Monday, 25 March 2013


I had the pleasure or maybe misfortune to find this the other day rummaging about on the sand spit where Kid Brook enters Budworth Mere.
Its one of those confusing 'pipits' that could be one of several species - Rock, Water, Scandinavian Rock or even a hybrid!
Lots has already been said on the FocalPoint forum and twitter with most I think leaning towards the Water Pipit camp.
This evening along with the Doc and Malc I took some photos that I admit aren't the best but have now got me scratching my head again.

see what you think (I've not altered them in any way, the first one had a cloud passing over)...

from what I observed this afternoon I ascertained that the bird showed the following features - obvious big wider (flared) behind the eye off white, I actually said at one point ''buff'' supercilium
this at once rules out Rock Pipit (I think?)

2.a brown faintly streaked back

3. two obvious pale wing bars, which in some lights appeared white in others pale creamy buff

4. a creamy buff not white upper belly and flanks that were heavily streaked. lower belly/undertail coverts white-ish but hard to tell on the views obtained

5. stonking big all dark bill

6. in flight the bird appeared dark all over with no contrast between back and rump. The outer tail feathers were off white but not as striking as in Meadow Pipit.

If I do it the layman's way and pick up Collin's then my eyes go straight to 'summer' plumaged littoralis Rock Pipit. But summer??
Looking at all the available photos of littoralis that are present now in the UK they all show grey tinged birds especially on the head and back with some confusingly having a pinky wash to the upper breast.
This is why I hate bloody pipits!!!!
See one bird get three ticks.
Anyway with so much possible variation in both Water and Scandinavian Rock Pipits I just might wait till Mr Garner is back from his Arctic adventure and ask him what he thinks.