Yellow Wagtail – 1994

Motacilla flava – SIGLEN FELEN – Passage migrant, has bred. Not recorded from December to February

To Mathew (1894), a rare visitor in spring and autumn, whereas Lockley et al. (1949) found them to be regular passage migrants that were not abundant and did not breed.

A pair bred successfully at Lower Broadmoor, Talbenny, in 1977. The male was of the Blue-headed race M. f. flava, as was the male of a pair that probably attempted breeding at Treginnis in 1983.

Migrant Yellow Wagtails (M. f. flavissima) pass through Pembrokeshire in the spring, generally between late April and June but sometimes from 3 April onwards. One was at Skokholm on 17 March 1948. Up to four birds are seen at various coastal localities, most frequently the offshore islands, but a few have been recorded inland.

They occur again from mid-August to early October, occasionally as early as 9 July and as late as 23 October, with very late birds at Mullock Bridge on 2 November 1981 and at Skokholm on 1  November 1967. Groups of up to eight pass through coastal regions with occasional larger gatherings, the maximum recorded being 50 at Talbenny on 31 August 1963.

Blue-headed Wagtails (M. f. flava) occur in most springs, between 6 May and 29 June. Grey- headed Wagtails (M. f. thunbergii) have been recorded on at least nine occasions, between 13 April and 25 June. A Black-headed Wagtail (M. f. feldegg) was on Skomer on 7 May 1986, a Spanish Blue-headed Wagtail (M. f. iberiae) at Skokholm on 19 April 1989 and an Ashy-headed Wagtail (M. f. cinereocapilla) at Skomer from 17 to 20 May 1992.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

More about the Yellow Wagtail in Pembrokeshire