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Monday, 26 September 2011

WAGS – Yellow and not a footballer's girlfriend in sight

Sheltering from the 'hoolie'

Juvenile Pied Wagtail

Two Juvenile Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail – near the tennis courts

Two Juvenile Yellow Wagtail on the bowling green

Juvenile Yellow Wagtail, with Pied Wagtail

Juvenile Yellow Wagtail with Pied Wagtail 
Juvenile Yellow Wagtail

Juvenile Yellow Wagtail

While, quite rightly all the fuss was over the Grey Phalarope at Fairhaven, I had been on site for several days in pursuit of another migrant – the Yellow Wagtail... to no avail. I spent a few days down there, in much variable weather, my memory isn't what it was but one day it was blowing a hoolie. .. and with it 45 degree rain. Then the sun popped out! Regular readers will know, I know nowt and had never realised or thought of the coast as an environment for wagtails of any description. Over the years Lytham and environs have proved happy hunting ground for wagtails.  I tend to have trouble with Pieds, although I can generally recognise the juveniles, but anything after that I haven't a clue... and as for mozzarella and yarrelli, I know one is a cheese!

Anyway because it was blowing a hoolie and lashing it down, even though it doesn't look like it, the wags were taking shelter on the leeward side of the hedge(s)... make a mental note. A dodgy picture illustrating the point... there were loads of wags about. So having parked up near the bowling greens and tennis courts, here's a photo of one of the many juvenile pied wagtails in the car park, again sheltering close to a hedge.

Catching up with the juvenile yellow wagtails was not quite so simple... but perseverance and after a few days I eventually came across the two of them 'loitering' near the car park (hence the photo). They were not, never going to let me or anyone else anywhere near (unlike the grey phalarope!). If anyone came within twenty yards (metres) and they were off. I did catch one napping near the tennis courts, but only after doing 'Cluseau' impressions and hiding from tree to tree, I have know idea what anyone watching must have thought ... I gave up worrying what anyone thinks a long time ago... I believe the padded cells are quite comfortable.

Nevertheless, in the conditions everything was 'disappearing'. However I have a 'nose' for these things... so off to the bowling green (never been before) and of course as soon as I turn the corner a number of wagtails disappeared into the distance. Whoops Betty! I must watch too much tele, because 'I have a cunning plan!' I took myself off into the north west corner of the bowling green and plonked masen down on the next to last bench... and waited... and waited. Of course it was still blowing a hoolie et al, but here surrounded by buildings, fences and hedges, it was reasonably sheltered... and guess who showed up?  A number of Wags, pied and two juvenile yellow. Not only that as I sat on a cold and wet bench... they proceeded to come towards me. The only problem was they ended up in the 'gutter' of the bowling green so I couldn't get any photos until they popped out... and then they were off! 

I managed to grab a couple of photos. Phew... four, five days in the making... 

... and of course there was a certain distraction on the lake. It was in fact a Black Tern I clocked as the sun set, feeding on the evening hatch along with a couple of hundred black headed gulls. I'll stick those on another post so you can see, it isn't always 'perfect', indeed far from it!


Christian said...

Hi Geoff

Never seen a Yellow Wag, and these are nice shots, so thanks for letting me look. I like the jumping from tree to tree description and I agree - I don't give a monkeys what people think (pun intended as an afterthought).

Martin Jump said...

Geoff You've put a few hours in for these images,not the easyiest bird to get close to.Well done.