Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis)

OTHER NAMES: Yellow Wagtail
Latin Etymology: Motacilla ("wagtail") tschutschensis ("of the Chukhotsi penninsula, Siberia")
Partially moulted Eastern Yellow Wagtail (subspecies M. t. macronyx) at Phnom Krom, Cambodia - February 2019

Featured Subspecies: Motacilla tschitschensis macronyx
Weight: 16-20g  /  Length: 15-16cm  /  Wingspan: ?
ABSENT FROM UK IUCN Red List: Least Concern 

Wagtails are always a pleasant sight, with their distinctive markings and characterful movement, it's never not nice to see one.  Taxonomically though, they are frequently a vexatious group, with wildly varying patternatation on different races and subspecies giving the appearance that they should be entirely different species.  In the case of the Yellow Wagtail, a split separated them into Eastern and Western species, but even within these delineated groups there is a lot of variety, with multiple subspecies turning up at different locations.  In this case, the lack of a supercillium is, as far as I can work out, a feature of the subspecies macronyx, which is the expected visitor for Cambodia.

Related Species:
Order:  Passeriformes
Family: Motacillidae
Genus: Motacilla
SUBSPECIES: M. t. plexa, M. t. tschutschensis, M. t. taivana, M. t. macronyx

 - Sighting Locations -
CAMBODIA Khmer name: ខ្ទប់ដីពោះលឿង ("Yellow Covered Wagtail")
A locally Wintering species.
SINGAPORE / CAMBODIA 2019 TRIP - One at Phnom Krom

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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