On 29 September 2003 at about 1130 hrs, Robert Duncan, Cecil Brown, and David Dortch were walking among the dunes south of the main fort at Fort Morgan, Baldwin County, Alabama, when Dortch spotted a passerine perched on a low bush on a dune ridge about 30 meters away. Duncan immediately recognized it as a wagtail by its gray and white coloration, pipit-like appearance and long tail. All three observers had excellent views of the bird through a 20x Swarovski telescope, under a clear sky and with the mid-day sun to the left. The bird flew before photographs could be made, but the observers were able to follow it several times and get off and on observations over a 30 minute period. Each time it flushed, it flew low to the ground, calling as it flew. Returning to their car, a field guide (National Geographic Society 1987) was consulted, and it was concluded that the wagtail was an immature Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava). A call was made to other birders, and between 1420 and 1715 hrs the bird was intermittently observed by Lucy Duncan, Howard Horne, Venetia Friend, Larry Gardella, Anabel Markel, Phil and Carolyn Snow, John Porter, and Laurie Bailey. All observers agreed it was a wagtail.
Author: Robert A. Duncan and Lucy R. Duncan
Volume Number: 52 Year Published: 2006
Issue Number: 1
Page Number: 14-15
Link to article: http://birdlife.aosbirds.org/2006/52_1_pages14-15.pdf
Link to the full issue of BirdLife: http://birdlife.aosbirds.org/2006/Vol 52 No. 1_2006.pdf