Monday, 20 September 2010

Pipits amongst the melons

tawny pipit, Tulmaythah, September

On last Friday's birding trip, a field next to the sea at Tulmaythah held a different set of birds from its surrounding area.  The field was one full of ripe melons.

I was so busy looking at the wheatears and other birds in adjacent areas I nearly missed the well-camouflaged birds among the melons.

I had noticed the birds over-head more easily. The place was a magnet for both barn swallow and alpine swift.  Alpine swift is a resident bird in this area but this was my first chance to have a prolonged encounter.

melon field, Tulmaythah, September

On the ground were three types of pipit and one of wagtail. The predominant bird was meadow pipit. This bird winters in Libya and this group may well stay in this area for a few months. The passage birds were mostly tawny pipit and a few tree pipit and yellow wagtail.  Even though meadow pipit and tree pipit tend to keep to separate habitat in the summer, it's often different on passage so you have to be careful with identification..

meadow pipit, Tulmaythah, September

For those who like to see the some streaking on a pipit see the photograph below!

second view of meadow pipit, Tulmaythah

Near and beside the field were also some local crested lark. I have photographed so many of these birds that it took something a bit special to persuade me to do it again. However, I thought this bird had one of the largest crests I had ever seen. 

crested lark, Tulmaythah

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