Wednesday, 24 October 2012

OBP!!!!!...Obstinate Bloody Pipit

A fantastic day with low cloud cover and almost no wind saw an excellent variety of species recorded during a long day in the field. The day started off when I flushed a pipit with a very short buzzy call from Cristin garden, It was seen twice more in the space of two hours over the observatory calling many times as it flew over. Unfortunately the bird never showed itself on the ground but was almost certainly an Olive-backed Pipit. Whilst trudging the fields looking for the pipit I flushed a ticking bunting which when it showed itself briefly proved to be a Little Bunting.

The other most noteworthy species seen during the day included a Long-eared Owl at Cristin, a Short-eared Owl, a Richard's Pipit, five Black Redstarts, a Redstart, two Ring Ouzels, a Lesser Whitethroat, five Yellow-browed Warblers (two of which I  trapped and ringed), a Firecrest and a Snow Bunting.

Good numbers of thrushes saw 76 Blackbirds, 13 Fieldfares, 25 Song Thrushes and 158 Redwingsscattered around, whilst singles of Spotted Flycatcher, Woodcock and Great Northern Diver were also recorded.
 This stunning Long-eared Owl was flushed to the North of Cristin and managed to find its way into the only net open at the time, opened to catch the YBW below!

 The Lesser Whitethroat showed some characteristics of Asian origins, any comments welcomed.

Two Yellow-browed Warblers were trapped during the day

As was this abietinus Chiffchaff (right), alongside a Common Chiffchaff in this image (left)

Black Redstart


  1. You didn't record the OBP? Quite likely would have been able to nail it that way!
    Also, that chiffchaff on the right looks like a pretty classic tristis, and does not look anything like a normal abietinus. The bird on the left could well be an abietinus though (or a collybita, since they look essentially the same).

  2. I would be interested to hear your views as to why you think that this is is a classic tristis. By all accounts the bird called like a classic chiff-chaff.

  3. Great day Steve, makes me wish I was there! I also spent Tuesday chasing around my home patch searching for a Tree/Olive Backed Pipit! Unfortunately unless I heard both side by side, I dont think I could distinguish the two. However there are lots of OBPs around and its late for a Tree Pipit...anyway I never heard or saw it again. Even got the dog out amongst the heather flushing all sorts of things! Wish we could find one 'on the deck'.Hope the good birds continue.

    1. Great accout again Steve - some excellent birds.

      Hope you and David connect properly with the next one!!!

      OBP is well and truly on my wants list (refuse to twitch one - or much at all these days!). However, a word of caution - I recorded a certain Tree Pipit late in October a year or two back feeding in some rough pasture below Mynydd Mawr.

      Finally, it would be good if anonymous posters would register so we know who we are communicating with. Does look quite tristis-like but a bit too much green in the wing for a classic. Do realise they can be tricky.

      Good Birding


  4. The Chiff also had quite a bit of yellow in the supecillium. As for the OBP, it is a species that I have found 'on call' on several occasions in the UK, both on Bardsey and on North Ron. The call was very short and not drawn out like Tree Pipit. I heard it about 20 time in the space of two hours. On top of that when the bird flew over, although the view was only brief, it looked very heavily marked on the breast. As David points out there are very fewTree Pips out there at the moment and the place is crawling with OBP including birds in western Ireland.