gailhampshire from Cradley, Malvern, U.K, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Red listed Grey Wagtail bird spotted at London inner city pond

Excited local community members from Kentish Town in Northwest London were ecstatic this week when they spotted a Grey Wagtail bird (Motacilla cinerea) feeding on aquatic invertebrates in their recently restored wildlife pond. The pond, previously vandalized and neglected for several years, had up until a few months ago comprised only a black plastic tub, which surprisingly turned out to have been full of life clinging on to the last remnants of their former aquatic habitat.

Local community member Janie was able to catch a brief video of the wagtail (below), a red-listed species on the list of birds of conservation concern, that had recently been downgraded from amber. She remarked: “I couldn’t believe we’ve seen a Grey Wagtail here, I’ve never seen one before, it’s coming regularly now and it’s so exciting to have it using this habitat”.

Grey Wagtail birds are known to frequent and rely upon aquatic habitats, where they feed on aquatic invertebraes and insects such as ants, as well as mollusks and crustaceans. The birds enjoy feeding in shallows and are somewhat of a rarity, especially in urban environments. This makes it all the more special to have one welcoming itself to our pond.

Learn how you can get more involved in conservation by visiting our website at


Chris is an aquatic researcher and naturalist primarily interested in freshwater teleosts, crustacea and macrophytes. A specialist in fish nutrition, his background includes the establishment of his own business where he develops specially formulated feeds for ornamental & farmed fish and other aquatic species closely based on their natural diets. His personal research includes the freshwater and coastal habitats on the island of Cyprus and the ecological impacts of unsustainable practices occurring in the Amazon and Orinoco basins; he is also an avid collector and cultivator of rare and endangered rainforest plants.