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Pipit, Plain-backed

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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arks
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:10 pm

Another of my "mystery birds" :wink: Is it possibly a zitting cisticola? Seen on Darling Hills Road, 23 August 2009.

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Rusty Justy
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:04 pm

Definately a Pipit, but which one?! :hmz:
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Falconry4ever » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:33 pm

Rusty Justy wrote:Definately a Pipit, but which one?! :hmz:

Plain-backed Pipit. See long hind claw.
Go look at some of my photos (mostly birds) @ http://www.outdoorphoto.co.za/forum/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=20417

Expect the unexpected...

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arks
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:51 am

Falconry4ever wrote:
Rusty Justy wrote:Definately a Pipit, but which one?! :hmz:

Plain-backed Pipit. See long hind claw.

Does anyone else agree ... or disagree? :?

I'd be very pleased to accept that ID as that would be a new tick for me :dance: And yes, now that I look more closely, I can indeed see a long hind claw in my photos.
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:17 pm

If thats one of the plainbacked pipits, Plainbacked seems the most likely :D But is there any form of streaking or not?!
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Wed May 12, 2010 6:08 pm

Hi All,

Here are some images of a pipit I saw Just outside of Grahamstown, it was seen on the top of a mountain (Not really that high). The grassy slopes were burning with a large run-away fire while I was up there, so this could have attracted any of the 4 pipit species, so I feel habitat may not be as telling as we would normally like it to be :D


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As we found it in the road after it landed, I do recall a slight bit of tail wagging. Although this may have be influenced by us, but who knows.

The four species found here are,

Long-billed
Plain-Backed
Buffy
African

I have my idea of the ID, but would just like to see what the general trend is, let the game begin!!! :twisted:
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby pantera leo » Wed May 12, 2010 6:54 pm

I'm really bad when it comes to Pipits but my gut says Plain-backed Pipit!

Could we maybe use this opportunity to learn more amount Pipit ID from the pro's please! :pray:

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Barcud » Wed May 12, 2010 8:28 pm

OK RJ,

I'll have a go, but don't count on me getting this one right!

This bird seems to have an unstreaked back which rules out African and Long-billed. African would be more heavily marked and show moustachial stripes, while Long-billed looks just plain wrong giss wise for me (I can't explain that away easily!).

Pink and yellow bill base is not a good character to go on as it depends on air temperatures, mood of the bird, time of year etc. Look at the colour difference between pics 1 & 2 and pic 5 to see that bill base colour is variable depending on light conditions.

Buffy tends to have richer flank colouring than long-billed (in my very limited experience of these two) and the stance of this bird also seems good for Buffy from what I've seen.

The back colouration looks more like Buffy than Plain-backed and the bill looks too short for Plain-backed.

I'm opting for Buffy Pipit, but expecting to get shot down in flames very quickly :doh:

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Niall » Thu May 13, 2010 11:26 am

Hi RJ, Barcud

Buffy and Plain-backed are two of the hardest to separate, and as Barcud says, the bill and leg colour vary quite a bit. Buffy tends to be more on the pink side, and Plain backed more on the yellow side.

Habitat is also a little varied. Plain backed seems to favour rocky hillsides, Buffy more open grassier areas - as RJ points out, the fire may have attracted the birds into an area that is not normally their favoured habitat.

Posture: Buffy likes to puff its chest out fairly often, whereas Plain backed has a more "normal" stance.

Distribution: I would think Plain backed is more widely distributed along the Eastern Cape coast (near Grahamstown), and this is fairly well supported by the SABAP2 data:

Plain backed distribution
Buffy distribution

Images of the birds can be seen on my web page(that is saying that I have the ID's correct ;-)!)

Interesting birds, and we all still have a bit to learn.

Cheers

Niall.

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Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Maurice » Fri May 18, 2012 3:01 pm

Hello Bird addicts,

I'm struggling with your South African pipits :D

Not sure if the pipits belong in the LBJ's section, but if I posted this thread in the wrong section, I'll try to move it to the correct one.

My question is, are all the below posted birds African pipits (Anthus cinnamomeus) and if not, what are they then?

Thank you up front! More pipits and larks to come, but this was just the first selection (of one day)....
Pictures taken near Kimberley 2 weeks ago.

Bird 2;
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Bird 4;
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby adrianp » Fri May 18, 2012 4:42 pm

Hi Maurice

Yes, they are all pipits :wall:

#2 and #4 are most likely plain backed or buffys. These two species are hard to tell apart from photographs, but in the field, the behaviour is very diagnostic. Buffy pipit walks like a wagtail with sewing machine like bob and a very pronounced tail wag. Plain backed has a more "normal" walk, with a subtle downward push as a tail wag. A pity we don't take more video's.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby MattAxel » Fri May 18, 2012 6:03 pm

Maurice wrote:I'm struggling with your South African pipits :D


Join he club Maurice :lol: Everyone struggles with the Pipits here!! :wall:

Maurice wrote:Not sure if the pipits belong in the LBJ's section, but if I posted this thread in the wrong section, I'll try to move it to the correct one.


Pipits definitely belong in the LBJ section. They are the ultimate LBJ!

#2 and #4 I really can't make a definite ID on from just looking at these pics. I'll do a bit of reading, and check my books then hopefully get back to you on those.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Maurice » Fri May 18, 2012 8:30 pm

Thank you both for the help you gave so far! Like I said, 've got more pipits in he rest of the days of my stay, that's going to be a struggle :mrgreen:

@ Adrianp: I can't remember any of the behaviour of the birds, so that's not going to be of any help...
@ MattAxel: I wanted to buy the LBJ's book, that I've seen at one of my birding friends house in SA, at the airport on my way out, but they didn't have it there. Luckily I could buy the photographic field guide, so I have to do it with that book and the latest Sasol B.O.S.A. If you mention LBJ's to me, I think of the cisticola's etc. But it's nice that I don't have to move the threat and that the pipits are at the right place :mrgreen:

Hope you can find out more about the above birds.

Maurice (who's sorting out 12000 SA pictures, mainly of birds, I took in 10 days, 2 weeks ago :think: So there's more to come :lol: )

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby MattAxel » Fri May 18, 2012 8:57 pm

Okay I've done some reading and I would say birds #2 and #4 are the l. enunciator race of Plain-backed Pipit, due to the unmarked mantel, more tawny brown back and richer cinnamon-colored underparts, as well as the buff supercilium.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Maurice » Fri May 18, 2012 9:37 pm

Thank you very much MattAxel for your effort!


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