I see lots of pied wagtails, often on the school playground where I work. But I didn’t know, until recently, that amongst these pied wagtails I was missing the white wagtails which do look very similar and can often be overlooked as pied wagtails.
Pied wagtails are resident birds and are here all year round. White wagtails arrive in the UK from the continent in Spring on their way to Iceland.
The white wagtail has a black head and bib and a grey back and body. The pied wagtail is much blacker with a black head, bib and back. A very subtle difference but certainly something to look out for next time you see a gathering of wagtails in a field. We saw this white wagtail pecking around on the grass amongst a group of pied wagtails in Southport.