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Friday 25 November 2011

Richard's Pipit and surveying

On November 1st I was lucky enough to find a Richard’s Pipit whilst surveying in Kent, views were only brief as it flew off but hopefully it will get accepted, if not no worries, I am happy that it was one based mainly on shape and call. It was seen whilst surveying in Kent, surveying for birds makes you pick up on any different call which is not your run of the mill species that you expect to encounter, and this was the case with the Pipit.
I wrote up a brief description which is below, the problem, if accepted will likely come from Tawny/Blyth’s, they can give similarish calls at times. I could have said more but I thought this would be glamourizing it, they were only brief views unfortunately.

Whilst undertaking a survey in light rain I flushed a large Pipit roughly from the centre of a flat field. The very first thing it did to confirm the species was to give the House Sparrow call, the previous one seen at Rainham RSPB a few years back did this also. It continued to call until out of sight disappearing east, the time was around 9.40am.Overall impression of the bird was a brown bird with a long tail, larger than a Meadow Pipit and more in comparison to a plump Yellow/Grey Wagtail in shape. The long tail was very obvious and the flight was noted to be undulating, not as pronounced as a Woodpecker, but there none the less, the bill was also noted to be Pipit like and pointed. The bird was watched for about 20 seconds until out of view heading east. Views were not great given the overcast weather and rain, they were only flight views, and the bird was not seen on the ground.
If the bird had not called I would not have in all honesty been confident of identification with Tawny/Blyth’s similar in shape and size but having watched and listened to the one at Rainham RSPB for quite a while, I was happy that this was a Richard’s Pipit.Just a brief description but not a lot you can say really given the views.

Below are some species seen recently on some of the surveys.

Corn Bunting (click on photos to enlarge)

Another Corn Bunting



Avocet coming in to roost


A very high Merlin

Northern Wheatear

Black Redstart

A partial Albino Starling

Peocock Butterfly seen the other day, weather is crazy at the moment

Short Eared Owl


1 comment:

  1. Hi there.

    It's funny you showed the photos of the Corn Bunting.I thought that's what I see at Fobbing Marsh last May,from the hide at the other end of the lagoon on a bush,.It was the right size,but then looking at it in 'scope,I could see it was a pipit,albeit a large one,with a long,stout bill,upright stance similar to Wheatear,but was otherwise a dark chestnut brown,and I think poorly marked.I didn't see it long,and it flew into cover at the edge of the water.

    I couldn't think what it was at first,and was trying to make it into a Tree Pipit! It wasn't until I got home and looked at books,that I realized it must be a Richard's Pipit.The trouble was,I didn't expect one in spring.

    A pity it didn't call,as this would have confirmed it,but I'm content it was one.