With an hour to spare before I had to be back in Lancaster, and being kept up to date on 'whats about' I decided to engage in a bit of a twitch and headed off to Conder Green where the Water Pipits are still hanging about having been found on Conder Pool on Sunday. With news that two had been seen again this afternoon and with my subscriptions to Conder Green fully paid up....I was off.
It wasn't too long before a Water Pipit obliged not too distant and gave me some prolonged views before it disappeared, but a little later a second bird appeared and was distinctly different from the first in that this bird was developing its summer plumage and was beginning to look pale pink across the breast with virtually no streaking below, the first bird I saw had some streaking persisting on its breast and flanks. The Water Pipit I first picked up attracted my attention by the pale supercilium and was easily identifiable when compared to a Meadow Pipit which was close by, a quite different bird altogether it being browner and more stripy.
British Water Pipits - which are thought to originate from the mountain chains of southern Europe - aren't an easy bird to come by in our area, in the LDBWS Annual Report of 2010 the bird never got a mention, though an elusive single bird can often be seen around this time of year at Leighton Moss, the Water Pipit is otherwise referred to as scarce.
Also noted on Conder Pool during this welcome hour long 'twitch', 2 Spotted Redshank one of which was becoming decidedly black compared to the other which was less advanced but turning patchy dark on its underparts, a Common Sandpiper, and a male Reed Bunting.
Here's another look at the stunning Red-winged Blackbird, this time an excellent video of the bird in song, with some other gems to choose from if you wish at the end of the film.