302. GREY WAGTAIL.
Motacilla melanope, Pall. Reis. Russ. Reichs. iii. p. 696 (1776) ; Dresser, iii. p. 251, pl. 128 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. x. p. 497 ; Oates, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, ii. p. 293 ; Saunders, p. 125 ; M. boarula, (nec. Scop.) Linn. Mantissa, p. 527 (1771) ; Hewitson, i. p. 167, pl. xlii. fig. 1 ; Gould, B. of E. ii. pl. 147 ; M. sulphurea, Bechst. Naturg. Deutschl. iii. p. 459 (1807) ; Newton, i. p. 552 ; Naum. iii. p. 824, Taf. 87 ; Lilford, iii. p. 108, pl. 54.
Bergeronnette jaune, French ; Alveloa amarella, Portug. ; Guttircttola, Ital. ; Gram Bachstelze, Germ. ; Groote gele Kwikstaar-Dutch : Graa Vipstjert, Dan. ; Graarla, Swed. ; Gornaya-Treso-gushka, Russ.
Male ad. (Scotland). Crown, nape, and upper parts dark ash tinged with olivaceous ; rump and upper tail-coverts greenish yellow ; wings and tail blackish with paler margins, the outer tail-feathers white ; supercilium and a streak on the side of the throat white ; chin and throat black ; rest of under parts canary-yellow ; flanks washed with grey ; bill blackish ; legs fleshy brown ; iris brown. Culmen 0.6, wing 3.25, tail 3.9, tarsus 0.85 inch. The female is duller and paler in colour and has the throat greyish white slightly marked with black. In the winter the throat is white in both sexes, the under parts are paler, and the pale margins on the secondaries are broader.
Hab. Europe generally as far north as Great Britain and Den¬mark ; the Azores, Canaries, and Madeira, northern and central Asia as far east as Japan, wintering in northern Africa, India, Burma, and the Malayan Peninsular and islands.
It frequents rocky burns and running water in hilly and mountainous districts, and is seldom found on the plains or in meadows, and is as a rule shyer than the other species of Wagtail, especially when it finds itself followed. Its call-note is a sharp zis-zit, uttered several times in succession, and in the spring the male utters a softer note, which, however, cannot be called a song. Like its allies it feeds on insects, chiefly aquatic, and their larvae. The nest is almost always near water, usually on the bank of a stream, and is constructed of grass-bents, rootlets, and moss, lined with fine roots, wool, or hair, and the eggs, which are usually deposited in April or May, 5 or 6 in number, are dull white closely marbled or freckled with pale yellowish brown, occasionally with a black streak or mark, and measure about 0.71 by 0.55.
Specimens from the Azores and Madeira are the most richly coloured, but do not specifically vary from the ordinary European form.
302. Motacilla mklanope
302. GREY WAGTAIL.