Whilst birding the Jubail area I came across a large group of wagtails including Yellow Wagtails, White Wagtails and Citrine Wagtails. In amongst the mainly Black-headed Yellow Wagtails I saw briefly a superciliaris type bird. I managed to get a single photo of it before it flew off and could see it had many features of the intergrade but the head was less dark than the only other bird I have seen of this type.
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava supeciliaris are an intergrade between feldegg (Black-headed Wagtail) and lutea (Yellow-headed Wagtail), flava (Blue-headed Wagtail) or beema (Sykes’s Wagtail). They resemble feldegg except for having a conspicuous pale supercilium and pale eye-ring, although the eye-ring is not always present.
The supercilium also varies in colour from yellow to white with birds with white supercilium called ‘superciliaris’ and those with yellow ‘xanthophrys’. They are reported to be a rather frequent intergrade.
Jem Babbington is a keen birder and amateur photographer located in Dhahran, Eastern Saudi Arabia where he goes birding every day. Jem was born in England and is a serious local patch and local area birder who has been birding for almost forty years and has birded in more than fifty countries. Jem is learning to ring birds in Bahrain as a perfect way to learn more about the birds of the area. Saudi Arabia is a very much under-watched and under-recorded country.
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