Will Scott did well identifying this 1st winter BLYTH'S PIPIT
Early afternoon and a few of us joined Will Scott at the hangers of the airport after he announced on the radio that he had a pipit that looked good for Blyth's! He told me that its an interesting bird and was sure it was a Blyth's by the small bill and size, short tail. everything pointed towards the latter species than Richard's. The bird in question was on the other side of the runway, 10 mile away, and after a few minutes it flew off and we all went away with it being a Richard's. Will was totally lost and could not believe that it was the same bird and kept going on over and over again about all the features that he had already told me.
Fortunately, the pipit was relocated in a small field opposite the entrance of Airport Lane. This time when I looked through the scope, it popped up it's head from the weedy bulb field and the first thing I noticed was, how small the bill was? when it came out into the open, the shorter tail and small size was also apparent. In fact everything about it didn't really point to it being a Richard's Pipit at all. Just the structure and jizz of the bird ruled out Richard's. It was more like a Tree Pipit. I couldn't believe that it was the same bird that I had seen a few hours ago on the airfield. A few of us starting questioning if this was a indeed a Blyth's and Will had got it right all the time. The pipit called twice and gave a quiet, softer, dryer 'chup' call, rather than the loud, fuller, explosive sparrow like call of a Richard's Pipit. Later it called again and this time it sounded, best described as 'dzzeep' down slurred. we all went away this time saying, it's got to be a Blyth's!
Brian Bland and his gang were interested in seeing the pics later and we all came to the conclusion that it was a BLYTH'S PIPIT!
Buff wash on underparts can be seen here
Note the pencil line and more regular streaking on the upper breast
On this pic you can clearly see the evenly streaked crown sripes, the smaller more pointed bill with straight culmen giving a more triangular appearance, ie, less thrush like. The supercilium starts above the eye and is more whitish and prominent behind the eye and less extensive than Richard's Pipit.
On the wing bars very white and therefore more conspicuous
Distinctly and evenly streaked mantle giving it a more neat appearance.
At all times the bird looked like a small pipit and always it's bill horizontal and not skywards like Richard's Pipit.
And here is the confusion. When we arrived to have a look at Will's Blyth's Pipit, it had flown off with the 60 Meadow Pipit it was feeding with. Instead, Will stumbled on this, which was identified as a Richard's Pipit and was thought to be the pipit that he had earlier, although Will was convinced that it was not the same same bird.
This Barred Warbler was on show for most of the time making short flights across the road, on and off. I guess this is the same bird that was found nearly three weeks ago just a stones throw away at the Porthcressa allotments.
Hopefully I can get to grips with this lesser Whitethroat tomorrow.
Yesterday, this obliging Snow Bunting was on King Edwards Road, Peninnis. At 17.15, I was talking to birder at Porthcressa, when I heard overhead and shouted Snow Bunting! Maybe this bird stretching it's wings as it was still present today
This ones for you Will. Nice find and call me first when you find that mega yank mate!