By Terry Townshend
The title of this post is almost certainly not a message you will see on your RBA pager! But it’s exactly the message that flashed up on the new “Birding Beijing” smartphone chat group on 14th January when Paul Holt found Beijing’s first MEADOW PIPIT at Miyun Reservoir.
Paul was spoilt that day as he also found Beijing’s second ever (and first for more than 50 years!) ARCTIC REDPOLL (ssp exilipes). In fact, it was as he was looking at the redpoll flock that he heard what he thought sounded like a MEADOW PIPIT. Of course, being Beijing, he understandably thought it must have been a slightly unusual sounding japonicus BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT, itself pretty rare in the capital in winter. It wasn’t until the redpoll flock disappeared on one of its regular forays that he turned to look for the suspected BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT and realised that it was, in fact, a MEADOW PIPIT! Putting the news out quickly, it was subsequently ‘twitched’ by several of Beijing’s birders and is still there as I write, in the company of a flock of WATER PIPITS (Anthus spinoletta).
Some (heavily cropped) images of the MEADOW PIPIT here:
This MEADOW PIPIT continues a spectacular start to 2014 in China’s capital with a COMMON CHIFFCHAFF (ssp tristis) discovered on 6 January in the Olympic Forest Park. And with 7 new species added in 2013, the Beijing list now stands at a whopping 455. There can’t be many major capital cities that compare…