Pied Wagtail (Photo: Cliff Reddick)
If you watch pied wagtails for a while it is easy to see where they got their name. They wander around looking for insects, which they jump up to catch, all the time wagging their tail.
In Italy, they are called ballerinas, as they look like they are dancing.
The name ‘pied’ comes from the fact that they are black and white. In summer they have a black bib, but in winter this goes and they look much whiter.
You will find them looking for insects everywhere – school grounds, car parks even on roofs! Their bright call sounds a bit like they are saying ‘chiswick, chiswick’.
Pied Wagtail (Photo: Laurie Campbell)
They will nest in holes in rocks , walls and in sand dunes. When the young leave the nest they are grey on the back and white underneath.
by Alison Tyler