On our very first sighting a couple of years ago we thought this was the Grey Wagtail – it is though most definitely a Yellow Wagtail, and this is the Iberian one – Motacilla iberiae.  Our excuse for that initial confusion – the grey head!  In England the head is yellow: there are at least a further 7 geographical variations in appearance across Europe so suspect we are not the first to have been confused.

wpid-dscn0138.jpg

Wagtails always me smile, it because of that glorious movement of their tail as they flit around the edges of the estuary hunting insects.

wpid-dscn0448.jpg

The shot above was an accident – a regular occurrence for the bird photographer – but I had to include it!

The more usual shot - on a perch some distance away!

The more usual shot – on a perch some distance away!

The Yellow Wagtail is a summer visitor here. We’ve yet to see a volery of wagtails, but there are definitely a few around the saltpans.

image

All of these photographs were taken in the Ria Formosa between late March and mid April 2015.