Paddyfield Pipit

Paddyfield Pipit
Paddyfield Pipit

The advantage of an open view and good sunlight for a birder and photographer can be seen in this photo of a small bird, a Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus. We had already seen around thirty birds of this species in the vicinity of muddy wader pools with overcast skies, therefore to see a bird perched on a small bush at close range was a real bonus. Pipits are difficult birds to identify to species level and the field guides compare its features to other Pipit species which is fine in the unlikely event that you have more than one species in view at the same time.

The key identification features which can be seen in the photo are: tawny rufous flanks and side of breast; little streaking on breast, white belly and under tail coverts, white outer tail feathers; pink yellowish lower mandible; light streaking on the head and mantle, buff coloured feather edges; broad indistinct supercilium and dark ear coverts. Does that make it a Paddyfield Pipit? When I first saw it, I said that it was a Tawny Pipit, a more familiar bird in Europe but a species which does not occur in south east Asia but according to the field guides, is a similar species.

It is a widespread species of least concern with a huge range which covers the whole of the Indian subcontinent, Himalayas and south east Asia to Sumatra, Borneo, Indonesia and the Phillipines.

Reference: BirdLife

Country: Thailand
Location: Wetlands en route from Khao Yai to Bangkok airport
Family: Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae)
Species: Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)
Date taken: 09/12/2016