Welcome to Wild In Britain, an occasional and irregular photo journal of my encounters with all types of wildlife in the British Isles. All species featured on the site are wild, and all photographs are the copyright of Ben Locke. For prints and licensing click here. Please also take a look at my main site BenLocke.co.uk
This photo dates back a couple of years - a Grey Wagtail in the Forest of Dean. The name Grey Wagtail does a bit of a dis-service to the plumage of the species, but the even more striking colours of the Yellow Wagtail is arguably more deserving of the more colourful name. The Grey Wagtail is a common bird to see around shallow freshwater streams, rivers and lakes, where it feeds on a diet of insects. I'm not sure that anyone knows for certain why this species incessantly wags it's tail, but I believe one likely theory is that it is to communicate to other birds that a territory is occupied. Another theory is that it helps to flush out insects. Prey is usually caught on the ground or in shallow water, but they can also act like a flycatcher, catching prey on the wing.