Friday, June 1, 2012

Paddyfield Pippit - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Paddyfield Pippit taken in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
Paddyfield Pippit (Anthus rufulus) - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

The Paddyfield Pippit, a small passerine, is a common bird found in scrub, grassland and cultivated areas through Asia. I photographed these birds while driving to the Kudumbigala Monastery in July. It's a relatively plain looking bird with a streaked grey and brown body. However, measuring in at around the 15cm mark, it is large for a Pippit.

More photographs inside.

A photograph of a Paddyfield Pippit taken in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
Paddyfield Pippit (Anthus rufulus) - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Richards Pippit and Blyths Pippit are similar in appearance to this species and differentiating them can be difficult in the winter month when they migrate into the area. 6 subspecies have been identified. The Paddyfiled Pippit is smaller, weaker in flight and has a shorter tail. 

A photograph of a Paddyfield Pippit taken in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
Paddyfield Pippit (Anthus rufulus) - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

This species breeds throughout the year, mainly in the dry season, and may have two or more broods in a year. The nest is built on the ground under a slightly prominent area which could be a push or a tuft of grass. A clutch usually consists of 3 - 4 eggs which are greenish in colour. When disturbed near the nest the parents may feign injury to distract predators.

A photograph of a Paddyfield Pippit taken in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
Paddyfield Pippit (Anthus rufulus) - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

I came across these birds by the side of the road and photographed them from the car. I used the Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens for all these photographs.





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