Siberian Buff-bellied Pipit

Magical Moments 2013 #3

by Martin G.

japonicus Buff bellied MM 17.11.2013

What: Siberian Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens japonicus

Who: Sander Bot. A great companion who kept us searching when I was ready to give up.

Where: At Ma’agan Michael fish ponds

When: 17th November 2013

WhyIt was top of the most wanted list. the Siberian/ Asian/ Pacific Buff-bellied Pipit - taxon japonicus essentially winters in the far east. Go to Japan or South Korea if you want to see one easily. A few stray further west, with a small number each winter in Israel. Visiting Northern Israel again in November 2013, this was the bird I most wanted to see. Every day we checked suitable habitats seeing all many of nuanced variations in the coutelli Water Pipits, including one with Yoav P. which had nice black streaking below and large malar ‘block mimicking japonicus underpart pattern. Then on the last hour of the last day, having pretty much given up, Sander Bot and I found one. With about 3 minutes of close views- we left for the airport at Tel Aviv. Somehow the last minute nature of the sighting only makes it sweeter- after the little frustrations! A magic moment.

Target for the Footit Challenge and Patchwork Challenge in the New Year then :)

japonicus c Buff bellied MM 17.11.2013.jpg MG 1Recorded at least 3 times in Scandinavia (2 Norway,1 Sweden?). One of those in February 2008 was in Western Norway. Suggests to me that mid winter in the  Northern Isles  or east coast is not a bad punt for what would be a British ‘first’.

Smyrna Kingfisher 17 Nov 2013 M IsraelWhite-breasted or Smyrna Kingfisher, Ma’agan Michael fish ponds, 17th Nov 2013. ..and if you don’t like little brown jobs, 3 gaudy kingfisher species demand attention.

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