Sunday, 18 June 2017

Prees - Quail and Channel Wagtail!

Howard Prince and Rob Dowley have been putting some hours in lately checking the Prees area for Quail and scored with one calling and showing Saturday night. I spent a couple of hours in the morning to no avail but decided to return in the evening... 

Against a backdrop of Skylarks, Yellowhammer and general birdsong (plus passing cars) it wasn't easy but my luck came good at 8.15 when a Quail started calling across the wheat field. After calling four times in 5 minutes, it was not heard again. I'd seen a likely candidate drop in the field out of the corner of my eye seconds earlier (and it had switched fields from the previous eve).

Even better was to come... With one or two Yellow Wagtails in the area and one carrying food, something drew me to a brighter male flying over! It landed about 100m away and through the viewfinder I could clearly see a 'powder blue' head, first for this year but sadly a 'nothing' hybrid between M. flava and flavissima - Channel Wagtail. It perched up briefly a little nearer...


The paleness of the head and pure white throat rule out Blue-headed Wagtail...


Smarter than both parents and soon lost as it flew over the road, a little stunner!


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