Monday, 21 October 2013

Happy Wagging Tails

From my sofa I can see across the roofs of the flats opposite and it's amazing the amount of life that thrives on them. In any given day there might be three different types of gull, jackdaws, magpies, blue tits, sparrows or, my favourite, grey wagtails hopping around on the moss looking for food.

David Baird [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
These gorgeous (gorgeous is the only word) little birds like to be near water, and since the river is only on the other side of the rooftops it's no surprise we see two or three regularly hopping around on the skyline. Even at dusk their outline with long bobbing tail is unmistakable.

Watching them pick through moss and dirt looking for insects is fascinating and they seem to find quite a lot up there. I've never lived somewhere where I can watch this species from home before and I love it. It reminds me how close we are to the water's edge but also how colourful British birds can be. It may be grey on top but the beautiful yellow tummy and bright yellow and black tail feathers and stunning. Even the grey is a very pretty grey colour!

These lovely birds have kept me entertain over berakfast, lunch and dinner all summer, and they've had pretty good meals too by the looks of it. I hope the nice warm rooftops (much warmer than surrounding soil) will keep them full all winter and I hope I can keep watching their little tails wag along the roofs!

By Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK (Grey Wagtail 2  Uploaded by Magnus Manske) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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