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Thread: Paddyfield or Blyth's or Richard's Pipit: Singapore

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Paddyfield or Blyth's or Richard's Pipit: Singapore

    Hi All,

    Today, I photographed a paddyfield-like pipit that doesn't sound like one. (May be due to my ignorance of the paddyfield's variety of calls)

    Initially, I thought that it was just another paddyfield pipit because it really looks like one - only a little fatter and shorter looking. But, out of caution, I decided to take some record photos of the bird.

    Chasing a flock of 20++ raptors (Black Kite, Brahminy kites, white-bellied sea eagle and probably booted eagles), I flushed the bird unintentionally. It called a metallic "tun-it tun-it" followed by a series of melodious whistle. All these were called during flight. The moment I heard the bird's call, I was rather puzzled.

    Remembering a previous email from David Bakewell, based in Malaysia, I tried my best to remember the pipit's call. The closest call I found was the metallic chu-it call in .

    Other than the call, I, honestly, can't remember any of its features (e.g. its breast streaks etc). Then, the raptors were more interesting and the pipits ,which I barely know how to differentiate - let alone know what to look out for, was second priority. Just out of curiosity, I noted the calls of the pipits that I flushed and where they went. All called the typical swi-ii/swi-it call of the paddyfield pipit and did some form of triangular flight path, up-and-down.

    Thus, for the features of the bird, I have nothing more to add except for those that can be seen on the photos:

    - broken eye-ring
    - buffish supercilium
    - obvious continuous malar stripe
    - nicely defined brown face-patch that starts from the gape and ends at the ear-covert, forming a brown tear-drop shape face patch.
    - Streaky crown, mantle (looking closely at the blurry mantle)
    - Buffy fringes on wing coverts
    - 3 downward-pointed, black-centred lesser converts, surrounded by buff
    - Black elongated, black-centred (streak-like) median and greater coverts
    - Buff-fringed tertials and primaries
    - Grey-fringed uppertail feathers, except for the outermost tail feathers which have a partial white edge

    Please guide me along on how to identify the pipits.

    Jia Sheng
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    I believe that your bird is a Paddyfield Pipit. Features that help to separate it from Blyth's Pipit are the strong bill, the bold supercilium, the relatively plain back and the dark lores. Note that the call of Paddyfield Pipit fits also your description:
    The third similar species, Richard's Pipit, would have a clearly different call (and usually also a longer tail).

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    Thanks CAU for your reply! Now, I know what to look out for in future.


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