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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

14 September, 2010

Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flavia)

September is nearly half over already and migration time is well and truly with us with all sorts of unexpected birds turning up along the Dorset coast.

Some migrants are, of course, more predictable and Yellow Wagtails are one of those species that always turn up here on their way south. They are usually in flocks, the two batches I have seen this year have both been around the same size of forty or so birds.

They like rough pasture and cows. The cows eat the grass and and drop cow pats, the dung flies come along to lay their eggs in the pats and the Yellow Wagtails make the most of a last meal before setting out across the channel by eating up the flies!

We see less of the Yellow Wagtails in spring when they are heading north, they have other things on their mind then and are fully focused on breeding. Going back in the sutumn it is about building up strength and body mass to help them through the journey having put all of their energy into the breeding season.