shakesmyteeth's picture

Wagtail or wader ?

Observed: 19th January 2011 By: shakesmyteeth
wagtail or wader ?

This garden borders a coastal lagoon in N.Ireland.
My friend who took the picture says it was a wader. My first thoughts were "wagtail" but she is familiar with them and says the beak was much longer and also says it had green wings.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


anonymous spotter's picture

Green wings

The only wagtail seen in the UK to have green on its wings is the yellow wagtail, a summer visitor.
As well as a pretty distinctive colouration, (there is a very similar white wagtail, just to confuse people), the bird "bobs" up and down regularly. This is probably a camouflage behaviour found in birds that live by fresh water: in one species it is so noticeable that it give it the name - "dipper".
Pied wagtails have also taken to industrial sites, and also schools and supermarket car parks - where food is often to be had. One of the big oil companies used to use a photo of a pair nesting in an abandoned fluorescent hard hat.