Belongs to: wagtails

Compare with: yellow wagtail

Grey wagtail Motacilla cinerea

BoCC Amber list

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Largest of the wagtails, closely associated with water

Habitat: fast-flowing streams and rivers

Uncommon resident breeding along the main river systems (especially the Lea/Stort); slowly increasing


Grey back and very long tail with yellow undertail (black bib on summer m.); 18–20 cm

Frequents fast-running streams, weirs, sometimes lakes

Feeds on insects


Nest is a neat cup in a crevice beside running water

One, occasionally two, broods April to May

© Bill Varney