Saturday, May 30, 2015

Grey Wagtail

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.

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