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Gallery - Pipits and Wagtails

Pipits (Anthus)

Brown with paler under parts and usually streaked breast, tail shorter than Wagtails, usually with white outer feathers. Dipping flight with aerial song flights, walking and running gait and restless activity.


[RSPB amber conservation status][More information about Meadow Pipit][mpit3]Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)

Meadow Pipits are a Amber list Species-Medium conservation concern.

Meadow Pipits require no trees from which to sing.Instead they display and sing in the sky.They nest in meadowland,upland moors,lowland marshes and other open country.feeds on insects and plant material, ground nesting.


[Video clip about Small spotty birds]Small spotty birds

BTO video about Meadow, Tree Pipits and Skylarks


[RSPB red conservation status][More information about Tree Pipit][treepipit4]Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)

Other Pipits may perch on trees and bushes, but the Tree Pipit makes use of them for its attractive song flight. It breeds on heaths, grassland or newly felled forestry areas. It winters in Africa and the largest numbers return to North and East Europe.


[RSPB green conservation status][More information about Rock Pipit][rkco2]Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus)

The Rock Pipit is a Green list species-no conservation concern.

Rock Pipits feed on insects,small snails and shellfish until they fly, but there parachuting song flight is very obvious.


[Video clip about Rock and Water Pipits]Rock and Water Pipits

BTO video about Rock and Water Pipits


[RSPB green conservation status][More information about Water Pipit][waterpipit3]Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)

The Water Pipit is a Green list Species-no conservation concern.

Breeds in the mountains of Southern Europe and migrates to lower habitats in the Autumn and visits flooded meadows,estuaries and coastal marshes.


Rarer Pipits

Here we have vagrants that occasionally visit our shores.


[blythspipit1]Blyths Pipit (Anthus godlewskii)

Big Pipit, Vagrant from Asia, less than 25 records in the UK.


Wagtails (Motacillia)

Wagtails are longer tailed than Pipits, with plumage in combinations of black, grey, and white outer tail feathers. They repeatedly wag their tail up and down. Flight notably bounding, gait a quick often rather jerky. Some species flock after breeding season.


[RSPB amber conservation status][More information about Grey Wagtail][greywagtail4]Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)

The Grey Wagtail has been classified as a Amber list species-medium conservation concern.

Found near fast flowing water, with rocks and perches,ledges for nesting.Often nests in uplands by mountain streams and moves to lower waters in winter.It feeds on insects which it picks from the ground, from water or in flight. The nest is in a crevice.


[RSPB green conservation status][More information about Pied Wagtail][piedwagtail4]Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrelli)

An adaptable species found near rivers,canals and lakes but also often some distance from water.Runs or flies to catch insects. Nests in a hole or crevice.


[whitewagtail1]White Wagtail (motacilla alba alba)

Continental subspecies of the Pied Wagtail.


[RSPB red conservation status][More information about Yellow Wagtail][Video clip about Yellow Wagtail][yellowwagtail4]Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)

The smallest and most Pipit-like Wagtail. Has many races, whose breeding males have distinctive head paterns.


[yellowwagtail2]Grey Yellow Wagtail (tscutschensis/taivana/macronyx group)

Eastern Europe Visitor



© Simon Thurgood 2017
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