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Munich Germany: Water pipit with orange-yellow legs? (1 Viewer)

Hi all,

I would be grateful for some feedback on this pipit. The picture was taken at the shores of Isar, south of Munich. The bird was quite far away and the light conditions not favourable, hence the lousy pic, sorry about that.

Actually I was convinced it would be a water pipit (Anthus spinoletta) and it is the most likely pipit species here for this time of year at water banks. Also water pipits have been reported from that spot and the pipit's call sounded very much like my app tells me a water pipit should sound like.

Here is why I post this anyway: I am confused about the orange-yellow legs. According to typical descriptions of the water pipit, the legs should be dark - the Svensson states that leg colour "can vary" and be "quite light" - whatever that means. The leg colour wasn't something that struck me while in the field but now on the picture I find it quite remarkable.

Any help would be highly appreciated.
Many thanks in advance,
Claudia




DSC_4862 (2).JPG
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
It looks more like a Meadow Pipit e.g. with the extensive 'spottier' streaking on the underparts, as well as the leg colour.
 
Thanks! Yes I agree with you. Just thought they would be gone by now, but I now read that some actually spend the winter in Germany. What I heard sounded more like water pipit, though. Anyway, I saw up to 7 birds, so maybe a mix. I attach another two other pics which may underline meadow pipit. Here, I am missing the distinct white supercilium, for a typical water pipit, for example. This, however, seemed to be present on the first bird... To be honest, I am confused. ;)
 

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Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Thanks! Yes I agree with you. Just thought they would be gone by now, but I now read that some actually spend the winter in Germany. What I heard sounded more like water pipit, though. Anyway, I saw up to 7 birds, so maybe a mix. I attach another two other pics which may underline meadow pipit. Here, I am missing the distinct white supercilium, for a typical water pipit, for example. This, however, seemed to be present on the first bird... To be honest, I am confused. ;)
The second picture looks good for Water Pipit. The underpart streaking is good for that species. The supercillium can be quite variable. The first might be Water Pipit too but it's hard to tell.
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Claudia,
do both pictures from your second post show the same bird?
Picture 4869 is indeed a Water Pipit:
-dark legs, the right smooth grey colour for Water Pipit (=spot on)
Water Pipits in winter lacking a clear supercilium are regular.

Agree with Andrew: first bird is a Meadow Pipt. Please compare colours and shape of underpart straking to the Water Pipit. Yes, Meadow is variable in colours and extent of underrpart streaking. But it (never?) matches the exakt colours plus form and extent of underpart streaking

Are there more pictures of the 4846 bird. It is hard, at least for me
 
Hello Claudia,
do both pictures from your second post show the same bird?
Picture 4869 is indeed a Water Pipit:
-dark legs, the right smooth grey colour for Water Pipit (=spot on)
Water Pipits in winter lacking a clear supercilium are regular.

Agree with Andrew: first bird is a Meadow Pipt. Please compare colours and shape of underpart straking to the Water Pipit. Yes, Meadow is variable in colours and extent of underrpart streaking. But it (never?) matches the exakt colours plus form and extent of underpart streaking

Are there more pictures of the 4846 bird. It is hard, at least for me
Hello Alex,
Thanks! The pictures from my second post may not be the same bird. There were in total seven pipits and it was hard for me to keep track of the individuals. I have two other pics of the 4846 bird which are not completely blurred - I attach the originals, unprocessed.
Many thanks again,
Claudia
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Thank you Claudia for the pictures. They look indeed better for a Water Pipit, colour of legs are within variation for Water Pipit, pale colour might be enhanced here by reflection of snow (?)
I hope that Andrew or others can write more about this bird. It is still a hard Water Pipit for me, but I would like to learn.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Thank you Claudia for the pictures. They look indeed better for a Water Pipit, colour of legs are within variation for Water Pipit, pale colour might be enhanced here by reflection of snow (?)
I hope that Andrew or others can write more about this bird. It is still a hard Water Pipit for me, but I would like to learn.
I also think that bird is likely a Water Pipit, but that's as much as I can say from this picture.
 

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