Grey Wagtail

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Grey Wagtails are known for their contrasting colours, elegant form, and narrow tails. The name is slightly misleading, since these birds are hardly defined by their grey plumage. Instead, a bright yellow breast and rump makes them stand out from other small birds resident along Galway’s waterways. Grey Wagtails favour fast-flowing rivers and canals where they will nest inside the gaps in the brickwork of locks. They can also be found nesting under bridges and feeding on insects in the soil along the banks. According to the Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland, the grey wagtail has been red-listed (high conservation concern) from 2020-26 due to its rarity. Fun fact: the characteristic bobbing of the Wagtail’s tail was once perceived as a sign of evil. According to Irish folklorist Kevin Danaher, there are ‘three drops of the devil's blood on its tail’ which is why the bird is so restless.