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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 06:13   #1
Szabo Jozsef
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putative pied wagtail yarelli in Romania

Hello,
some days ago in southern romania took this picture of a wagtail which appeared to be quite contrastingly black and white. I've took around 20 pictures but couldn't capture one where the flanks are visible (which, as far as I know are supposed to be black at yarelli) because of the strong wind.
At normal central-eastern european males there is a rather sharp line between the black head and grey back
Can anybody help with the id of this wagtail?
thx
Jozsef
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 07:28   #2
Quercus
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Hi. It certainly looks the same as a female "pied" in my garden thid morning! The same black/grey on back and similar size black bib
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 07:38   #3
Szabo Jozsef
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Thanks Quercus, sounds promising for a - would be new subspecies
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 11:37   #4
Joern Lehmhus
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Looks good for my eyes, too.
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 12:04   #5
Dougie Preston
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Yes it seems to be a "yarrellii" Wagtail. Certainly seems to have too much black on the mantle for an "alba".

I presume this is unusual for Romania? are you going to report it?
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 12:11   #6
Steve Lister
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If I tilt my screen at an angle this bird appears to have a black upper back but a grey lower back leading down to the invisible rump. Plus the wing coverts are pale grey and the flanks look too white for a proper Pied.
Could it be an intergrade?

Steve
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 12:45   #7
JWN Andrewes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Lister View Post
If I tilt my screen at an angle this bird appears to have a black upper back but a grey lower back leading down to the invisible rump. Plus the wing coverts are pale grey and the flanks look too white for a proper Pied.
Could it be an intergrade?

Steve
I suspect Steve may be onto something; you get the same effect by brightening the image.

James
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 12:49   #8
Peter Phillips
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Here is a photo of a yarelli I took a few weeks ago in Ireland (for comparison).
I think there are a few differences!

Michael O'Keeffe took a few shots of an odd yarelli in Ireland a few weeks ago. The bird had dark ear coverts(as far as i can remember ) a bit like the Morrocan sub species. I wonder does the odd alba Wagtail show a dark mantle? Possibly genetic throw backs ?
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 14:15   #9
KnockerNorton
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I don't think it's a pure yarelli. It is too clean on the flanks (yarelli is much more grey on the flanks, as the Irish pic above shows), and the contrast in the black mantle and grey scapulars is something you don't really see in yarelli - they're either blackish all over or dull greyish all over.

It may be some kind of hybrid/intergrade, but it's not a typical yarelli imo.

I did notice that it is a first-year, as it has a good moult limit in the greater coverts. I haven't got Svensson with me, but don't wagtails have a spring moult? If so, it could maybe a 1st winter bird (are 1st winter male pieds greyer?) moulting into darker first summer plumage, which would fit ok with Pied?????

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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 14:25   #10
Jane Turner
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We are going to need to see the rump!
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 18:39   #11
Dick Newell
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This bird bears a resemblance to 3 birds that I saw in different locations in southern Crete last week. I have put some pictures here:
http://www.magikbirds.com/image.asp?...humbnails=True
They struck us as distinctly odd for Pied Wagtails, apart from which Crete is well outside the normal winter range of Pied. 3 hybrids in different locations also seems beyond reasonable probability. So, are they Pied Wagtails in an unfamiliar plumage (we never look at common birds carefully enough), or is this another taxon?
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 18:52   #12
Steve Turner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Newell View Post
This bird bears a resemblance to 3 birds that I saw in different locations in southern Crete last week. I have put some pictures here:
http://www.magikbirds.com/image.asp?...humbnails=True
They struck us as distinctly odd for Pied Wagtails, apart from which Crete is well outside the normal winter range of Pied. 3 hybrids in different locations also seems beyond reasonable probability. So, are they Pied Wagtails in an unfamiliar plumage (we never look at common birds carefully enough), or is this another taxon?
Dick Newell
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All of these 'odd' Pieds appear to show a clear thin area of white separating the bib from the scaps/mantle area, which I always thought was one feature of White Wag, but clearly these aren't Whites as I know them, so I'm a bit confused here...
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 19:00   #13
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They look like the typical “possible Pied Wagtails” that occur in the Netherlands away from the coast... The “mottled” mantles are a recurring feature, as are rather dark rumps.
Some examples from my former realm:
http://vogelsindekempen.nl/Multimedi...20Renheide.JPG
http://vogelsindekempen.nl/Multimedi...0yarelli12.JPG
http://vogelsindekempen.nl/Multimedi...e%20Lierop.jpg (file name translates as “strange little wagtail”)
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 21:24   #14
JANJ
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What might seem odd about the Romanian bird being a possible yarrellii is the lack of obvious dark flanks and breast sides although the grey thatīs actually visible is dark enough.
Sexing 2cy yarrellii in spring is quite difficult if not impossible on plumage characters, but the Romanian bird is probably a male due to extensive seemingly solid blackish upperparts, with upper mantle connecting to the nape without any obvious contrast, the amount of white on the forehead and a fairly sharp division between blackish crown and white forehead.
As can be seen the obvious contrast in the greater coverts between fresher inners and worn outers is a good indication for a 2cy, less obvious contrast in 3cy birds, which also has less worn primaries and tertials, note the heavily worn inner tertial indicating 2cy. It also seem to have one moult contrast - moult contrast is rather difficult to see properly unless in the hand as sometimes the possible juvenile greater coverts are hidden and not visible in a field situationand - if two moult contrasts are visible, then thereīs no doubt about the age - which then is 2cy.
Take a look at this 2cy yarrellii from Sweden 22.3. 2007 and note the two moult contrasts in the greater coverts, leaving no doubt as to itīs age. The inner two (third generation) with wide white tips and edges has been newly moulted as 2cy while the middle ones are second generation shifted in the post juvenile moult as a 1cy. The remaining outers are juvenile feathers - worn to bits. Also note the inner tertial and the worn brownish primaries and primary coverts.

Taken 22.3 2007 by Mattias Ullman

http://www.skof.se/rrk/2007_03220079liten2.jpg

http://www.skof.se/rrk/2007_03220098liten.jpg

DN,īs birds on 15.3 are rather similar also according to flank markings.

Iīd say the Romanian birds are more likely yarrellii - but these are tricky!!

JanJ

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