Olive-backed Pipit – North Yorkshire

2 days ago

Remarkable! Met Mark Pearson at Flamborough y’day. Despite already scoring heavily at Filey this spring, he had one more up his sleeve. Cheeky! Sent these pics for comment though I hardly gave him ‘news’ I think. Read Northern Rustic’s Word here:

Also he wrote:

“here’s the only shots I got at a pipit which landed on Carr Naze yesterday evening (30th April) – very briefly, and right in the sun – which I’d like to hear your thoughts on. The bird called twice, and if I had to put money on it, I’d say it ‘squeaked’ more like an OBP”

Of course assessing bird ID from photos is not the same as field birding and this one is somewhat hampered by strong back lighting. However I see: plain upperparts, lacking streaking of Tree Pipit, very white super, lovely buffy/ orange fore-supercilium, strong black lateral crown strip (above supercilium) gorgeous inky black BIG breast blobs, and obvious dark mark below pale ear coverts spot. Well looks to me, given the light, as if it’s a straightforward Olive-backed Pipit. Any disagree?



About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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5 Responses to Olive-backed Pipit – North Yorkshire

  1. Looks like an OBP to me.

  2. Frank Moffatt says:

    Yes it does look like a certain Olive-backed Pipit in these photos particularly since the contrast levels were upped considerably. But in the original photos where the light levels produced quite different images I would suggest it’s might not be quite so cut and dried. Based on the slightly grainy, slightly washed-out originals I’d still favour OBP but perhaps it’s not so easy to rule out a very well-marked Tree. I’d be interested to hear from yourself Martin, and other photgraphers, just how easy is it to enhance these sort of photos and what do you think the overall effect might be. Could it lead us to the wrong conclusion or do you think it simply gets us to the right answer that bit quicker?

    • Martin Garner says:

      hi FXM

      good to see you in Israel

      Yes I essentially agree with the pint you are making- indeed I often comment when asked re photos that its much safer to identify birds (usually) in the field. Even very good photos can easily be misleading for variety of reason and always just a split second in time. You would never ID a bird in ‘real life’ based on a frozen moment viewing only part of it. For that very reason I was cautious with Mark’s bird, which he unfortunatly didn’t see as well as hoped for in the field. However I think that visible features like the lateral crown stripe and various details of head pattern all fit OBP nicely. I would expect to be able to discern Tree Pipit elements even with the light problem. Looks better that the OBP’s in the date palms too!


  3. Frank Moffatt says:

    Thanks for your comments Martin. Yes it always looks better for OBP AND it’s a lot better than the Date Palms gang

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