Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Yellow Wagtails sticking together, sticking around

Three's not often company among Eastern Yellow Wagtails (Motacilla tschutschensis) at Mungalla Station but today a trio of birds stuck together through four shifts to various sites along the road in from the highway. Sorry, no trio picture presented itself. (Above, one I can almost always count on.)
First time I've seen three birds getting on well and sticking relatively close together (10-20 metres apart) as they foraged along the roadside, being forced to move as station traffic travelled the road.

In its usual spot, at the waterhole that marks the eastern end of Palm Creek these dryish days, the only Yellow Wagtail that can be counted almost every day its looked for.

The bird moves from typical dry, patchy pasture favoured by Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae) to wet areas of dead water hyacinth (sprayed from helicopter some weeks ago).

The birds would in a normal Wet season have flown on south by now. It appears likely North Queensland will get only patchy rain this season and the Wagtails may stay until ready to fly off north to Japan and/or Russia about the end ofApril.

Time enough to have one, or even a trio, come close enough for 'the' shot. Meantime, this post offers the recent best.


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