Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Wanderings of Wagtails...

Over the last couple of weeks there has been a significant Pied Wagtail roost at Tesco's in Bangor and along with Zac, we have been down to check it out for ringing purposes several times.. Numbers reaching over 100 birds was a treat in itself, but unfortunately we left it slightly too late and within a few days, the roost had decreased to around 50 birds! Contacting Steve and Rachel, they went and checked the site out after our ringing session on the Saturday and gained permission from the Tesco Store Manager and the Petrol Station owner and we were all set for Sunday night..

Arriving on Sunday afternoon at 5pm, the 5 of us, Hamza included; set the 40ft net infront of the bush that the birds were roosting in and retreated back to the vans, to wait for the wagtails to gather and hopefully, descend into their roost..

Once all the birds were safely in the roost, we extracted the proportion of birds out of the net and Im happy to say that we managed to catch about 80% of the entire roost - great stuff!
The birds were ringed, aged and measurements taken before being released. In total - 31 new Pied Wagtails. This was an absolute privelege to be in the presence of this enigmatic little bird! This was a new species for me so it was great to get to grips with the ageing for this species.

Adult Male {6} - aged by the uniform black and the white greater coverts.

2cy {5} - aged by the retained Juvenile greater coverts, which contrast clearly to the black and white adult feathers of the inner greater coverts.

Huge thanks to Steve and Rachel for gaining permission and for another memorable ringing experience! All photos by Zac Hinchcliffe..


  1. Good catch! It is the tertials that always amaze me with Wagtails. Nice birds.


  2. Hi Dave, thanks for your comment. At the end of the session im sure we had caught about 80% of the whole roost which isn't bad. The Tertials are really nice I agree.. Regards Chris