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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Moving tail is right!

I couldn't resist taking a few hours off from work this afternoon for a trip to Rodeo Lagoon (Marin County) to see the White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) first spotted there yesterday.  There are only about 30 records of this species in California  these long-distance vagrants might originate from Eurasia or Alaska.

Although it was easy to observe this bird with a spotting scope, my camera lens wasn't nearly strong enough for close-up photos.

Here are a couple for the record a side profile (with a hint of the black breast patch), and another photo highlighting the long tail and feeding position:

Len posted some much better pictures here.

And if you're interested, the White Wagtail account (along with the figures and table) from the Rare Birds of California is informative.

P.S.  The genus, Motacilla, means "moving tail" and in this case, the name is quite appropriate.  Check out this video posted by Stephen Berylant.

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