Pied Wagtail in Mérida

Whilst birding from the Roman Bridge I came across a Pied Wagtail feeding around a floating island of debris vegetation.

Then two things struck me. The first I always thought that Pied Wagtails were predominantly found in the British Isles to be replaced in mainland Europe by White Wagtails. So to be confronted by a lone Pied in southern Spain was quite a surprise.

The key identifying feature is the black rump. White Wagtails have a grey rump. The thing that confused me was the rather pale grey mantle and the sharp demarcation between the black nape and grey mantle.

Some of my more learned colleagues have suggested that it may be a hybrid – a thought that also had crossed my mind.

Later however, I came across another Pied Wagtail on a lawn within the Roman Theatre ruins in the city. It looked like a blatant Pied to me – perhaps supporting the notion that they are very scarce winter visitors.

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