Pipit for ID – Anthus richardi vs Anthus rufulus

on 28th November 2015

“I have been looking at almost every Pipit I have come across, for years, to try and identify any migratory Richard’s Pipit (Anthus richardi) from our local Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus).

“Today I saw this pipit whose behaviour made me consider it as a possibility. I was in the car when I spotted it – a robust looking, solitary bird, stationary in the grass. I stopped 3-4 meters away, using the car as a hide, but the bird did not move. This alone was odd as I have not met a Pipit that would tolerate 6-8 meters approach, even in a car. I spent the next 25 minutes with the bird at close range. Once it got comfortable with me it began to feed. I wondered if this was a recently arrived migrant, worn out by the journey.

“Features, apart from the details above, which made me consider Anthus richardi:
1. the stronger, more robust looking bill
2. the darker brown iris
3. a sharp/rough vocalisation (I heard callscalls 4 times, and managed to get 2 short recordings – merged into one).

“Was difficult to see the hind claw in the grass.
The prominent supercilium made me less likely to consider Blyth’s Pipit (Anthus godlewskii). Note that the bird has tail moult.

“Took a number of videos of the bird, see below.”

“Appreciate any opinions from those more familiar with this species.

“Many more images/views available on request.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
8th November 2015

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Urban environment

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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