31 March 2024

‘Superciliaris’ type Yellow Wagtail – Dhahran Hills

Whilst birding the Dhahran Hills football fields I came across a large group of wagtails including many types of Yellow Wagtails & a White Wagtail. In amongst the Yellow Wagtails, I saw a ‘superciliaris’ type bird. I managed to get a few distant photos but came back after work in the evening and got some much closer photos. Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava supeciliaris are an intergrade between feldegg (Black-headed Wagtail) and lutea (Yellow-headed Wagtail), flava (Blue-headed Wagtail) or beema (Sykes’s Wagtail). They resemble feldegg except for having a conspicuous pale supercilium and pale eye-ring, although the eye-ring is not always present. The supercilium also varies in colour from yellow to white with birds with white supercilium called ‘superciliaris’ and those with yellow ‘xanthophrys’. They are reported to be a rather frequent intergrade.