|Richard's Pipit Killard NR 2.1.2012|
This morning I headed out to walk my hound at my local patch Killard Nature Reserve and it was very bright. I wasn't expecting much as there were loads of people out there being a bank holiday. I was hoping to add a few birds to the year list with Purple Sandpiper and Stonechat being the main targets. Purple Sandpiper yes and Stonechat no. The wind was fairly ferocious and as I came off the beach I saw what at first I thought might be a Skylark because of the size but it flew off into a rocky area which I thought surprising. So I walked over to where I thought it had gone and it flushed quite a few yards from where I thought it had gone. It landed and then I told myself it wasn't a Skylark and it seemed to have quite a supercillium and not the streaking of a Meadow Pipit. So what was it. It then flew a few hundred yards ahead with out calling. I eventually got to it and lay down on the ground and even though I had Pickle with me it came closer and closer and so I was able to get reasonable shots which I hoped I would be able to identify it when I got home.
When I got home and looked at both Lars Jonsson's "Birds of Europe" and Collins Bird Guide and I wasn't sure whether I had found a Richard's or a Blyth's Pipit. In "Birds of Europe" I thought Richards and in Collins I thought Blyth's so I sent the photos to a couple of birders and both thought it was a 1st year Richard's Pipit. The difference in sketches between Birds of Europe and Collins really shows why Lars Jonsson is in my opinion the best bird illustrator in Europe. Thank you Owen and Ronan confirming it was a Richard's.
Here is a wee bit about Richard's Pipit from Wikipedia