Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Solstice slice up!

The White Wagtails [Motticilla alba alba] Bergeronnette grise are back...
they are not real migrants, but there is a movement south each year...
as with the Robins and Blackbirds...
if we see them over winter they won't be our local birds.

White Wagtail... watching something...

But it looks like we've got an ex-pat trying to muscle in....

In the UK the Pied Wagtail [Moticilla alba yarrellii] rules the roost...
However, I noticed a Pied Wagtail here two days ago, and he is still here...


Because of the terrible weather that is slowing the Cranes' migration northward...
and a colder than normal winter in the UK that caused Waxwings to be seen as far south as the Scillies...
this male Pied has travelled further south than normal...
and I think he likes it here...
probably for much the same reasons as we do!!

This morning I saw him again and went to photograph him....
only for him to fly off...
c'est la vie...
but the White Wagtails were there instead...
I decided to capture their portraits as well...


You will see that the one above is looking upward....
like Pauline and the owl yesterday, I couldn't see the whole picture through the lens...
suddenly all hell broke out...
he'd seen the male Pied coming down...
and the male pied attacked... they flew off towards the longére...
where I managed to catch the fight!

There are two birds here... the Pied Wagtail is the visible one!
And the fighters ascend

The Pied Wagtail is clearly the stronger... he's the one with his back to the camera!

The whirling dervishes... the Pied has his feet on the White's neck!
The Pied stayed dominant... and shortly after this, the White managed to break free.

In that last picture, the difference between the two sub-species is very clear...
the greater amount of black on the Pied [left in the picture] includes the underwing...
the White on the right is very clearly much greyer.

I managed a picture of the Pied Wagtail...
Terrible focus... but it shows the colours nicely.
And the White Wagtail for comparison.

Oooops! The White male has just been chased into the door by the Pied.... he's OK, I checked... standing close to his missus by the edge of the path...
I wonder if the Pied will stay, and try and see off the male of an established pair, or whether the pair bond will be the stronger?

And I've just seen the Black Redstart [Phoenicurus ochruros] Rougequeue noir....

The male in all his dinner jacket glory!
Spring is here...
despite the weather!!

4 comments:

Susan said...

Great action shots in terms of conveying the fight. Black and white is apparently nature's way of warning others that a species is agressive. I assume these wagtails will also fight their own reflection in car rear vision mirrors and such like?

Tim said...

Susan,
fighting their reflection is not a known trait of Wagtails... I think that this is purely territorial... there is now a second "female" around.

I put female in "Rabbit's ears" there because I have just seen the Pied on White... and a White on White fight... at the same time.

The White pair were just near the edge of the pottager when the Pied and a White descended on them from the top of the hangar!! One to each bird... it is getting a bit nasty out there!!!

Colin and Elizabeth said...

These birds do like a fight. We have many Siskins this year and they are dominating the peanut feeder and the fat balls. They fight like the goldfinch. We wonder if it has any reflection on why all the Blue Tits have disappeared.

Great action shots. I will try for some Siskin fights today...

Amelia Frenchgarden said...

Great photographs! We have a wagtail that comes into the garden - now I should be able to identify what it is.