White Wagtail and Pied Wagtail - a request to observers
While White Wagtail (M a alba) is a familiar migrant in the County, but it can be difficult to distinguish it from Pied Wagtail (M a yarelli), especially in autumn. Also, eBird gives the name ‘White Wagtail’ for both species which has made analysis of records highly problematic.
This year, more than 1,900 records of “White Wagtail” were received through eBird, out of a total of over 3,000 for the two species. In only four cases was it possible to be reasonably sure that the records related to White Wagtail, this is obviously a gross underestimate of the likely number of sightings. The vast majority of eBird records of White Wagtail have no sub-species recorded so we can’t be sure which species is being referred to.
How can you help? Observers are asked to support their records of White Wagtail with a description, or other form of confirmation of identity such as a photograph. When using eBird to submit records for either Pied Wagtail or White Wagtail, please specify which sub-species is being recorded. A guide showing you how to do this can be found below.
Sadly, no analysis will be undertaken this year, or in EBR 2023, and analysis will only resume when sufficient numbers of observers comply with these requests. Please help!
White Wagtail reporting via eBird
1. Make sure you've turned on 'show subspecies' from the settings menu:
2. Search for White Wagtail then enter your sighting: