10 Dec 2014

The big godlewskii

Birds turn up in the strangest places! Who'd have thought a flooded field earmarked for development in the middle of a Yorkshire Industrial estate would host a mega-rare Blyth's Pipit (Anthus godlewskii). Well Jonny Holliday pulled the proverbial long eared leporidae out of his top hat with this one when he found a Blyth's Pipit on his local patch. With only 22 accepted records and many of these being one day birds on offshore islands this was always going to be a popular bird if it stuck around. It did and had the added bonus of only being an hour and a half away meaning Steve & I had the luxury of waiting to see if it was present for a 2nd day before meandering across the Pennines to Wakefield.

Unfortunately the only views we could all get were of the bird in flight but these were sufficient to identify the bird and coupled with its distinctive call made the identity unambiguous.

The species breeds from southern Transbaykalia  (Russia) and eastern Manchuria south to Tibet & winters in India and Sri Lanka so what it thought  of a cold industrial estate in Yorkshire heaven only knows.

Although there have currently only been 22 accepted UK records there have been three Blyth's Pipits (including this one) seen in the UK this autumn so I hoped one would turn up and give me a chance to catch up with one.

No photo's of this bird by me  - I didn't even bother taking the camera! I did get a photo of Jonny though that shows the difficult habitat the bird was frequenting.

Waiting at home until the news came through that the bird was still present gave me the opportunity to photograph the stunning sun rise  from our kitchen.

What does this Blyth's Pipit and my Levi jeans have in common?

I'll leave that for you to work out...................................

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