Thursday, 21 October 2010

Lutley Wedge 21/10/10 07.50am (2°c) Cold, Frost with scattered cloud 4/8. Wind SW F2/3

Highlight this morning was a Water Pipit (see i.d update below..) which I picked up on 'flight call' as it came in over the Top Footpath at 10.19am heading West, (the first record for Lutley Wedge). Lower numbers of Fieldfares flew through this morning, and unlike yesterday when birds were flying over at altitude most of todays flocks flew through low to the West. 

Visible Migration 07.50-11.50am :-
1  Water Pipit >W
326 Fieldfare >W
61 Redwing
4 Song Thrush (1 >S) (2 >NW)
3 Blackbird 
2 Brambling >W
2 Reed Bunting (1 >S) (1 >NW)
79 Chaffinch >W/NW
9 Siskin (5 >ENE) (3 >N)
2 Redpoll sp >S
21 Goldfinch (15 >S/SW) (6 >N/NW)
11 Meadow Pipit (8 >S/SW) (3 >W/NW)
111 Wood Pigeon >S/SW
6 Skylark >W/NW
42 Starling >W
2 Herring Gull >W/NW

Sunrise looking East Lutley Wedge 21/10/10

My niggling doubts on the i.d of the bird below which I initially i.d'd as as a Rock Pipit, proved to be right and I have now re-identified it as a Water Pipit (an even scarcer passage migrant and winter visitor to the Midlands).  Looking again at the record shots i got, it shows too may pro-Water Pipit features to be anything other than a Water Pipit, i.e prominent pale double wing bar, overall pale/cold tones to the upper parts, very pale/whitish underparts with only light streaking on the flanks, a more prominent and paler supercilium, all features which make this a Water Pipit not Rock Pipit as I previously thought. This bird would probably have languished in the Rock/Water Pipit category had it not been for the record shots i managed to get, so i guess it proves that brief flyover 'vis mig' Water Pipits are possible to i.d as long as you have sharp eye's and ears and a DSLR! (Thanks to Brian Stretch and Phil Benstead for additional help and comments on the i.d of this very interesting and instructive bird!)  
Water Pipit flying West! Lutley Wedge 21/10/10 (The first record for Lutley)

Two more shots of Lutley's first Water Pipit, showing the clean/pale whitish underparts (which was a very noticeable and striking feature on the bird through bins) and only light flank streaking. Also note the sharp cut off from the dark streaking on the throat/upper breast and the paler/whitish belly.   

Fieldfares Lutley Wedge 21/10/10

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