‘Scandanavian’ Rock Pipit
Photographed at Draycote Water by Paul Cashmore on 04/04/14 this bird is fairly typical of certain summer plumage Rock Pipits of the race A.p.littoralis the so-called Scandanavian Rock Pipit
The underparts are very clean but have a slightly pinkish wash reminiscent of summer plumage Water Pipit. Unlike Water Pipit the bird has heavy moustachial streaks and the streaking on the upper breast and flank sides is also very heavy. The head is grey, again recalling Water Pipit though the degree of contrast between the head and upperparts is not as marked as in that species.
On this photo, taken at Draycote Water the same day, the whitish outer corners to the outermost tail feather can be seen. On Water Pipit the outer tail feathers are pure white and very distinctive when the tail is spread. Spring migration of Rock Pipit through the Midlands occurs mostly in March and late birds should be checked thoroughly. It is often asserted that littoralis and petrosus cannot be separated in winter plumage and whilst this is generally the case certain well marked individuals do appear distinctive, again in ways which recall Water Pipit.
This bird photographed at Brightlingsea, Essex on 11/12/13 shows a very broad, square ended supercillium reminiscent of Water Pipit. The upperparts are rather brown for petrosus, but not as warm as those of Water Pipit and the wing bars are fairly strong. The flank streaking is too heavy for Water Pipit though not as broad and diffuse as a typical petrosus (particularly the lower streaks) and there is no olive wash to the flanks. All of which results in an appearance somewhat intermediate between petrosus and Water Pipit, the typical description of littoralis.