Pied Wagtails and Wildlife Area Litter Pick 5 December 10-12.30


Pied wagtail in OP photo credits: Tim Inskipp

Pied Wagtails were the first birds I saw in any number when I moved to Orchard Park, and the first to arrive in my garden.

The RSPB describe them as “A delightful small, long-tailed and rather sprightly black and white bird. When not standing and frantically wagging its tail up and down it can be seen dashing about over lawns or car parks in search of food. It frequently calls when in its undulating flight and often gathers at dusk to form large roosts in city centres.”

A fitting description. I passed one yesterday on the way to the busway, and it reminded me of the large roost I saw over on the grass at the entrance to the sports ground in 2012 when I moved here. They appeared for a few consecutive days, but I haven’t seen them roosting since then – they’re here all year round – does anyone else see the roosts?

Their Latin or scientific name is Motacilla alba and they belong to the Family of Pipits and wagtails (Motacillidae). You can listen to their call here Pied Wagtail Audio

pied wagtails quick facts



They occur in a wide range of habitats. This time last year Pied Wagtails were the BTO bird of the month, they are declining in watery areas of their habitat – near canals and rivers. They feed on both ground and aerial invertebrates such as flies and caterpillars. In winter when these food sources are scarce they supplement their diet with seeds.

The next activity being organised with the Community Centre is an Orchard Park and Wildlife Area and surrounds litter pick Saturday, December 5th from 10 – 12:30. I’ll be at the entrance to the Wildlife Area at 10am to meet anyone who wants to help there. Please contact Lewis at the Community Centre for more details of the wider litter pick – the Community Centre are offering a light lunch for volunteers after the pick.



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