Western yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava)

It’s so easy to be distracted, especially when it’s 30 degrees Celsius in the shade, and you’re flagging after a long-winded drive to a reserve (today RSPB Ouse Washes at Welches Dam near Manea in Cambridgeshire). There seemed to be a reed bunting every 30 metres in the reeds along the waterway behind the flood bank and bird hides. There were a lot of barn swallows and a lot of sedge warblers and reed warblers.

The RSPB members’ book suggests there are some 13 different warbler species seen on the site, so when I saw this beautiful creature I leapt to the assumption that it was some kind of warbler…as ever it took my virtual ornithological mentor to correct my misconception – yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava). It’s a juvenile though hence the muted colours.

I must add though that I’d seen on on a post on the washes side of the flood bank close to some lapwings and had thought it looked like a wagtail. But, it was a long way off and on a hot and hazy day no zoom lens is going to correct for refractive abberations due to turbulent hot air rising.

Anyway, yellow wagtail it is, another one for the gallery.

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