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Minivet & Pipit ID questions, Guangxi, China (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Yesterday was out birding and have a couple ID questions from the western part of Guangxi, China.

1. Minivet ID: Came across a group of minivets which I would like help IDing. Photos are terrible, but thought that the wing pattern which is visible might be clear enough to ID. The thing that I noticed was that later I came across another group of minivets which were clearly Scarlet Minivets, evidencing the extra patch of red (or yellow in female) on the tertials. This was lacking in the bird in the photos (as well as the female that was with the male). Also curious whether, generally speaking, minivets tend to flock in same species groups or mixed species groups?

2. Pipit ID: Came across three pipits walking in a grassy area underneath a field of plum trees in a park. Again, the photos are poor. Clearly not Olive-backed, but was uncertain of ID. Also a sound file of one of the birds vocalizing when it took flight.



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Well-known member
Long-tailed Minivet seems to fit your photos. I haven't done the pipit-course yet (so to speak) but could no1 be a lark, as the bill looks big.


Well-known member
I'd go for Short-billed for the Minivet as the wingpatch shape seems to fit better - Long-tailed has a long thin second "spur" or projection. Any images you might have of the females might be useful.

The Pipits could be Paddyfield. I couldn't make much out on the audio recording but if you had three birds walking around on short grass in a park, Paddyfield is the likeliest candidate.

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Difficult images - My gut response was Paddy’s also given the slightly dumpy squat appearance in some of the shots but I‘m also thinking Richard’s needs to be ruled out too - it looks big/thrush-billed in some of the images and the face markings could fit either on this image resolution. The grass looks long and rough to me (which is favoured by RP) so I wonder is this a ‘park‘ in the sense of restricted urban green space or is it open grassland, the latter more suited to Richard’s, the former to Paddy’s.

Having said all of that, it looks very short-tailed in some of the images, and where I think it looks long, I may be looking at grass stalks thinking they are legs and tails on my mobile here! So I agree that Paddy’s would be the obvious on that basis (I’m not sure what the winter range is though in the Guangxi province, is it within limits?) Blyth’s can be ruled out on range anyway [EDIT mentioned because that is the only other similar pipit here I think]

I thought perhaps a possible Richard’s on the recording but it’s very very unclear and ‘messy’ and would probably go with my first gut instincts.
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Well-known member
I think Paddyfield are quite rare in Guangxi, so I'd be cautious about claiming that ID. I find it difficult to rule out Richard's from the photos, which is a common winter visitor to SE China and a much more likely species on range.
Having said that, I did think the recording may fit with Paddyfield, but I'm struggling to work out the detail for any of the calls. I think that it's difficult to confirm ID on these birds.


Well-known member
Thanks for all of your input so far! I suspect that Paddyfield Pipit is at the edge or just past its normal range here, while Richards is certainly seen in the area. Here is a 2nd audio file in which those of you more familiar with pipit calls may be able to pick out something.

As for the minivet, the shape of the red on the wing certainly had me thinking Short-billed, but I wanted to get some further confirmation.


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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Thanks Mzwebby

For me at least, it is still not clear although the chips (if those are even the Pipits) sound quite high.
Where there Citrine or Yellow Wagtails around too by any chance did you notice?
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