Eastern Yellow Wagtail

The next morning after photographing the possibly hybrid White Wagtail in the earlier post, I visited Mae Hia Agricultural College once again and was happy to find at least 2 first-winter Eastern Yellow Wagtails feeding among the flock of White Wagtails in the newly planted rice field. Both of them seemed to be the subspecies ‘M. t. macronyx’ which is one of the two commonest subspecies found in Thailand; another is ‘M. t. tschutschensis’.

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The characteristic which tells that this individual is ‘macronyx’ not ‘tschutschensis’ nor ‘taivana’ is the very thin whitish supercilium. Both ‘tshutschensis’ and ‘taivana’ show large and pronounced supercilium in every plumage. For example, this bird I photographed at Laem Phak Bia, Petchaburi province.

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I just love its neat plumage and the peachy colouration on its throat and breast.

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Interesting to see how long the hind claws are! I’ve never noticed them before.

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It enjoyed searching for tiny insects which seemed to be especially numerous in this plot of fields.

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One of the many ‘leucopsis’White Wagtails also enjoying an unidentifiable prey from the mud.

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Some birds showed quite strong yellowish tone to the plumage, especially on the face and breast. Typically, this seems to be a characteristic of juvenile bird. Interestingly, some adult-like individuals such as the one above, also showed strong yellowish tone to its face. Any explanation?

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While some juveniles showed very little or no yellow on the face. For example, this individual in the above 2 photos. Adult female would have black nape instead of grey.

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Again, another individual with some black on the cheek! It generally looks like a typical non-breeding male ‘leucopsis’ though, but the blackish cheek might be a trait of ‘alboides’? Who knows.

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