As the passage of White Wagtails begins to slow, the passage of the closely related Citrine Wagtail is hitting its peak in the capital. One silver lining to the ongoing restrictions on leisure activities in Beijing is that places that would usually be busy with tourists are currently much quieter. One such place is Ma Chang, on the margins of Guanting Reservoir in Yanqing District. At this time of year, especially at weekends, this area of land would, in normal times, be busy with horse riders and motorised buggy drivers, meaning that from around 0730 many of the migrant birds that had stopped at this site would be pushed off.
This spring, with the absence of human activity beyond a handful of local fishermen, the site is a paradise for migrant birds, attracting large numbers of many different species. On Sunday, perhaps the biggest highlight, among many, was the large flocks of Citrine Wagtail feeding along the edge of the reservoir. The short video below shows a fraction of the 250+ birds on site.
Wagtails are busy birds, pursuing insects as they fatten up for the next leg of their journey to breeding grounds further north, and in perfectly still and sunny conditions, it was quite a sight to behold.
How to describe this group of bright yellow birds? “A bunch of agitated Lemons” was what we came up with…
How would you describe them?