Monday, January 11, 2010

Buff-bellied Pipits

This morning I followed up Ron Haran's discovery of a Siberian Buff-bellied Pipit near Kalya, N Dead Sea. I was joined by Jonathan Meyrav. Quickly we found three birds among the many Water Pipits. They were very shy and always kept a safe distance from us, contrary to the wagtails and Water Pipits that practically ran under our vehicle. All images are of the same individual, the only one that approached us a bit. however all images are nasty crops, and together with the ugly background and bad light resulted in these bad images. I promise to return to this site and get better images.

Note that this individual has most greater coverts missing in its left wing, while its right wing is complete and shows two nice wingbars.

Note the diagnostic head pattern, slaty-grey mantle (depends on light of course), bold breast streaking and pale legs.

While waiting for the bastard BBP's to approach, we had much time to observe Water Pipits very intimately. At close distance we heard them giving extraordinary contact calls, very soft and low, very different from their normal flight calls. I wish the buff-bellies gave us such photo opportunitis:

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