Saturday, 10 November 2012

Water Pipit at Startops

Following the lack of success with pipits at Wilstone I moved on to Startops where there had been both Water and Rock Pipits last year. I concentrated my search along the bank by the Grand Union Canal because, in my opinion, this has the best beaches for pipits and wagtails

I hadn't gone far when I found two pipits, one of which was an obvious Meadow Pipit. The other bird, however, needed further investigation. Unfortunately, it was very flighty and quite difficult to approach and required a great deal of patience and stealth to get some shots. When I am photographing I rarely carry my scope and when the bird is close enough I am concentrating on looking through the camera rather than my bins. Therefore, it wasn't until I got home and had a look at the results that I realised that it was in fact a Water Pipit.

Note the almost white ground colour of the breast and belly, the prominent double wing bar and the almost black legs. The supercilium (eye-stripe) is also prominent but, as Lucy Flower has pointed out is asymmetric, the one on the left hand side being more prominent than the right. I assume that the right hand one will moult through in due course.

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