Blues, Reds,Greens

Yellows and Whites

Flamborough 18/19th April

Blue-headed Wagtail b Thornwick 18.4.13

Still lively here. Missed a fly through Alpine Swift  in the morning but was very pleased to find this male Blue-headed Wagtail in the afternoon. It was cavorting with 2 male Yellows, 2 male Whites and several Pied Wagtails. Nearby on a big green patch, 2 orange and greys – proper looking Greenland Wheatears fed. Are they really getting earlier or did we always have them in mid April?

Blue-headed Wagtail f Thornwick 18.4.13
2cy male Blue-headed Wagtail. Think it probably is a 1st summer bird with the partial white throat and rather brownish caste the flight feathers. Some tertial moult going on but not sure what that means. These not easy to age in spring (unless 2 moult limits visible in coverts only found in small percent of 2nd calendar years). Lovely head colour that morphed depending on light from rich  smoky blue to greyer and similarly lores and ear coverts could look same tone or darker blackish-blue. It’s all about the light you know. Call a sweet note typical of flava/flavissima/western thunbergi. Further comments on aging welcome.

Blue-headed Wagtail g Thornwick 18.4.13
both fightMeanwhile bit of scrapping between the migrants and some more wagtails:

White Wagtail 18.4.13 .White Wagtail b 18.4.13 . Pied Wagtail b 18.4.13

Greenland Wheatears. First one around 16th April, then at least half a dozen about on 18th April



1st summer male Black Redstart

2 birds at Thorwick last night (19th), one of which was a paradoxus 1st summer male. More on bird trapped at Spurn in similar plumage.

and from this morning… (20th April)

Early walk got my calling Green Sandpiper and smart male Brambling as new for my little Flamborough patch.

Brambling 20.4.13

5 thoughts on “Blues, Reds,Greens

  1. Ben Porter

    Great post. Just a thought, but there look to be three old greater coverts on the Blue-headed Wagtail in the third image. They look a bit more worn with thin whiter edges- also suggesting a 1st summer bird?

  2. Magnus Hellström

    Beautiful Wagtail, Martinl! In my view this is a 3cy+ male. Best aged by the relatively fresh primary coverts and primaries (in 2cy mid-spring these feather groups are generally rather heavily worn and pale brownish bleached). I’m only able to spot one moult limit, and the non-moulted greater coverts does not appear juvenile to me.


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