Eastern Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla tschutschensis

On Saturday 15 October Wannes Lely and Stef Kooijman found a wagtail Motacilla spec at the observation screen along the Hoofdweg on Texel NH. They photographed the bird and uploaded their observation on waarneming.nl. There one of the admins, Maarten Hotting realized it could be on of the eastern taxa of Eastern Yellow Wagtail as the bird lacked any yellow tones in its plumage. The DB Alert was activated as well and soon birders came to check the bird. Then the call was recorded and sonogrammed and it best fitted one of the eastern taxa, either plexa, tschutschensis, macronyx or taivana. I was at first reluctant to go, still lamenting the demise of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, but finally I could grab myself together and also I eventually persuaded Nick van der Ham as well, so we were able to take the 14:30 boat to Texel (we missed the 14:00 boat in a minute or two). On arrival, the bird had disappeared, but was relocated just south of Dorpzicht, a small woodland that is privately owned. Happily we were good friends with the owners and beside parking the car, we were allowed to trespass their garden and observe the bird from there, albeit from a distance.

15 October 2022, Dorpzicht, Texel NH; © Ronald de Lange.

15 October 2022, Dorpzicht, Texel NH; © Ronald de Lange.

15 October 2022, Dorpzicht, Texel NH; © Arnoud B van dern Berg.

15 October 2022, Dorpzicht, Texel NH; © Daniel Boer.

17 calls recorded on 18 oktober 2022, De Cocksdorp, Texel; © Peter Nuyten.

The bird stayed till 19 October 2022. No DNA was collected unfortunately, but the calls maybe diagnostic for either plexa or tschuschensis. The IOC consider Yellow Wagtail M flava and Eastern Yellow Wagtail M tschutschensis as separate species, but the Dutch CSNA could consider the eastern taxa macronyx and taivana as separate species as well, like the Western taxa. Analysis of the calls are ongoing and at time of writing we can only hope for the best. On 13 October 2008 a record of an Eastern Yellow wagtail (tschutschensis / macronyx / taivana) on Vlieland was already accepted as the first record for the Netherlands.

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