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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Azan Khan

Active member
Hello everyone, I'm looking for confirmation of this pipit's identification.
The pale-and-dark spots at rear-ear covert and the buffy frontal part of supercilium makes me think of it as Olive-backed Pipit. I don't know much how to separate either of these species based on mantle markings/streaks. Some Tree Pipits are also known to exhibit these features, which spin my head.

Can you please help with ID, preferably how to separate it from Tree Pipit, particularly such individual. I'd really appreciate your valuable response.

Malir, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
February 2024

© Salman Baloch


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What would make it an Olive Backed?

The faint back streaking?

The huff at the start of the supercilium?

Olive back, broad pale supercillium, contrasting and adjacent black and white ear covert dots.
I would say a perfect example of OBP.

Pretty odd, given that Grimbo & Inskipps show it wintering up close to the NE border.
Not really Butty, migrant yunnanenis is pretty scarce in NW India (OP is yunnanensis BTW), largely absent from much of Rajasthan and Punjab. Nominate hodgsoni breeds to HP (and Jammu & Kashmir?) so possibly more likely (in the north) although it moves very little in winter.

Suggest the paucity of records in Pakistan is compounded by reduced observer coverage.

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Agree, it is probably due to less coverage here. The first observation was in Jan 1996 Islamabad by foreigners. Birding has just gotten a bit of momentum in Pakistan in recent years due to social media networking of birders. More coverage will yield frequent sightings of this and other species over the years.

A group of five Smews was another interesting observation from Pakistan, few days ago.

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