Top End Pipits

Subject: Top End Pipits
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 19:15:45 +0930
Hi birders,
I have for many years had an interest in the pipits up here (Darwin) 
but other than discussing them and showing them to visitors, have 
not ventured further into researching why they differ from those 
illustrated as Richard's Pipit in the field guides. This is mainly 
because of a lack of suitable detailed references: I have heaps of 
books, but all (Aust & non-Aust) show Richard's Pipit in the same 
way, none of which match the Top End birds.
The birds have a white throat and buff brow, typical of Richard's 
Pipit. The main difference seems to be the underpart streaking. 
Compared with 'southern' pipits, the streaking on the underparts is 
denser, longer,  blacker, and more extensive, clearly going down 
the flanks and in some instances almost to the undertail coverts. 
There may be two 'types' up here, since the ones present at the 
moment are not the heavily marked ones. Ian may be right in 
suggesting they are a Wet Season phenomenon.
I had checked them previously against Pechora but discounted this 
on the basis of the leg and tail length (which seem suitable for 
Richard's) and lack of whitish V on the mantle. I have for a long 
time carefully checked every pipit I see, but I'll look even more 
carefully this Wet (if any are about) and in the meantime may 
check to see if I have anything useful in my notes anyway.

Have a nice day,

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