Monday 25 May 2015


My impending retirement and the still more impending visit of the New Zealand branch of the clan have combined to create a veritable Perfect Storm of busyness - and I fear it's not over yet. However, while shopping the other day, I was cheered to spot my first urban Grey Wagtail. This beautifully coloured, most unfairly named bird is close kin to the Pied Wagtail - which, as I've noted before, is now very much an urban bird. The Grey is a little larger and more elegant, longer in the tail and even more active, especially in the tail-wagging department. I often see Greys in their natural habitat beside the now clear and free-flowing Wandle - but this one was down a little alley beside a high-street shop, seemingly quite at home, fossiking around to see if there was anything worth eating. I wonder if this was a one-off, or an early sign that the Grey, like the Pied, is moving into town. It would certainly add a welcome touch of lively beauty to the urban landscape.


  1. One or two turn up every year in our town but no sign of serious gentrification.

  2. Not bad going, is it, for a bird that I seem to remember scored quite high in the I-Spy book...

  3. The Yellow wagtails are seen not far from towns. Usually under the feet of cows.Guess they are the reason for calling these the grey.