2014 wagtail’s nest
The wagtail has returned to the same window sill for the second year. Originally, there were three eggs in the nest but now on 9th April there are five and she seems to be spending longer on the nest. This is quite a bit earlier than last year (18 days earlier).
We think she is either a pied or a white wagtail. The pied wagtail has darker wings and a greyer chest whereas the white wagtail has greyer wings and a white chest. Although neck markings are similar, the distinguishing feature is the beak: the female pied wagtail has a black beak while the female white wagtail has a dark grey beak.
The white wagtail (Motacilla alba) can be found throughout continental Europe and migrates over the winter down from South-Western France through Central Spain and south to Morocco.
Last year, she laid and incubated 5 eggs. I’ll put more photos up from time to time to track her progress.
Wagtail’s Nest: 27th April 2013
We have had a wagtail’s nest in one of the windows behind the geraniums. It is hard to know what type of wagtail laid the eggs because she always flies away very quickly. There are about 5 eggs in the nest.
Wagtail’s nest: 12th May 2013
The chicks hatched on 11th May 2013 after about 2 weeks. Today when I opened the curtains they were all there waiting with their mouths open.
The most amazing thing about the birds was the colour of their beaks and the size of their big black eyes in relation to the rest of their head.
Wagtail’s nest: 21st May 2013
On 25th May 2013, the bird had flown the nest and there was no sight nor sound of them.
Over the winter, two visitors have arrived. The first was a bat who must have flown into the house when one of the windows was open and decided to sleep on the curtains and the second was a pied wagtail (see subsequent post).
See more facts about bats here