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Water Pipit in Dorset: what your tweets tell us ...

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  • A winter visitor to wetland habitats especially watercress beds!


     

     

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The water pipit seems to be the exception to the rule; the rule being birds fly south in autumn and north in spring! The water pipit's breeding range extends across central and south eastern Europe and in to parts of Asia and yet a small number fly north and turn up here in Britain for the winter and some of those visit Dorset. It is a close relative of our rock pipit, which is a resident breeding species here, and it is very difficult to tell the two apart, but different habitat preferences can help put you on the right track. When here in Dorset the water pipit is usually seen on marshy ground, often saltmarsh, and it also has a liking for watercress beds and we have some of those here in Dorset; rock pipits would hardly ever be seen in these habitats.

Water pipits seem to arrive from week 42 in late October as that is when the first tweeted reports occur. They are then seen regularly right through the winter until week 16 in late April the following spring. Once they have arrived they tend to stay in much the same locality unless forced to move on by severe weather.

There are currently seventeen sites in Dorset that have recorded water pipit and most of those feature marshy habitat often with open water 'scrapes'. Lytchett Fields, Sunnyside Farm and Holton Lee have the most reports and all have scrapes that have been made to encourage birds to visit during the winter months and that policy seems to be benefiting the water pipit.

Forecasting where and when to add water pipit to your Dorset list is a tricky business; best watch the news for reports and head off to a known site as soon as one is reported.


 

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This chart shows the number of reports per week for this species where there are reports (see note below):

The intention of this chart is to show which weeks during the year this species is most likely to be seen. See note above about multiple reports of a single specimen!

This chart shows the number of reports per month for this species where there are reports (see note below):

The intention of this chart is to show which months during the year this species is most likely to be seen. Remember that is is the total number of REPORTS; there may be several reports for just one occurrence of the species (that is to say, a number of individuals may have been to see a single specimen of a species).

This chart shows the number of reports for each year for this species where there are reports (see note below):

Contributors to the Nature of Dorset have seen this species at these locations:

Please note that the markers show APPROXIMATE locations of the observation, not exact locations! You can find often find out more information about location by looking at the original tweet. Click on any marker to see the name of the location and then click on the location name to see more details about the site where available.

This chart shows the number of reports per site for this species. Hover over any column to see the site and the number of reports:

Ckick/tap the list icon for an alphabetical list of all the posts in this series from where you can access any that are of interest to you

Name Peter Orchard
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Twitter Screen Name peterorchardnod
Location Wareham, Dorset, UK
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This is a feed of contributions to my main website; the Nature of Dorset. My 'high five' are the five most interesting species from my walks in Dorset somewhere

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