Often, when we go down to the bridge over the beck, just as we get there, a small, brown bird will fly off. We’ve tried sneaking up and peeping over the railings, but he is a sort of slate grey and he likes the muddy spots just under the bridge, so we normally don’t see him until he flies away even on those days we do find him in residence. When he takes wing he leaves behind a fleeting glimpse, a flash, of a yellow rump. That he’s a wagtail of some sort there is no doubt, he has quite a long tail and flicks it disdainfully as he prepares for take off.
Well, you know how it is, if people get up and leave every time you join the party, you begin to worry if you’ve upset them in some way.
Today, for the first time in nearly three years, he stopped to chat – and he sat still long enough for us to get a picture of him. He still wasn’t over the moon to see us, peeping out at us from behind some twigs, which the camera, obligingly, focused on, but we were, never the less, very pleased to have advanced our relationship to this level.
We are reasonably confident that he is a Grey Wagtail – I know, I know, but I’m not in charge of bird names – he likes marshy places best, but is happy to visit the towns and cities of the south during winter so he may just be a summer visitor – we’re starting to see a lot of those.