Thursday 5 November 2020

Large Pipit sp x 3

Twice on this same date (2019 and 2017) I've recorded Richard's Pipit on Orcombe Point. With just an hour of daylight to spare I headed up there after work, this afternoon, figuring that statistically it was highly unlikely I'd ever see this species again on this date. It was therefore a bit of a shock, within minutes of getting out of the car, to hear the House Sparrow-like 'Bzeeip' of a Richard's Pipit! I picked the source of the call up very quickly and was astonished to see not one but three birds flying around. I photographed them in the few seconds they were on view before they flew off towards Maer Valley, and I couldn't relocate them before dark.
On reviewing the photos I'm pretty confident they are just Richard's Pipits but I don't think I can 100% rule out the much rarer Blyth's Pipit (however unlikely that may be), especially as in some of the photos the birds don't appear terribly long-tailed. The call was very House Sparrow-like and described in my notebook as a fairly hard, clipped 'bzeeip', but it concerns me that it didn't instantly register as Richard's (like previous birds have) so I think I have to be cautious. I would of course welcome any opinions if anything at all can be gleaned from my rubbish photos.

The three birds together.

 It looks quite long-tailed in this photo, perhaps more suggestive of Richard's Pipit?

The last three mornings have seen big numbers of Woodpigeon on the move. I haven't counted them but have enjoyed the spectacle, from the back garden with a cuppa, before work.

Rook, Lapwing, Mistle Thrushes and Siskins have all been noted whilst watching the Woodpigeons.


  1. That's a pretty amazing turn-up Matt! Hope you get to see them again, and fully resolve the ID. 😎👍

  2. Ha! Thanks Gav - will have to get recording gear one day but don't think I'd have captured this particular trio anyway. Feedback on photos is they're a good fit for Richard's (pot belly, strong bill etc) and the hard House Sparrow-like call is certainly better for Richard's. No sign of them on brief search y'day so may have to wait 'til next Nov 5th for another! All the best. Matt

    1. My one and only Richard's Pipit down here flew over Beer Head on November 4th, 2005. Presumably ready for someone to find at Orcombe the next day! :0)