Black-backed Wagtail

To: "birding-aus (messages)" <>
Subject: Black-backed Wagtail
From: "Alan Stuart" <>
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 1998 13:12:13 +1000
I've just returned from seeing a Black-backed Wagtail, Motacilla lugens. 
It's in the Newcastle (NSW) suburb of Glendale.  The bird is using a
wetland area opposite the Glendale shopping centre, but the best way to see
it is to wait near the carpark of the Lone Star tavern at the entrance to
the shopping centre.  The bird is returning to the carpark every 10-15
minutes and feeding on insects that are around discarded peanut shells. 
Possible also feeding on the shells themselves.

It is an immature male bird, with the back being grey not black and the
face having a yellowish tinge to it.  It has an injured right leg, which it
only occasionally extends to the ground.  It also sits on the ground often,
presumably to rest its left leg.

The bird was reported to the Hunter Bird Observers Club this morning, as an
"unusual kind of wagtail".  Since then, it has been reliably present at the
location described above.

According to my copy of Pizzey, this is the first ever report of this
species in NSW.

Alan Stuart
President Hunter Bird Observers Club

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