First seen by Tomás García at the end of last year, on the afternoon of 4th January I had a couple of hours free and went with Tomás to the piles of manure near the A30 Cartagena-Murcia motorway where amongst the masses of White Wagtails (Motacilla alba alba), feeding on insects, there is a Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii). Although I’m not normally too bothered about sub-species, I thought I’d go and have a look at the bird as they’re pretty rare in Murcia (in Spain in general, as would be expected, the further north, the more common they are in winter), and it didn’t seem right not to bother after it had flown so far! Although the light wasn’t brilliant, I managed to get a few photos including one of the bird with a White Wagtail in the frame. On my way home just before dark, I had a female Merlin cross the motorway plus a Sparrowhawk – the Merlin was my second that day prior to which I hadn’t seen one since autumn 2012! So all in all, not a bad afternoon!
Exact location details for the wagtail can be found on the website ‘www.reservoirbirds.com’.
Pied Wagtail, the last photo a record shot also showing
the colour difference with a White Wagtail in the foreground