Motacilla cinerea - Grey Wagtail

Phylum: Chordata - Class: Aves - Order: Passeriformes - Family: Motacillidae

Grey Wagtail

Picture courtesy of Ray Tipper

These lovely birds are very common in Britain and are less shy than many other birds of the riverside. They feed on insects, many of which they collect from emergent vegetation and stones beside the stream.

Grey Wagtail beside a stream

Grey Wagtails and yellow wagtails are often confused; the grey wagtail is resident here all the year round and has a grey head, grey-blue back and very long tail. The Yellow Wagtail, with which it is sometimes confused, is a summer visitor; it is somewhat smaller, has an olive back and a shorter tail and the male in particular has more of a yellow face.

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