Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Above - Field Notes, Water Pipit, Bothal Pond.
Last evening I had a couple of hours to kill before going to an excellent slide show at Steve Taylor's house (His recent holiday to Chile with birds I've never heard of but they looked fantastic) so I stopped off at Bothal Pond.
Although a chap was flyfishing ( and doing well too with three big Rainbows to the net before release) there were still some birds around. A single, female, Little Ringed Plover was on show as were my first 8 Sand Martins of the year.
I had seen a White Wagtail in with the 30 or so Pieds scattered around the pond edge when Bob Biggs turned up on his way home before coming to Stevie's slide show. He had LRP and Sand Martins on his year list before leaving but we couldn't refind the White Wag. After he left I was counting the Wagtails looking for the alba finding not one but two then, with them a smaller more skulking bird appeared. Even at range in the scope, it looked good, and the most obvious feature was the plain pale pink breast. As it turned I could see the blueish head with white supercilium - a Water Pipit. Due to the distance and vegetation I couldn't see the tail well, but I could pick out some very strong lower flank streaking. After a while it wandered off into one of the small edge creases on the west side.
Later at Steves do, ADMc saw my drawing above and tells me that he had a littoralis Rock Pipit here a day or two back. Well, that got me thinking straight away. Have I cocked up another Pipit like last years Tree Pip at Seaton Point? I often doubt my own eyes, but my notes above are as genuine as I could be, and were done on the spot, even the painting.
It was with some relief when Steve texted me this morning to say that a Water Pipit was showing down to 50 feet. Maybe not as pink as my picture but a Water Pipit none the less. Some one also reported it at lunchtime... Two bird theory or two bird fact?
Also seen during the day at snatched intervals - 3 juv Glaucous Gulls at Linton, same birds as photographed, the 2 Cranes at QEII and my first 4 Chiffchaffs all singing at Linton.