Birdwatch: yellow wagtail – from Somerset to the savannah

Birdwatch: yellow wagtail – from Somerset to the savannah

These sleek and slender birds have lost their bright spring plumage and will soon leave for sunnier climes

In spring, yellow wagtails (Motacilla flava) are so bright they look like flying lemons – or, as a birding buddy of mine memorably described them, “like an effing canary”.

But now, at the start of autumn, the juvenile bird I’m watching is far less conspicuous. Olive-brown above, buffish-yellow below, he almost blends in with the muddy earth, churned up by the cattle among which it feeds.

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