Tuesday 23 October 2012

Olive-backed pop-out

Was quite well-placed today, having been working from home since early morning when news of an Olive-backed Pipit just down the road in Essex came through. Until recently, this was my biggest ‘bogey bird’ in the UK, having dipped at least seven individuals before finally seeing one… and then promptly seen another one the following year! They’re certainly smart though, and given the likelihood of a small midweek crowd, I decided to chance a flying visit.

Glad I did: ‘the boy’ showed pretty well perched in the open for a couple of minutes, not long after I got there. I’m sure others (Steve A? James L?) will have better photos by now, but here are a few ropey efforts from me. I call this effect “pipit in the mist”….


As I said, very ropey – but enough to show the distinctive head pattern with dark and white spots on the ear coverts and, on one shot the distinct dark upper border to the superciilium; rather plain dark mantle; and a very heavily streaked upper breast on yellowish ground colour. If you use a bit of imagination, the tertial fringes are buffy rather than white, as well! Also very noticeable was the bird’s habit of constantly pumping its tail while perched – a characteristic OBP feature. I didn’t hear it call, unfortunately.

Not bad for a lunch break, though!

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