Willie Wagtail migration

To: Lloyd Nielsen <>
Subject: Willie Wagtail migration
From: David Clark <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2015 08:46:06 +0000
Willie Wagtails were one of the few bird species seen constantly during my 
recent drive along the Canning Stock Route.  In fact, they and Magpie-Larks are 
probably the most commonly encountered species.



Sent from my iPhone

> On 15 Jun 2015, at 7:27, Lloyd Nielsen <> wrote:
> Hi Martin, Marie, Greg and everyone,
> Just a bit more on the Willie Wagtail migration. A few years ago, I was 
> around the Longreach, Winton, Boulia area, Bedourie area for a few weeks in 
> late June. Willie Wagtails were everywhere, all out in very open areas. I 
> camped for a few days on a long waterhole just south of Bedourie. There had 
> been rain and the depressions between the sandhills had water in them. Around 
> one stretch of water several hundred metres long where I was camping, I 
> counted (standing on the one spot) over 70 Wagtails. They were living about 
> the lignum, scattered shrubbery and open water and were avoiding the 
> timber/coolibahs that lined the waterhole. I was back there in late September 
> and there wasn't a Wagtail to be seen.
> Coming home from one trip, travelling between Winton and Hughenden in late 
> June, Wagtails were sitting on the bitumen every 150 metres or so - probably 
> because it was warm. The country is pretty well treeless - just a few odd 
> small Acacia-like bushes here and there. From Hughenden I travelled north to 
> The Lynd which is mostly mixed woodland. This is a stretch  260 km long. 
> Willie Wagatils were pretty well absent. Without looking at my notes, I 
> counted about a dozen Wagtails over the whole distance.
> On the Darling Downs when I lived there, they would spend the whole winter 
> less than a metre above ground in the sorghum stubble while ever it was still 
> standing and not ploughed in.
> I agree with Greg in that it has to be a latitudinal migration. Overall it is 
> not a small movement - it is huge and involves many many thousands of birds! 
> There is no doubt that the open farming lands and inland grassy plains of 
> Queensland is a major wintering area of the Willie Wagtail. They do not seem 
> to reach the Wet Tropics or Cape York Peninsula.
> On that note, it would be interesting to know what the situation is this year 
> with extreme drought through much of that area.
> Lloyd Nielsen,
> Mt Molloy, Nth Qld
> <HR>
> <BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
> <BR> 
> <BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:
> <BR>
> </HR>

<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU