Great observation, but why is this not a Blyt´s pipit ?
As i understand you have to have Richard´s and Blyth´s in hand to make a sure identification, these pipits call is also very similar so how can/do you make a sure identification in field ?
You are right about the fact that Blyth's and Richard's Pipit can be difficult to tell apart. But if we first look at the images there are some things that point towards Richard's Pipit.
On Blyth's Pipit the second outermost tail feather shows extensive white on the outer web, and a triangle of white on the distal quarter of the inner web. Richard's Pipit has a more narrow and longer white field on the second outermost tail feather.
Blyth's Pipit appears shorter tailed than Richard's - this bird shows a long tail in my opinion.
Furthermore the "moustache" stripe on this bird is very distinctive were as it is more faint on a Blyth's.
I've seen both Blyth's and Richard's Pipit before. Blyth's tends to run a lot on the ground (like a wagtail) whereas Richard's fourages a bit more thrush-like - standing still, then running a bit, than standig still and streatching. This bird was fouraging as I would expect a Richard's Pipit to do.
The call from Blyth's is acturally quite easy to distinguish from Richard's as Richard's is much more harsh - the mere tone is different in those two.
Recent field observations have prived that the two may appear very different from each other (see e.g. discussions under photo of Blyth´s Pipit from Halland, Sweden in January 2008). Jizz differences have been confirmed with further experience from India.
Blyth´s Pipit may pass as an over-sized smaller pipit, an impression I never have got on a richard´s, how small they have been (many in Siberia, Indian subcontinent, Thiland, E China and some in Scandinavia).
- The second outermost tail feather shows extensive white, which fits Richard´s. Also the tail is longish-looking, in Blyth´s I would have expected a shorter tail (creating a jizz more like an over-sized Meadow Pipit.
- There is a clear contrast between the whitish belly and the buff flanks; almost any Blyth´s have belly and flanks of the same buffish colour.
- The dark triangle on the neck-sides is larger than I have seen in any Blyth´s.
- on the settled bird, the legs look long as expected from Richard´s.
The bird is, however, not as easy as most Richards; the bill does not look very long and thrush-like as in most richard´s, but it falls within the variation in richard´s. Furthermore, the supercilium is unusually weak for Richards, and more as expected from Blyth´s. again there is individual variation.
Jeg synes faktisk jizzet minder lidt om en forvokset småpiber med det halvbuttet jizz med en påsat hale og et næsten usynligt næb. Men det er bare hvad jeg kan se, har aldrig set nogen af dem i den rigtige verden ;)
Hi Silas and Klaus.
Many thank´s for a very good explanation how to tell Richard´s an Blyth´s from each other, this is most helpfull, and thank´s Klaus for refering to discussions under the photo of Blyth´s pipit from Halland, Sweden, January 2008.
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