Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)

Latin Etymology: Anthus ("small bird mentioned by Pliny") trivialis ("common or ordinary")
Adult Tree Pipit (subspecies A. t. trivialis) at Ashdown Forest, East Sussex - June 2014

Featured Subspecies: Anthus trivialis trivialis
Weight: 19-25g  /  Length: 14-15.5cm  /  Wingspan: 25-27cm
UK RED LIST / IUCN Red List Least Concern

The Tree Pipit is a far later addition to this website than realistically it has any right to be given its numbers and proximity to London, however, there are a couple of reasons which have conspired to delay its addition.  The first is that at a glance it looks very similar to the Meadow Pipit, a far more numerous species found in similar habitats and others besides, and requires a fairly good view to be able to see the diagnostic features (fine "pencil-line" like streaks on the side, pink legs, differences in song and behaviour and a few more subtle things) and secondly that it is a heathland specialist and summer migrant, and heathland, while having a few unique species found in no other UK habitat, is a habitat likely to produce far fewer wildlife sightings per hour than most other habitats.   I finally did a Summer visit to Ashdown forest in the vague hope of seeing a Short Toed Eagle that had been present there, and while failing to see that, I did manage to add this to my list.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Motacillidae
Genus: Anthus
Subspecies: A. t. trivialis, A. t. haringtoni

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Sparsely distributed but locally common summer migrant breeding species (88,000 territories)
 - Single bird seen singing at Ashdown Forest in June 2014

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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