On 8th May 2020, Rob and Sonia Adderley found a striking male flava type wagtail at Audenshaw Reservoirs which they strongly suspected was an ‘Iberian Wagtail’ Motacilla flava iberiae, a very rare subspecies of Yellow Wagtail.
Although the encounter was all to brief and the bird was never relocated after its initial finding, Rob managed to obtain some images of the bird which were submitted to the British Birds Rarities Committee along with a written description. Whilst the bird’s call was not heard, the previous requirement for the raspy call to be noted and fully documented was recently relaxed and with everything else about the bird fulfilling the relevant criteria, it was unanimously accepted. As it stands, it represents the 4th record for Britain!
Whilst the record won’t add to the current official County List due it being ‘merely’ a subspecies, it does symbolize hope and optimism in the county for what can be found with some diligence, perseverance and endeavour. Well done Rob and Sonia!