Friday 12 December 2014

Richard's pipit at the farm

I am extremely grateful to Andy Bailey from UAE for pointing out that one of birds from yesterday's blog might be a Richard's pipit.

After consultations it has indeed found to be one.

The easiest identification point to separate it from a tawny pipit is the very long hind claw visible in three of these photos and especially in the one with the bird's head turned away.

The overall colouration is not based on sandy hues but deeper toned. The bird is upright when standing but exhibits a horizontal posture when moving. All are characteristics of a Richard's pipit.

Richard's pipit standing still

Furthermore it is more robust than a tawny pipit and has a characteristic pot bellied appearance. Indeed it is said to resemble the stance and look of a northern wheatear when standing. I can see that in this bird.

The lores are a little darker than average for a Richard's pipit and the streaking on the breast and mantle pattern are more subdued than average too.

Richard's pipit starting to move

This was my first Richard's pipit in Oman and becomes species 218 on my list. It is indeed only the second time I have seen one in my life.

Richard's pipit showing the long hind claw

I saw this bird at 6.30 am before work because it had spilled over the fence from the farm. Indeed the picture above it part of the fence. This discovery reinforces my view that the farm is almost certainly a repository of so many good birds which mostly go unseen.

Richard's pipit carrying its pot belly

It is getting increasingly difficult to add to my Oman list while staying in the Dhofar area but this proves it is still possible.

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