• Wildlife Friendly Otley

GREY WAGTAIL


These are pretty easy to spot by the Wharfe, where they feed on invertebrates with great agility, hopping from stone to stone above the rushing water. I saw a parent with a young bird near the weir, but they might even turn up at your garden pond (construction of which is the single best thing you can do in your garden for wildlife). They nest on rock ledges, or sometimes in holes in man-made structures, such as bridges. Grey Wagtails can be confused with Yellow Wagtails, as both have yellow undersides, but the former have dark grey uppers and the longest wagging tails of our Wagtails. These tails mean that the typical wagtail movements of rocking and see-sawing on the ground and undulating in flight are more extreme than in the rest of the family. Yellow wagtails also spend our winter in warmer climes. Grey Wagtail numbers have increased and their range extended with improvements in water quality in many of our rivers.

Photos by Pixabay

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