Tuesday 7 May 2013


Marc Gálvez and José Guerra do not fail to surprise us, as you can read in the earlier posting son the Ring-billed Gull and the Herring Gull. Just a few days after Marc found the first Herring Gull for Extremadura, and at the same site, José found the first Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinusrecorded in the region. A male was seen on 25th April 2013 at Guareña (Badajoz). Soon afterwards Marc also observed it. And on 27th April, probably the same bird was found by José Gómez Aparicio, and also seen by Eva Palacios (photo), Sergio Mayordomo, Francisco Montaño, Lorenzo Alcántara, Vicky Resa, Esther, Isaac, Marc Gálvez and José Guerra. To complete the treats, on 25th a Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana) was also found in the area and on 27th a Scandinavian Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava thumbergi).

Although this pipit is unmistakeable in breeding plumage with its reddish breast and throat in both sexes, up until now it had never been recorded in Extremadura. It breeds in the Arctic tundra, from Norway to Alaska, wintering in Africa and South Asia, crossing Eurasia on migration. Spain lies on the margin of its migration route, and it is infrequently seen although not classed as a rarity. Most records are from spring (March to May, especially April), when perhaps the passage is heaviest, although it is most readily identifiable then and also other pipits will be scarce or absent. Autumn records are much rarer and in recent years there have been some over-wintering records. The species is a rare but regular over-wintering bird in Italy and Greece, with more wintering in north-east Africa. As with other migratory birds, most records are from the Mediterranean coast of Spain, and it is very rare indeed in the west and centre of the peninsula.

Translated by Martin Kelsey.