re: Rare Birds on Cocos; Macronyx Yellow Wagtail

Subject: re: Rare Birds on Cocos; Macronyx Yellow Wagtail
Date: Tue, 16 May 2006 03:16:00 EDT
Hi Mike and others,

Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis is split by the AOU from 
Yellow Wagtail M. flava. In Europe (like the Netherlands and some leading 
magazine's from the UK) Yellow Wagtail has been split (by PCC) as: Yellow 
Motacilla flavissima,  Grey-headed Wagtail* Motacilla  thunbergi, Black-headed 
Wagtail* Motacilla  feldegg, Spanish Wagtail* Motacilla  iberiae, Ashy-headed 
Wagtail* Motacilla  cinereocapilla, Yellow-headed Wagtail*Motacilla lutea, 
Green-headed Wagtail* Motacilla taivana, Kamchatka Wagtail* Motacilla  
Alaska Wagtail*  Motacilla  tschutschensis and White-headed Wagtail* Motacilla 
leucocephala. Macronyx is not a full species as it is probably part of the 
thunbergi. A bird i've seen in the NT few years (october 2002) ago resembled 
taivana, but sadly no documentation has been taken by us.


Justin Jansen

Rare Birds on Cocos; Macronyx Yellow Wagtail

from [<A 
 Carter</A>]  [<A 

To:     "Edwin Vella" <m("","evella");<A 
"BIRDING-AUS" <m("","birding-aus");<A 
Subject:    Rare Birds on Cocos; Macronyx Yellow Wagtail    
From:   "Mike Carter" <m("","pterodroma");<A 
Date:   Mon, 15 May 2006 21:51:14 +1000 

Following the report of the observation by Richard Baxter on Cocos (Keeling) 
Island, Edwin Vella asked 'Is the macronyx Yellow Wagtail a full species? If 
it is, what other species of Yellow Wagtail have been split?"Well as always, it 
depends on the taxonomy you choose to follow. Even the recent Pipits & 
Wagtails, the ultimate reference by Alstrom & Mild, (2003) Helm, wasn't 
It treated the Yellow Wagtail as a single species with, if I can count, 13 
subspecies, some with various forms, but then said molecular data suggest they 
should be split into two groups, 'Western' and 'Eastern' forms, OR into nine or 
more species! So far as Australia is concerned only the three subspecies 
comprising the Eastern group have so far been claimed or recorded. These are 
tschutschensis (which absorbs simillima), taivana, and macronyx. Alternatively 
could be regarded as three separate species. So we await the next Christidis &
 Boles.Unfortunately, macronyx resembles thunbergi (of the 'Western' group) 
so closely that it 'is not diagnosable by plumage, morphometrics or voice' (A & 
M page 285 and elsewhere) but DNA data says it is different! Either or both 
could occur in Australia. Since thunbergi has a more northerly breeding 
distribution, I think it a more likely vagrant to Australia especially for an 
occurrence in May as they migrate later. However, Schodde & Mason (1999) CSIRO, 
followed Mees (1982), in accepting macronyx from central Asia as the more 
taxon, so changed the initial identification of a Yellow Wagtail seen at 
Richmond (NSW I suppose) (Australian Birds 1979). Both winter in the Oriental 
and according to Alstrom & Mild, thunbergi breeds not only further north but 
also further east than macronyx. S & M considered thunbergi a northwest 
Eurasian form and therefore of unlikely provenance. Not so 
Richard has numerous excellent photos of this beast. Unfortunately, I dipped! 
BUT GOT HIS CHINESE POND HERON now believed to have gone. I'd seen it within 29 
hours of Richard's gratefully received call to my home in Victoria!Mike 
Carter30 Canadian Bay RoadMt Eliza    VIC     3930Ph:  (03) 9787 7136Email: 

Met vriendelijke groet/ Kind regards,

Justin Jansen
Blitterswijckseweg 3
5871 CD Broekhuizenvorst
The Netherlands
Mob 0031651574591


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