17 March 2014

A Scandinavian Rock Pipit at The Head

March would be the peak time for picking up spring Littoralis back when I was birding at Sheringham in Norfolk and so maybe today's bird at St Davids Head should be no surprise. I wonder just how many are lurking in Pembs through the winter and how many go through on passage. For myself I'm thinking they are regular migrants though I do remember how variable numbers were on the east coast from one spring to the next.

Today's bird showed a faint pink wash to the throat sides at some angles and a kind of vinous tinge to the malar region so a bird in summer plumage following body moult but not the brightest by a distance. The supercilium was particularly striking, especially in front of the eye which is unusual I think. I'd expect it to start just before the eye and be boldest over it. The underparts were fairly pale and boldly streaked brownish, less grey in both regards to Petrosus. The outer tail feathers were very clean white for the distal third. The head, back and mantle were quite grey, lacking strong olive tones and contrasting with the browner (unmoulted?) wing feathers. The legs sometimes appeared dark but often more pink, as can be seen in the photos. How characteristic this is of Littoralis I'm not sure but it seems fairly consistent in my recent experience.

1 comment:

  1. Nice. The sheer thought of littoralis still sends a shiver down my spine. Great record shots - really like the last one.