littoralis Rock Pipits

The Blues

Roger Wyatt

…took these beautiful images at Farmoor Reservoir Oxford on 19th and 20th March 2013. They showcase the subtle blue tones appearing on the heads of these inland littoralis Rock Pipits. Presumably they wintered further south in Britain or France and were photographed moving NW though Britain as part of their Scandinavian-bound journey. Perhaps they staged near Flamborough?

These kind of blue and pink plumage tones will start to be revealed again in Britain in the next few weeks…. and is the lowest bird a littoralis or a petrosus?? Yes I guess. 😉

Thanks Roger!

bRock Pipit litoralis-2 2 bRock Pipit litoralis-3 Rock Pipit litoralisRock Pipit_-2


4 thoughts on “littoralis Rock Pipits

  1. Harry

    There appears to be something of a dilemma regarding littoralis. On one hand, yes, given the sedentary nature of petrosus, it is likely that inland birds, birds on coasts with few breeding Rock Pipits and so on refer to littoralis. As they are not safely diagnosible in winter, and as not all of them attain the almost Water Pipit-like appearance of the best marked birds, I am sure many are overlooked.
    On the other hand, there is the mystery of birds present during the breeding season in, say, Ireland, members of breeding pairs and sometimes seen feeding chicks, that show marked summer plumages. Are these littoralis that have remained to breed with the local petrosus, or can some petrosus attain some class of a distinct summer plumage…?

  2. Brian Small


    The same occurs on the Isles of Scilly too, where a number of petrosus also ‘blue’ up in the summer, so it would appear that they do.


  3. Brian Small

    Harry – my comment above is ambiguous. What mean to agree with is that petrosus can show something of a summer plumage, not that I think littoralis remain to breed.



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