Off Island Archive

Water Pipits, Radipole Park Drive, Dorset. 6th December 2012

We were more interested in sound-recording these birds and didn't make much of an effort at either looking at them or photographing them; it was only when we had a closer look at the few photos we'd taken that we realised quite how poorly-marked the supercilia were and how one individual had unexpectedly bold flank streaking. 
Years ago, when we spent much more time at Lodmoor, we used the think it was relatively straightforward to separate the flight calls of the odd wandering Rock Pipits that showed up there amongst the much more frequent Water Pipits, but after living at Portland for so long - where Water Pipit is a great rarity - we'd forgotten quite how we used to do that. Today's birds called a lot, click here to have a listen to one little sequence; and click here and here to listen to couple of different Rock Pipits recorded at the Bill for comparison. And here are the sonograms from the first few seconds of each of these recordings; the Water Pipits:

...and the two Rock Pipits:

We're not sure how representative these recordings are, but to our ears the calls of the Water Pipits sound a good deal hoarser than the thinner, shriller calls of the Rock Pipits, and subtle differences certainly seem to be borne out on the sonograms.
  photos © Martin Cade

Short-billed Dowicher Lodmoor, Dorset. September 11th 2012

photos © Mike Lockyear

White-winged Black Tern Lodmoor, Dorset July 8th 2012

photos © Martin Cade

Gull-billed Tern June 29th 2012

photos © Martin Cade

Cattle Egret Kingston Mauward, Dorset March 18th 2012

photos © Martin Cade

Glossy Ibis Lodmoor, February 3rd 2012

photos © Colin White

Richards Pipit, Littlesea, The Fleet, Dorset, January 6th 2012

photo above 11th January © Mark Coller

two photos above 6th January © Martin Cade

Hume's Warbler, Littlesea, The Fleet, Dorset,  Nov/Dec 2011 (until Apr 12)

In the deep shade of its chosen sallow bushes the bird often had a particularly ghostly pallor about it, appearing on many views to lack any green/yellow tones; the photos below were taken on 5th December:

...and click here to listen to a short recording of it calling (recorded on 23rd November); for comparison, click here to listen to a recording of Yellow-browed Warbler (Easton, Portland, 1st November 2011). Sonograms of the first few seconds of these recording show the difference in call structure, with Hume's being that little bit lower pitched, less 'clean' and lacking a sharp rise in pitch on the second syllable.

...and on 21st December we weren't too far away when Ian Dodd trapped and ringed the bird:

Ian kindly provided the following biometrics: wing length 54 mm, tail length 38 mm,
2nd primary equalled 9th/secondaries, weight 6.1g

photos © Martin Cade: