Saturday, 11 October 2014
Reports of a juvenile Tawny Pipit over at Tide Mills got me up and out early on Saturday morning. The weather forecast didn't look good but the idea was to pick Dave up, get over to see the bird and then get under cover before the next downpour hit us.
It all looked promising as we headed towards a small group of birders over by the compound. A couple walking away from the area told us that the Pipit was showing well but of course as we arrived we were told that it had just gone into cover. Fortunately we only had to wait about 15 minutes and it made another appearance.
It was clear that we were not going to get very long to get our pictures. The sky was darkening in the west and we could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. The bird was showing well but was being flushed regularly by people walking past with dogs. It used to be that people only had one dog but now they all seem to have three or four and have no ability to control them.
We got our record shots and there were probably better shots to be had if we had been prepared to wait and get soaked. In the end we settled for what we had and made a quick retreat towards the car.
It was a pity to have to leave as there were a lot of birds about. I could not resist taking this shot of a Stonechat as we hurried by. It just such a different background to the usual gorse and bramble bushes.
We made it back to the car just as the heavens opened up. A life tick for me so a good mornings birding.
Would I have spotted it as a Tawny Pipit if I had not been told it was there or would I have passed it off as just another Meadow Pipit? I'm not sure. It's clear now, looking at the pictures, that the Tawny's distinguishing features are there, but you have to be looking to see them. Still, I learn with each bird that I see and the Tawny should be a lot easier to pick out in the future.