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Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail
Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-29
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Sigma EX 500mm f4.5 APO HSM, RAW ISO 800, Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 DG 1.4x
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/125 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-09-11 12:35
Viewed: 3199
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
An adult Pied Wagtail at RSPB Dungeness nature reserve. As you may see notice the day was very dark. This shot was taken with high ISO setting and lens wide open (f/4.5 with the extender becomes f/6.3).

Pied Wagtail - Motacilla alba yarrellii

From British Garden Watch:

The Pied Wagtail is the distinctive British and Irish race of the White Wagtail, a common bird in the rest of Europe. Our birds are blacker than their continental cousins and are present all year round, whereas migratory White Wagtails occasionally pass through our gardens in spring or autumn.

This species is instantly recognisable with its black and white plumage and its long tail that always seems to be on the move.

Ecology & Behaviour:
Pied Wagtails are elegant birds in constant motion, darting here and there to pick up tiny insects from the grass. This behaviour makes them conspicuous in a garden or town centre, but in the more natural habitat of the shadows by a flowing stream they can be hard to spot.

Natural roost sites are generally in reed beds, where the water below the reeds helps to keep the birds warm and also means that ground predators are kept away. Pied Wagtails flock together to roost for a variety of reasons. A good warm place is hard to find so it makes sense to share it. Also there is safety in numbers and, amazingly, the roost acts as an information exchange. Birds which are having difficulty in finding food simply follow the birds that are in better condition in the morning.

Other roost sites include man-made structures. Hospitals are popular, having lots of enclosed courtyards with nice shrubs planted in them. These are sheltered and make excellent roost sites. Others include the cooling towers of power stations, machinery in sewage treatment works, factory roofs, heated greenhouses and large supermarkets. About 10% of our gardens, usually those with larger lawns or ponds, have them as regular garden visitors. This will go up to a third or more in cold winter weather.

cicindela, jrobertop, MMM, Jamesp, soccer, haraprasan, Royaldevon, SelenE has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-09-11 12:40]

Hi Pekka . My picture today came from around the same time of year. Of all the song bird i have taken i have yet to post a Wagtail . You have captured this one well as they never stop still for long. Good detail and colours. With a nice low POV. wel ldone TFS.

Hello Pekka!
Very nice capture of this small bird. I like light and natural colours. Also DOF and POV are nice for watching, and the note is very informative.

  • Great 
  • volkan Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 497 W: 10 N: 4] (2425)
  • [2008-09-11 13:51]

Hi Pekka,
Excellent capture and beautiful details..
Very well done..

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-09-11 14:36]

Hi Pekka
Nice capture.Good low POV and sharp image with good plumage detail.Colors and OOF BG are also nice.Good text to
TFS Michel

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-09-11 22:59]

Hi Pekka

A beautiful pose - excellent detail and really good colours. Excellent work.


  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2008-09-12 0:41]

Hello Pekka,
The wagtails always better look out in nature then on photo because we see them in motion. Your photo is very good. The bird is on beautiful mooss and have pretty glance at lens.
Regards, Pawel


The POV here is really good. I like your DOF, composition, detail of the subject and sharpness of the pic.

Hi Pekka,
A nice capture of this beautiful pied wagtail. Very well composed with sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-09-12 6:16]

Hello Pekka,
Great photo of this Wagtail in a very beautiful environment. Excellent low POV, sharpness and composition. Very sharp and a good OOF BG.
Kind regards,

Hello Pekka.
Superb definition with impressive details.
A coloration is wonderful!
Excellent texture and framing.
My compliments by extraordinary work photographic.
Josť Roberto

Hello Pekka,

A fabulous shot with perfect focussed detail, considering that these little birds are 'wagging' all the time! The sharp details of the bird are matched well with the cushioned carpet of moss on which it is sitting.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-09-12 13:27]

Excellent shot, Pekka!
This is one of the best photos of a Pied Wagtail I've seen in ages!
Very good DOF.
Superb sharpness.
Great composition.

Well done,

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-09-17 6:50]

Hi Pekka,
This is a very good photo of the pied wagtail. Your eye-level POV, dark background, color tones, contrast, composition and pose you caught look lovely. TFS
Best wishes,

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