yellow wagtail race ID non-breeding plumage

To: birding aus <>
Subject: yellow wagtail race ID non-breeding plumage
From: Gary Wright <>
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 16:56:31 +0930
Hi Mike and Nikolas
This bird called constantly in flight a zeeping noise.  Hanzab under
description of yellow wagtail initially says that this is diagnostic(pg
1401)  but under citrine wagtail when spelling out the differences between
immature non-breeding citrine and immature non breeding yellow, it states
that  the "usual flight call of Citrine usually indistinguishable from that
of E. Asian sub species of Yellow Wagtail that occur or are thought to occur
in HANZAB region.
As Mike pointed out wingbar is no guide, but in my original notes on this
bird I noted no  white wingbar.

"white line bordered by black under dark ear coverts"  from my original
notes from my reading of HANZAB confirms that the bird was a yellow wagtail
and not a citrine.

HANZAB Yellow ear coverts:"either rather uniformly dark or mostly dark with
narrow pale subocular area or distinct pale stripe along lower edge or both"
Citrine ear coverts:"usually whitish or grey mottled in centre, with darker
greyish frame or border, giving characteristic pale or hollowed out

Thanks to Mike and Nikolas for giving me the impetus to wade through what
HANZAB had to say.


2009/10/17 Mike Carter <>

> Yellow Wagtails typically have white wing bars. Their presence is not a
> discriminator from Citrine. Their absence is surprising in a Yellow Wagtail
> in our spring.
> Mike Carter
> 30 Canadian Bay Road
> Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
> Tel  (03) 9787 7136

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