Magical Moments 2013 #3
by Martin G.
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
Why: It 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.
Recorded 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’.