Yellow Wagtails at Eastlakes

To: <>
Subject: Yellow Wagtails at Eastlakes
From: "Dion Hobcroft" <>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 17:46:18 +1100
Hi All,

Dean Portelli was lucky enough to see two Yellow Wagtails at Eastlakes and
there is no reason to doubt him. I have only seen the one individual-a bird
with some yellow on the undertail coverts and sides of chest (with some
scaled darker edged feathers here), olive green upperparts and a greyish
head with prominent white supercilium (like a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper-broad
and flaring outwards behind the eye before ending abruptly in a rounded

Though not one hundred % certain David Mitford (who originally found this
bird) and I came to the tentative conclusion of the age sex and subspecies
identification of this individual while birding at Eastlakes on Tuesday
evening (28.1.03).

This bird appears to be first winter (basic) male (because of the mottling
on the sides of the chest and brownish feathers on upperparts being replaced
with olive green) moulting gradually into adult male summer plumage. During
the 9 day gap between sightings more yellow feathers evident on underparts
(the extent of yellow indicating the male sex).

The pure white eyebrow, greyish head and olive green upperparts identify the
bird as the subspecies simillima, by far the most numerous subspecies of
Yellow Wagtail recorded in tropical northern Australia.

Excellent views of Little Bittern stalking Mosquito Fish in the Cumbungi in
south east corner of weir pond was also a bonus. At least seven Little Terns
fishing, bathing and preening here and a couple of Pink-eared Ducks.

Did not make it to the pond with the Freckled Ducks and spent the evening
searching unsuccessfully for the enigmatic Painted Snipe.

All the best


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