Challenging ID – still present
Bjørn Ove Høyland in touch last week about this young, large(ish) pipit, just across the North sea from Britain. The bird is till present yesterday (17th October) on the ‘Fair Isle’ of Norway. Utsira. Great guys and I had hoped to go and speak at the birders get togther n Utsira this autumn. Really sorry I could not make it. Dang!
What can you see in the photos?
There’s a challenge. There always is with Blyth’s and Richards’ Pipits. Has this bird got pro- Blyth’s features? Is it identifiable? Maybe you can even check out our pages in the new WINTER book on Blyth’s and Richards’ Pipits!
They don’t really need my waffle. I have to say this looks very Blyth’s. The bird has the nice slightly depressed upper mandible and more dagger/ pointed bill. Lovely evenly streaked crown, shortish supercilium not the length and breadth of many Richard’s. The flanks are well coloured and the hind claw looks rather decurved and about the right length. The tail does not look especially long.
The juvenile median coverts are not especially telling- a tad less compact and squarish than some Blyth’s which can be quite a good mimic of the adult pattern.
I don’t see anything in plumage and structure against it Blyth’s – indeed the photos show a bird that looks like one.
Thankfully the bird called. It was heard by the guys on Utsira to give a ‘chip’ call many time. I can hear the call OK on the recording. Blyth’s do produce intermediate calls between the chip and the Yellow Wagtail psh-oo call. I recorded some last year on the Wakefield bird… so there is variety in the sound of the ‘chip’. This seems to fit the bill.
Have a listen
I can’t access (to make the links) to my own SoundCloud account, but you can listen to the recordings of the Wakefield Blyth’s Pipit giving both the ‘chip’ call and the ‘pssh-oo’ call by click HERE and just scroll a wee bit.
And this is well worth a very quick watch. A video of the bird clearly calling as it flies up. Thanks to Atle Grimbsy who sent a link. CLICK HERE.
These always help me increase my learning.