Spotting a rare wagtail

Channel wagtail by Dave Steel

Here at LWT 30 Days Wild HQ, we have never heard of a channel wagtail. Every day in June is proving to be an education with legendary mosslands birder Dave Steel.

A survey or two dominated this day six of our month of wandering out on our beautiful landscape.

Today’s job was to record the breeding bird populations out on Little Woolden Moss taking in both the reserve and the farmland to the north of it. (On behalf of the LWT and the Carbon Landscape Project).

Sunshine blue skies and a sweet southerly breeze accompanied me during my five hours of trying to follow the two one kilometre squares in such a way that those who follow me when my legs wane can consistently gather these now quite positive records.

It simply stuns me when I encounter such a thriving mix of wildlife on the LWT Reserve when only eight years ago this was a desert of milled peat whilst the adjacent farmland I am happy to report is still on the whole being farmed in a wildlife friendly manner.

Then a moment that I was sure was meant to be brought my volunteering into sharp focus as I noted a channel wagtail. This is a cross species between the European yellow wagtail and our own yellow wagtail, hence its descriptive name.

A pause at this moment as I thought of those 200,000 who 75 years ago today gave me the freedom to enjoy this wild day.