here is the complete list of birds seen:

Greylag Goose 9
Canada Goose 35
Mute Swan 21
Mallard 52 incl. 2 ducklings
Tufted Duck 9
Great Crested Grebe 12
Great Cormorant 1
Grey Heron 1
Western Osprey 1
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1 female
Common Kestrel 1 female
Common Moorhen 4
Eurasian Coot 36
Common Wood Pigeon 12
Common Swift 5
European Green Woodpecker 1
Common Magpie 12
Eurasian Jackdaw 3
Carrion Crow 13
Barn Swallow 2
Common House Martin 35
Great Tit 11
European Blue Tit 2
Long-tailed Tit 6
Eurasian Wren 6
Willow Warbler 1
Common Chiffchaff 5
Sedge Warbler 6
Eurasian Reed Warbler 4
European Blackcap 11
Garden Warbler 2
European Robin 18
Eurasian Blackbird 6
Song Thrush 2
Dunnock 4
Western Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flavissima) 2
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarellii) 3
Common Reed Bunting 2
Common Chaffinch 5
European Greenfinch 1
European Goldfinch 4
House Sparrow 5

Reference: Gill, F & D Donsker (Eds). 2013. IOC World Bird List (v 3.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org [Accessed 29.04.2013].


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