2 Jan 2012

It Is a Very Happy New Year I've Found a Lifer a Richard's Pipit

Richard's Pipit Killard NR 2.1.2012

Normally on the 1st of January I spend the day birding but yesterday I had to work and only got to do a wee bit in the afternoon. I was in Belfast and so headed over to Belfast Harbour where there were large numbers of Lapwings which were nice to see. Loads of Teal as well. Afterwards I headed home and went for a walk on the shoreline in front of the house. It was a fab evening and there were flocks of Brent, Golden Plover, Curlew and 6 Greenshank, 3 Grey Plover and loads of Dunlin. There were also quite a few  Shelduck, Oystercatcher and a lone turnstone. My 2012 Bird List
Brent Geese


Golden Plover

 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.
Richard's Pipit

Richard's Pipit

Richard's Pipit

Richard's Pipit

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.
Happy Days
Here is a wee bit about Richard's Pipit from Wikipedia


Little Brown Job said...

Great way to start the year and lovely shots too.

Alan Dalton said...

Great find a richly deserved, a superb NI record. The photos are exceptional, not an easy species to photograph. Nice way to start 2012..

Peregrine's Bird Blog said...

Thanks Alan :-)

elcamperoinquieto.com said...

congratulations, nice way of starting the year s

jeffcopner said...

Fantastic find,well done

Andrew said...

As others say, Craig, a great way to start the year. Congratulations.

siobhan said...

Great find and result!!

Peregrine's Bird Blog said...

Thanks all for the replies