Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Berkshire Buff-bellied Pipit images

Here are some of the better images of the Buff-bellied Pipit (or American Pipit Anthus rubescens rubescens) at Queen Mother Reservoir in Berkshire on 16/12/12. It was a restless feeder, barely pausing to allow a sharp shot without increasing the ISO too much. The images below highlight the perceived plumage colouration differences between direct sunshine and shade, and colour temperature due to automatic white balance settings in the camera. No other pipit species were present for direct comparison, though it was probably more Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) in size than Water Pipit.

Buff-bellied Pipit (Anthus rubescens), Queen Mother Reservoir, Berkshire

Main features:
Pale lores and supercillium. 
Fairly-thick, well-demarcated whitish eye-ring. 
Whitish throat contrasting with buffy upper-breast. 
Buffy underparts. 
Sparsely dark-brown streaked sides, more rounded or spot/smudge-like on the upper-breast. Dark submalar, similar in tone to underpart streaking, forming a hint of a 'triangular' patch. 
Dark brown retrices and primaries/secondaries with strongly contrasting whitish/buff edges.
Plain, almost uniform back/mantle with a hint of dark streaking in the centre. 
Buffy wingbars: diffuse buff tips to greater and median coverts, less contrasting than on remiges. 
Dark reddish-brown legs.
Dark-tipped, orangey, fine bill.

I heard it call twice when it flew up and sounded similar to Meadow Pipit though stronger and shorter - more clipped sounding.

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