Thursday, 22 March 2012

Transitional-plumaged MEADOW PIPIT perplexes observers

Bill Haines obtained these educational but slightly over-exposed images at Startop's End Reservoir on Monday. They show a MEADOW PIPIT in spring transitional plumage and as such, caused quite a controversy by some of those that saw it. Several observers opted for Water Pipit but this species can easily be ruled out on size, overall colour, wingbar pattern and patterning of upper wing coverts, head pattern, rump colour, underparts, tail shape and orange-brown leg colour. Scandinavian Rock Pipits also have a fairly obvious eye-stripe rather than an eye-ring in spring, have much darker reddish-brown legs, have obvious contrast between hindneck/crown and mantle and are much more olive overall and more basally dark beneath.

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