Monday, 27 April 2009

Channel Wagtail - Further Comments.

Just thought I'd add some extra links for anyone interested in seeing other comparison and discussion on this hybrid wagtail.

Also after some digging and a helpful email from Ian Fisher it appears that 'Channel' Wagtail has been recorded at least twice before in 2006/2007. The 2006 bird at Cresswell Pond on 27th April pictured in BiN 2006 and on Richard Dunn's website and the 2007 bird at Monks House Pool in May.
Ian commented "I think most 'Blue-headed' Wagtails seen in Northumberland are of this type. I have rarely seen a proper Blue-headed i.e. like the one in Newton Stringers blog at Newton in the county, most appear to have the 'powder' blue head etc of the 'Channel' Wag type."

Reviewing images on Birdguides many of the birds seen on the East Coast do indeed appear to show paler blue crown and nape, although not all show the extensive white chin & throat of the Cresswell bird. Ian also noted that "the amount of white on the throat of all these pale headed birds is not too brilliant for what I would call 'pure' flava either"
A couple of links to birdguides images that are useful on this point

White throat & Chin
Pale Blue but lacking extensive White Throat


Stewart said...

I agree fully with Ian. These 'channel' wags are much more common than 'blue headeds' up here though I have seen quite a few of the latter in the county. The odd breeding 'blue headed types' I've seen have been proper 'blue heads' not 'channel' wags. I have seen them breed at DBCP, Boulmer and Druridge in the past...

Stewart said...

Alan I see you mention 'beema' too. When you were on your 'birding sabatical', the 'beema' or Sykes's Wag was often mooted for these birds but due to their relative abundance and the distance of the breeding sites of true 'beema' it slowly dawned that these 'channel' wags could not be of that race. In fact I don't think there is a genuine accepted record of Sykes's in Britain though there have been a few good fully white headed birds seen in recent years around the country.
See thats what happens when you take time off! :)

Alan Tilmouth said...

Yes, Channel Wag was a new one on me. My first reaction on seeing ST's pictures was 'Sykes' as it seemed very light with lots of white throat. Only when I started reading up a little and came across images and text related to 'Channel' did I realise that's what it was. Thanks for the comments.