National Trust Purbeck Wildlife

Black and White Rascal

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We often dismiss the commonplace as not worthy of attention as we seek the buzz of finding a rarity. What a mistake! Take the humble pied wagtail for example. Widespread and familiar, these birds are equally at home in a nature reserve, on a village green or at a supermarket car park. But did you know that those black-backed birds we see here are almost exclusively British, being a distinct subspecies of the white wagtail that is widespread throughout Europe and Asia? And they can happily switch from an insect diet in summer to seeds in winter and even scavenge amongst litter when times get really tough.
So whether chasing flies over the seaweed, flitting around the café benches or hitching a ride on the Sandbanks ferry, take a moment to appreciate this resourceful rascal.


Author: Kevin Rideout

National Trust Visitor Experience Officer based at Studland

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