In the last post, I have posted photos of the first 3 Richard’s Pipits that showed up on the morning of March 11 at Mae Hia Agricultural College. This post will be about the other 3 Richard’s Pipits and also the 3 Paddyfield Pipits that were showing in the same area.
As noted in the earlier post, RP1-3 basically had the same size which is about the size of a Paddyfield Pipit. On the other hand, RP4-6 that showed up later were noticeably larger with a different shape and posture. My hypothesis is that these birds are the nominate subspecies ‘A. r. richardi’ while RP1-3 are the subspecies ‘sinensis’.
I couldn’t get many photos of RP4 because it only showed up briefly on the other edge of the plot. What’s really striking about this individual was its size and stance. It was strikingly large and pale with a very upright posture but with a full belly. The lores looked pale and the lower mandible was largely pale pinkish.
Then came along was also another strikingly large individual, RP5. It was also strikingly large and pale like RP4 but with a worker plumage which makes it look more greyish. When comparing to RP1-3, the bill seems to be slightly larger. It also has a more upright posture with longer and more slender neck. The head also looks somewhat less rounded and the crown streaks seem to be equally broad unlike in RP1-3 which have broader and more obvious lateral crown stripes.
As the temperature rose higher and higher around noon, the birds looked much thinner than they were in the morning, but the jizz still stayed the same.
RP6 was the last individual that showed up. It somehow had a mixed impression between RP1-3 and RP4-5. The bill looks similar to RP5 but it lacks the heavy chest and belly impression, as well as the long and slim neck. Even though it was quite noticeably larger than RP1-3 when seen in comparison, but it doesn’t look like a larger bird. I’d still say that it is the nominate race ‘richardi’ by the way, because even though the size and structure seem to be more delicate, the bill shape still seems to fit more to RP4-5.
Now, let’s see some photos of the local Paddyfield Pipits that also put on an equally great show at the same spot. There were total 3 individuals as seen in the image above. PP1 and PP2 seemed to be a breeding pair, while PP3 was only seen feeding by itself.
A video of PP1 while calling
PP1 was the most vocal and most obliging one. It seemed to be quite curious about the hide and often came walking around closely. It was the palest among the 3 individuals with pale sandy buff overall colouration. The lores are strikingly dark and the tail is short, so it was very straightforward for identification.
I only took few photos of PP2 as it didn’t spend much time at the plot. It seemed to be interacting a lot with PP1 but showed signs of aggression towards PP3 and Richard’s Pipits, so I guessed they were a breeding pair. It shares the same structure as PP1 but the plumage is slightly worner and more rusty tinged.
Of all the 3 Paddyfield Pipits seen on that day, PP3 caught my attention the most. It has a weird rich ochre and rufous colouration especially on the flanks, cheeks and underparts. The black markings on the head and neck are also much bolder than in any other individual. The tail is short just like PP1-2, the lores are dark and the size is small, so it was no doubt a Paddyfield Pipit, but I really can’t be sure why it shows such a dark colouration unlike the others.