Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
Meadow Pipit, Aberlady, East Lothian, Scotland, June 2005 - click for larger image Scotland

The Meadow Pipit is resident in north-west Europe but elsewhere is migratory breeding from central Europe north to the Arctic Sea and wintering in southern Europe. It is also found in western Asia and Greenland.

It is the commonest pipit in western Europe as well as being one of the smallest.

Meadow Pipit, Staffa, Western Isles, Scotland, June 2005 - click for larger image It is a ground-dweller and inhabits open, vegetated areas and is often seen perched on bushes, fence posts and stone walls. It has a distinctive song-flight, ascending from the ground or perch with fluttering wings and spread tail then descending almost like a parachute.

It feeds mainly on invertebrates caught on the ground. It also nests on the ground, the nest being cup-shaped and consisting of grasses and other plant material.

Juvenile Meadow Pipit, Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, Ireland, July 2005 - click for larger image The 3rd photo shows a juvenile bird with no streaking on the flanks while the fourth photo shows an even younger immature bird.
Immature Meadow Pipit, Shetland, Scotland, June 2004 - click for larger image
Meadow Pipit, Aberlady Bay, East Lothian, Scotland, June 2002 - click for larger image Meadow Pipit, Aberlady Bay, East Lothian, Scotland, June 2002 - click for larger image
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