A Possible Eastern Yellow Wagtail On Anglesey North Wales

Cemlyn Lagoon

Cemlyn Lagoon on the North Coast of Anglesey has a great track record for rare birds.

Something different today a guest blog by our great friend Jayne about an exciting find...

Wednesday morning, 25th September, and friends Sue and Lol and myself set off to beautiful Cemlyn on Anglesey hoping for a sighting of the Rose-coloured Starling which had been seen there over the last few days. Despite finding the large flock of starlings it had been seen with, no luck.

We carried on down to the sea where we found at least 25 Golden Plover in the fields with one lonely Ruff amongst them. We enjoyed watching them and after they flew we managed to relocate the Ruff on the lagoon along with a beautiful, if sleepy, Spotted Redshank.

We moved on up the lane to try again for the Rose-coloured Starling. There was the large Starling flock swirling around both sides of the road near the farm. We pulled the car off the road and set to with binoculars and scopes to try and locate the bird.

While constantly checking the birds, a large group of Linnets arrived to sit on the fence in the right-hand field, amongst them was a lone wagtail. We all immediately thought it looked “different“. Lol took photographs while Sue and I kept our eyes on the bird and I simultaneously tried to check for identification via the Collins guide.

The possible Eastern Yellow Wagtail photograph by Lol.

We watched for a while until it flew off and still discussing possible identification we headed off for a rather late lunch. Conversation centred on the bird, recalling features and discussing possibilities. Was it a juvenile Yellow, a Citrine or Lol wondered could it possibly be a "yellow" wagtail subspecies.

Once we split up to a different homes Lol and Sue sent some of those photos to Alan Davies to help with ID. He urged us to put them on to the WhatsApp group and wow, so much interest with Eastern Yellow Wagtail, a recent split from Western Yellow Wagtail being suggested as a pretty good match. Twitter also was very busy and we all hoped it would be picked up again in the morning. Maps, directions and photos were shared and we are so pleased it was relocated the next morning in the same field and heard to call.

Thanks to Lol for his photos, we were able to share this find, we’re thrilled and now over to those who are much more expert than I am for a solid identification. Jayne.

Possible Eastern Yellow Wagtail at Cemlyn 26 September by Martin Jones.

On Thursday, 26 September, birders were on site at dawn but sadly no sign of the wagtail and some folks had work to go to. Luckily others were able to keep searching and at 8.30am the bird was seen again in the same field by Martin Jones and observers thought the bird looked great for Eastern Yellow Wagtail but no calls had been heard yet, a crucial identification pointer. Ten minutes later the bird was heard to call by Henry Cook who described it as a rasping call - unlike that of Western Yellow Wagtail, huge excitment now as the bird not only looked good but sounded good and it seemed likely the bird was in fact an Eastern Yellow Wagtail!

The bird remained in the area until at least 6.30pm on the 26 September though could be mobile and elusive. Hopefully the bird will remain in the area allowing many more to enjoy this fascinating bird. Many thanks to Jayne, Sue and Lol for finding this great bird and sharing the sighting.

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