Sunday, 5 October 2014

Scilly Day 3 - Blyth's Pipit

I was on my way off Penninis when news came out that the Richard's Pipit had flown and had been refound in a field just outside Old Town! Birders leaving the site reassured me it was still there (but elusive) - I settled in with the gallery.....

What did become apparent after I got a few fleeting views was that it didn't exactly behave like a Richard' s Pipit. It rarely, if ever stood erect or with bill pointing upwards. It looked small too and the constant backdrop of comments became summarised by the simple statement: "it can't be a Richard's"!!

I've more to sort but these three images show most of the id features for the eventual conclusion - we were looking at a Blyth's Pipit!! First lifer of the trip and another one for the year list (272).

I'm indebted to Brian Bland for talking me throught the 'pro Blyth's features'

Short legs and short angled hind claw, distinctly streaked mantle and white conspicuous wingbars....

The short triangular bill - as seen here, nearly always held horizontally! Fine streaking to the breast

Short tail, buff wash to flanks with little contrast to the buffy underparts and short white supercilium - more prominent behind the eye.....

Crucially, when eventually it flew , it called and it wasn't a typical Richard's call

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