Pippits, Wagtails

Water Pipit

Greyish dark-legged pipit. Prominent supercilia and pale lores. In breeding plumage grey head, browner back and plain pinkish-white underparts. In non-breeding plumage is lightly streaked below, greyer above. Less heavily streaked than Rosy and Red-breasted. Similar Buff-breasted is less streaked. Feeds in loose groups.

Long-billed Pipit

Largest pipit. Greyish-brown with rufous edges to wings, dark lores. Northern races are greyest and plainest with barely streaked, whitish-buff or rufous-buff underparts. Southern races more heavily streaked above and more lightly streaked on breast, with rufous-buff underparts. Powerful thrush-like bill, short legs and upright stance. Bounding flight; pumps and fans tail upwards.

Tawny Pipit

A plain, medium-sized sandy pipit with dark lores. Adult is plain sandy-brown above with streaking only on crown and breast sides. Juvenile streaked above and spotted on breast and easily confused with other streaked pipits. Long pale supercilia and indistinct moustache. Obvious white-edged, black median coverts. Outer tail feathers buff. Hind claws short. Horizontal wagtail-like carriage.

Yellow Wagtail

subspecies- thunbergi, bema, melanogrisea

Very variable, mainly greenish and yellow wagtail; many races and hybrids occur; only wagtail with olive green or brownish mantle, back, rump  (brownishbacked Forest has unmistakable wing, breast pattern); relatively shorter tail; yellow underparts, vent (Citrine has white vent); two wing bars; breeding males have from greenish yellow to dark grey crowns, ear coverts; non-breeding and females brownish, with straight, pale supercilium (Citrine has curved); whitish or yellowwashed underparts; very gregarious in winter; less undulating wagtail flight.

Tree Pipit

Similar to Olive-backed, but plain greyish brown above, usually with dark streaking on mantle and crown, less bold streaking on flanks; breast usually heavily streaked, but variable; less well-defined facial pattern, with weaker supercilium; does not usually show any white spot or ‘teardrop’ behind eye; pale legs and bill; like Olive-backed, in small flocks; takes to trees when flushed; walks along branches; also terrestrial; feeds on ground and fans tail frequently, but not vigourously.

Olive-backed Pipit

Sexes alike. Olive-brown above, streaked dark brown; dull-white supercilium, two wing-bars and in outer-tail feathers; pale buff-white below, profusely streaked dark brown on entire breast and flanks. The Tree Pipit A. trivialis is brown above, without olive wash. Gregarious in winter; spends most time on ground, running briskly; if approached close, flies with tseep… call into trees; descends in a few minutes.

Paddyfield Pipit

Sexes alike. Fulvous-brown above, with dark brown centres of feathers, giving a distinctive appearance; dark brown tail, with white outer feathers, easily seen in
flight; dull-fulvous below, streaked dark brown on sides of throat, neck and entire breast. The winter-visiting Tawny Pipit A. campestris usually lacks streaks on underbody while Blyth’s Pipit A. godlewskii is indistinguishable in field, except by its harsher call note. Pairs or several scattered on ground; run in short spurts; when disturbed, utters feeble note as it takes off; singing males perch on grass tufts and small bushes.

White Wagtail

Very variable, black, white and/or grey wagtail; for purposes of ID, races characterized as black-backed or greybacked; all the several races of White have white foreheads; breeding birds have extensive black on throat and/or breast; non-breeding birds generally have white throats; variable wing pattern; singly, or in pairs when breeding; sometimes in loose, scattered flocks; communal rooster; forages on ground; sits prominently on exposed perches; calls while perched, in  flight, or on ground.

White-browed Wagtail

Black above; prominent white supercilium and large wing-band; black throat and breast; white below. Female is usually browner where male is black. The black-backed races of White Wagtail M. alba have conspicuous white forehead. Mostly in pairs, though small parties may feed together in winter; a bird of flowing waters, being especially fond of rockstrewn rivers, though it may be seen on ponds and tanks; feeds at edge of water, wagging tail frequently; also rides on the ferry-boats plying rivers.

Grey Wagtail

Br Male: grey above; white supercilium; brownish wings, with yellowwhite band; yellow-green at base of tail (rump); blackish tail with white outer feathers; black throat and white malar stripe; yellow below. Wintering male and female: whitish throat (sometimes mottled black in breeding female); paler yellow below. Mostly solitary or in pairs; typical wagtail, feeding on ground, incessantly wagging tail; settles on house roofs and overhead wires.