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Meadow Pipit (Riabhóg Mhóna) (Anthus pratensis) | by Mark Carmody
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Meadow Pipit (Riabhóg Mhóna) (Anthus pratensis)

The meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis) is a small passerine bird which breeds in much of northwestern Eurasia, from southeastern Greenland and Iceland east to just east of the Ural Mountains in Russia, and south to central France and Romania; there is also an isolated population in the Caucasus Mountains. It is migratory over most of its range, wintering in Southern Europe, North Africa and Southwestern Asia, but is resident year-round in Western Europe. However, even here, many birds move to the coast or lowlands in winter.

 

This is a widespread and often abundant small pipit. It is an undistinguished looking species on the ground, mainly brown above and buff below, with darker streaking on most of its plumage; the tail is brown, with narrow white side edges. It has a thin bill and pale pinkish-yellow legs; the hind claw is notably long, longer than the rest of the hind toe.

 

It is primarily a species of open habitats, either uncultivated or low-intensity agriculture, such as pasture, bogs, and moorland, but also occurs in low numbers in arable croplands. In winter, it also uses saltmarshes and sometimes open woodlands. (wikipedia)

 

This bright individual was quite oblivious to my presence along Bull Island in Co. Dublin, a UNESCO Biosphere. The "mipit" is a bird of our uplands in spring and summer, but comes down to our coastline in winter, and in particular our saltmarshes and dune systems. Such a lovely species.

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Taken on November 13, 2016