Identification: The races which have grey heads may look superficially like Grey Wagtails but they usually have greener or browner backs. The shorter tails and different calls of the yellow wagtails are always conclusive.
Habitat: Breeds in damp, rushy pastures, water meadows and hay fields.
Distribution: A fairly common summer visitor to most of England, although largely absent in the south-west, Wales and Scotland. Breeding birds are of the race M.f.flavissima, although other races do occur on passage, the most frequent being M.f.flava, which is annual on passage on the east and south coasts in small numbers. Other races do occur, but more irregularly. For instance, the race M.f.feldegg is a rare vagrant with only 6 records up to 1995.
In the guise of several different races this species is widely distributed throughout Europe, especially around wetlands.
Population: 50 000 territories in Britain, mainly in England where it is most common in the central and eastern parts of the country. It breeds occasionally in Ireland.
More than 4 million breeding pairs found in scattered populations in western Europe, becoming more abundant eastwards.