Yellow Wagtail subspecies in Palatupana Salt-/Wetland, Thissamaharama, Hambantota?

SchafstelzeWestern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) are quite common in Sri Lanka in wintertime. So in the Palatupana Salt-/Wetland, near Bundala NP at Hambantota on the southern tip of Sri Lanka, too. At least for a western birdwatcher they seem to be.

Recent studies on wagtails occurring in Sri Lanka has suggested that both Western and Eastern Yellow Wagtails occur in Sri Lanka and most of the birds are practically very difficult to assign to either species based on plumage alone. In case of Western races like beema, lutea or Eastern races like tschutschensis, it is possible to ID then on plumage if they are in typical plumages. However, the most common western thunbergi race type birds are identical in plumage to eastern plexa race, so flight call (if heard properly) could be the only method to separate such races in the field.

In consequence observation platforms like eBird have set the filter for both Eastern and Western Yellow Wagtails to 0, hence every yellow wagtail entered to species level would be flagged. Observers are requested to enter a description of either plumage or call or both if necessary, to establish the ID of the bird. In case where the observer is unable to note such details, it is encouraged to enter the yellow wagtail sightings as Western/Eastern Yellow Wagtail.

Photos and audio recordings are the best possible supporting information, so someone do have those please do upload them to the relevant checklist or keep them for further ID.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western palearctic.  Trips to remote places like this one to capture images not only of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. The nice image of the blog is only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Just give a message, if could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

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