Thursday, 29 March 2012


Attached is a photo that Lucy Flower took of the WATER PIPIT at Startops yesterday and immediately on looking at it I was struck by the fact that this is not the same Water Pipit that I have been seeing at Wilstone recently. On checking back through my records I also remembered that on 25th Oct last year I have noted that the possibility that there were two Water Pipits at Wilstone but didn’t see them well enough to compare them. Anyway now that they are in moult the differences are pretty obvious as the bird in the photo has very worn tertials and the Wilstone bird, as I commented on Wednesday, has fresh wing-coverts and, what I didn’t mention at the time, also very fresh tertials, as is apparent on my video clip. Also the supercilium on the Wilstone bird doesn’t bulge significantly behind the eye like that of the Startops bird.

Obviously I don’t know how long two birds have been about so that is a conundrum for recording purposes. Also I don’t know if both birds have been on both reservoirs but hopefully there will be little disagreement that two birds are involved.

Roy Hargreaves

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