Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 14:42:55
From: Andy Horton <Glaucus@hotmail.com>
Subject: Rock Pipit
I would like to have a closer look at the Rock
Pipit, Anthus petrosus, one
day, and find out more about this bird.
Can anybody suggest:
1) Time of year and locations where this
bird can be observed?
2) References for more information, e.g.
food and behaviour.
Descriptions of this bird's behaviour I would
also find interesting.
Also, I have suspicions that they are hard to
see close-up. When a Water Pipit, Anthus spinoletta,
(this is what the birdwater said) deigned to visit Widewater
it was just a little brown speck flying up in the distance.
I notice you live in Shoreham. I was at
university in Brighton and Brighton Marina is an excellent site for Rock
Pipits. They are mostly a winter visitor to Britain but at least one pair
usually breeds at the marina. Try the small beach just to the west of the
west breakwater or the beach to the east of the east breakwater. You should
get excellent views. I@ve also had Water Pipit there in March.
We have Rock Pipits pretty commonly here in South Wales. They
are especially easy to see in winter on rocky coasts - one site I usually
find very reliable is the Ogwr Estuary near Ogmore, south of Bridgend,
although I come across them in lots of places at that time of year.
They are not particularly nervous - you can usually get to within 20
or 30 feet of them if you're careful.
Hope this helps.
2 Clos Tawe, Barri, Cymru / Wales
Tel +44 (0)1446 720828
Mobile +44 (0)7939 537497
Rock Pipit are truly easy to see, any rocky coast, any time of the year,
In winter they get onto the salt marshes too.
I don't no where you live, but well known spots include, Anglesey (South
stack) Flamborough Head, the Farnes etc.
The call is also very easy, once learnt, though I am not to good at
transcribing calls. similar to Meadow pipit with a "w" sound at the front
Portland Bill Anytime especially autumn down to feet
Terry............... Staffs Birder who year ticks rock pipit at the
P.S. Lovely Crab sandwiches and chips in the cafe by the Bill
Filey Brigg has always been a good place for Rock Pipit especially out
on the Brigg at Low Tide. Magic place
Pretty well any day of the year around the sea wall at Langstone Harbour
or the rocks at Portland Bill.... but there must be a dozen locations near
Shoreham where you could find them. They're definitely not unusual
(Berkshire Birding: http://members.aol.com/berksbirds)
Thanks for all the personal replies on the Rock
I have filed them at:
It seems that I should look closely at every small
bird on the seashore. I am certainly familiar with the rocky shore east
of Brighton marina:
However, I have only seen the bird identified
as a Water Pipit on one occasion.
I have not spoken to the local birders yet, but
it may be that the bird is not thought worth a mention (under-recorded),
as the Shoreham & District Ornithological Society records are meagre
for this area.
"The numbers are never very great with counts
of 17 between Worthing and Widewater in January 1982 (for example)."
It is reported as an autumn and winter visitor
to the Adur estuary only
Brighton Marina is mentioned as a location for
the Scandinavian Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus littoralis.
This latter bird (sub-species?) was recorded in the 19th century with 7
birds in the Booth Museum from Shoreham and nearby.
British Marine Life Study Society
British Marine Wildlife Forum (commenced 1 August 2000)
Group Home: http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/Glaucus
I often see about six pipits on Marmotier, Les Écréhous, (Channel Islands)
I am not sure if they are there in the winter, I will look out for them.
They must nest in the chimneys of the huts.
from Nicolas Jouault
pictures of Les Écréhous at
petrosus et Matthiola incana
> Do rockpoolers see this small bird on visits to the shore.
> If so, I would be interested in where and when?
I know its a bit far away but they are very common all year round up
at Lochaline (Scotland). I even had them landing on the boat when we are
out fishing and coming within a couple of feet of you.
Extract from Sussex
Rock Pipit - Anthus petrosus
Regular winter visitor, occasionally breeds
Present in small numbers on beaches at Goring, Shoreham and Widewater
in Jan/Feb, also at Brighton Marina where possibly 2 pairs bred but only
1 nest found, producing 3 young. Present at all the aformentioned sites
on Nov/Dec. A Scandinavian
Rock Pipit, Anthus petrosus littoralis, was at Brighton Marina
on Mar 18 and has been accepted by SOS (ADW, IJW)
I'll ask about more recent sightings
From: Andy Horton <Glaucus@hotmail.com>
To: Ray Hamblett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Yes, Anthus spinoletta petrosus (British Isles) and A.
s. littoralis (N. W.
Europe including migrants to B.I.) are two of the many subspecies of
spinoletta. According to Howard and Moore (1984) 'A complete
the Birds of the World' the native territory of A. spinoletta
S. and E. Europe.
Penhallurick (1978) 'The Birds of Conwall and the Isles of Scilly' states
that A. S. petrosus is "In its restricted habitat the rock pipit is
our most common breeding birds as recognized by Col. Montagu in his
the county in 1796-97."
Let me know if you want more information and I will xerox the three
that Roger P. devotes to this species, but that couldn't be until
Friday when I am at Cornwll Wildlife Trust and can use the machine.
Stella Turk <email@example.com>
Sea Birds Page