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Pipit ID from Northern Pakistan (1 Viewer)

gilgit2

Well-known member
I spotted this pipit near some Water Pipits (Anthus spinoletta), yesterday (16 November) at Borith Lake (36°26'6" N 74°51'40" E) in the northern areas of Pakistan.

We usually get numerous Water, with few Buff-bellied Pipits during this time of the year. My first impression was this might be Tree Pipit, but I am bit confused based on the face pattern and streaking above (seems like Meadow Pipit) and also its bit late for Tree Pipits in our area. I am attaching images for all possible angle. Thanks in advance for identification.
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello,
allthough its not good to answer when I have no experience in a certain region (I have only been in Europe), I will post:

Your bird isnt a Tree Pipit:
-most have a prominent supercilium which your bird lacks
-bill is not strong/stout enough
-hind claw seems to long, but this is a bit variable. Caveat: when you look at ID-books, you can get the feeling that this is an easy and failproof character with modern cameras and "cristall-clear-magic"-binoculars, but in the field and many pictures it isnt. Reason? Dont know, one of the points I am still interested in.
-overall colouration is not warm/clean/smooth enough for an ID-book Tree
-flank streaking is to bold for the vast majority of Tree Pipits


Your bird isnt a Red-throated Pipit:
it lacks yellow bill-base (its orange in your bird), lacks bold blop-shaped rounded streaks to breast and flanks (to narrow/wrong shaped in your bird). More it seems to lack dark markings on the visible uppertail-coverts (not sure if this can be judged in these pictures)

Water Pipit/Rock Pipit of europen ssp/species/forms are even less similar.

But your bird looks very good for a Meadow Pipit, everything is there. Overall colouration is variable in Meadow Pipit, ranging friom cold colouless olive-grey to an dirty olive-brown (which many Meadows have, making seperation from Tree easy in Europe if present allmost by this alone) to warm buffish-brown like in your bird.

Conclusion? A Meadow Pipit for me, with one caveat: is there a Pipit so similar to an (european) Meadow Pipit in Pakistan, that I dont know and am not aware of? Because if sen in europe, I would ID your bird as a Meadow with confidence.
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
Looks just like a Meadow Pipit to me too - no idea what their status in northern Pakistan is (or what potential confusion species there might be, too)!
 

gilgit2

Well-known member
Thank you, I also deduced the ID in a similar way :)

Hello,
allthough its not good to answer when I have no experience in a certain region (I have only been in Europe), I will post:

Your bird isnt a Tree Pipit:
-most have a prominent supercilium which your bird lacks
-bill is not strong/stout enough
-hind claw seems to long, but this is a bit variable. Caveat: when you look at ID-books, you can get the feeling that this is an easy and failproof character with modern cameras and "cristall-clear-magic"-binoculars, but in the field and many pictures it isnt. Reason? Dont know, one of the points I am still interested in.
-overall colouration is not warm/clean/smooth enough for an ID-book Tree
-flank streaking is to bold for the vast majority of Tree Pipits


Your bird isnt a Red-throated Pipit:
it lacks yellow bill-base (its orange in your bird), lacks bold blop-shaped rounded streaks to breast and flanks (to narrow/wrong shaped in your bird). More it seems to lack dark markings on the visible uppertail-coverts (not sure if this can be judged in these pictures)

Water Pipit/Rock Pipit of europen ssp/species/forms are even less similar.

But your bird looks very good for a Meadow Pipit, everything is there. Overall colouration is variable in Meadow Pipit, ranging friom cold colouless olive-grey to an dirty olive-brown (which many Meadows have, making seperation from Tree easy in Europe if present allmost by this alone) to warm buffish-brown like in your bird.

Conclusion? A Meadow Pipit for me, with one caveat: is there a Pipit so similar to an (european) Meadow Pipit in Pakistan, that I dont know and am not aware of? Because if sen in europe, I would ID your bird as a Meadow with confidence.
 

gilgit2

Well-known member
Thank you Joern Lehmhus, Nutcracker and Alexander Stöhr, thank you for the the help in identification. Meadow Pipit has been recorded as a vagrant or rare winter visitor to north western parts of Pakistan (south west of the current spotting), but I am not aware of any latest records from the country.
 

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