I’ve seen Grey Wagtails before, in passing. I’ve never had time to really spend time with them and get to know them.
This year I’m determined to get some decent shots of them. They nest on the river only 100m from my house in the middle of a busy South Devon town. I spotted the nest last year and missed my chance to take photographs because I was always away for work. This year, I’m determined it’s going to be different.
On my walk I decide to find them and see the position of their nest so I can work with them for a few days. As I peer over the flood-defence walls of the corralled river I see a fledgeling. I’m too late. They’ve already had their brood and left the nest. It’s an odd, uncoordinated and ungainly little bird.
It has fluffy feathers, a soft gape and a slightly wonky stance.
This, however, is what it’s hopefully going to grow up into. Aren’t the adults attractive?
The chick is fluttering, wagging its tail, hopping from rock to rock and generally looking impatient between feeds. The adults are bringing it a constant supply of invertebrates.
I wonder whether the adults are right or left-handed when it comes to bending their heads and placing their insect-load as far down their youngster’s throat as possible.
I like the tiny wet footprints on the rock in this photograph.
That’s enough for today. It’s been a thrill to spend a little time with them. As I head for home I look down into the river once more and there, in the water, is another chick. That’s great news.
I’ll be back tomorrow to see if I can get some better photographs of this little family.