Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla Flava)
As the Weald Moors area is a Shropshire stronghold for the Lapwing and corn Bunting, so its open, watery landscape is a mainstay for the Yellow Wagtail. At one time, it was most readily associated with wet places but, ironically, the vast crop fields facilitated by the forensic draining of the moorlands have proven equally attractive to this exotic summer visitor… .
How Are They Doing? Not very well! Yellow Wagtail numbers have declined by 75% in the last forty years and it is now a red-listed species of conservation concern. The Weald Moors and northeast Shropshire are now the bird’s county stronghold, where it shares a similar range to the local Corn Bunting population.
On the Weald Moors: despite its traditional predilection for damp pastures and wet grassland, arable farmland now holds the highest proportion of UK birds. The Weald Moors area is no exception and its Yellow Wagtail population appears to have developed a marked affinity with the local potato crop. In recent years, Eyton Moor has welcomed the largest numbers of this colourful summer migrant but, save for walking or cycling to the outskirts of Eyton village or along the Duke’s Drive, public access here is frustratingly limited. However, small numbers of these birds, which breed in solitary pairs from May to July, have also been recorded around other moorland locations including: Long Lane, Moor Bank, Preston, Wappenshall, Crudgington and Kynnersley.