Sunday, October 13, 2013

Oct 12--YELLOW WAGTAIL in Royston, Vancouver Island

On the morning of October 12th, Adrian Boyle, a visiting birder from Australia, and a friend observed a YELLOW WAGTAIL as it flew past them calling at the Royston estuary (location posted below). Having seen them on the breeding grounds in Alaska and not being from here, Adrian assumed this was not an unusual sighting. Upon consulting some range-maps a little later he realized his mistake. In the afternoon of the same day he returned to the area and re-found the bird foraging along the tide-line. It flew and he managed some record shots that were unfortunately quite back-lit (see below). 

As a resident of Broome, Western Australia, Adrian sees around 100 Yellow Wagtails a year and he's travelled extensively in Asia (as a bird guide) so knows all the wagtails by call and sight. He sounds confident on the ID and I believe the photos help his case. "Eastern Yellow Wagtail" is of course the most likely type to occur in BC so I'll try and get more info on him to see if we can shore that up. For those trying for it, please let me know via email ( or cell: 778-886-3200 if you have any updates.

Location of the wagtail in Royston (Just north of Qualicum)
Shape consistent with wagtail/pipit but facial pattern much more wagtail-like.
Appears to be missing inner rectrices (tail feathers)
*October 13th + 14th--Two solid efforts to re-find the wagtail have been unsuccessful. Stay tuned for any further updates.

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