Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Sixteen Water Pipits!

Frankie had 16 Water Pipit yesterday, the second highest count at the Farmlands after 21 on 3 April 1971. I managed to count 15 today but as they always flush from about 50m getting photographs are difficult. I managed a few record shots. 

Maybe more exciting was 2 Redshank displaying in southeast corner. It will be amazing if we can attract this species back as a breeding bird. 100 acre and Southeast Corner are looking in top condition at the moment thanks to more conservation focused management of these areas. 

 Water Pipits- these two still largely in winter plumage 
 Summer plumage Water Pipit (above and below) - very little streaking on underparts, in fact the concolorous buffy-pink underparts is unusual for Western Water Pipit and the lack of a pale belly is generally a feature associated with Eastern Water Pipit. Typically western birds (spinoletta) have pinkish restricted to the breast with a contrasting white belly. I found a couple of photos on IBC that also show some spinoletta with uniform underparts so I guess there is some variability especially with birds still in active moult- this bird looks like it has yet to replace its central breast feathers. 

 A more typical summer plumaged bird with white underparts and (not so visible here) colour restricted more to the breast
 Redshanks (above and below) 

Common Buzzards have been migrating over in the last few days with 15 on Sunday and 5-6 today and yesterday 


Belinda said...

Is the situation getting better there? Have Viridor pulled their finger out?

Peter Alfrey said...

Yes, at long last they have pulled their finger out. Extensive works across the whole site with the target of completing all the restoration habitats, footpaths, hides and cycle paths by 2023 and currently advertising for the reserve warden to start work in June 2019.