Monday, 26 April 2010

Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)

Latin Etymology: Anthus (a small bird mentioned by Pliny) spinoletta (Florentine name for pipit)
Adult Water Pipit in breeding plumage (subspecies A. s. spinoletta) at Rainham Marshes, London - May 2016

Featured Subspecies: Anthus spinoletta spinoletta
Weight: 23g  /  Length: 18cm  /  Wingspan: 26g
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The least numerous of the UK's four regular pipits, it is a Winter visitor which turns up more or less exclusively on the South coast - and perhaps most notably, is the only species in the UK which travels North in Winter to get here.  They breed in the high mountains of Europe and descend to lowland wetlands for the Winter. Rainham Marshes is the only site I've seen these birds at but this is not entirely typical of where they are normally found, apparently the best sites tend to be watercress beds and water treatment plants. 

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Motacillidae
Genus: Anthus
Subspecies: A. s. spinoletta, A. s. coutellii, A. s. blakistoni

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A rare Wintering visitor (190 birds) 
 - Seen in the Winters of 2010 and 2016 along the Thames foreshore at Rainham Marshes.

Further Notes: BirdForum OpusIUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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