not a definitive answer, because of a hard picture (more pictures could make this an easy one, I am qute sure) and lack of experience with variation of RTP and I havent seen RTP in winter, but I would say that Meadow Pipit seems to be the best fit for both birds.
- narrow black streaks to mantle, should be broader in RTP
-narrow streaks at flanks, should be blop-shaped in typical RTP.
-dark brown upperparts with just imaginable olive wash is rare or outside variation for RTP (as said, I havent seen enough RTP to make such a judgement
- orange bill-base, should be yellow in RTP
Please note, that Meadow regularly shows streaked uppertail-coverts and rarely weak streaks to the rump.
While I wrote this, others with much experience, I often learn from, said allready both are Meadow Pipits, so my confidence in identification for both birds as Meadow Pipits has moved at least one step up.
Hi Lisa, To avoid the chance of unconscious bias sorry for not showing the location. Actually, at least one of the birds on the photo is a mega rarity for Bulgaria and the right one could be a vagrant as well. Thanks for your understanding.
Yes, it confused me a bit too - perhaps for slightly different reasons - since the location was mentioned in the opening post how does this avoid ‘unconcious bias’ in people’s replies? Perhaps the hope was to avoid excluding people not familiar with Bulgaria since the OP was asking about vagrants but most European birders are aware of, if not already familiar with vagrant Pipits in Europe (partly because in some parts of Europe one vagrant is another’s breeding species!), including Asian and American sp, regardless of the pipit species in question, so I can’t see how adding ‘Bulgaria’ would deter posters from opening the thread if that was the intention?
Any, there’s not really an excuse - its really annoying when there’s no location (and no date either!) whether its just memory lapse or because one wishes for a rare vagrant ID, ’ likelihood’ often does play an important part in the identification process.