Water or Rock Pipit - Anyone's thoughts please?

Hi there everyone,

My wife are currently spending a week in Shetland and on Sumburgh Head yesterday we noticed this little chap. We're trying to identify him and have whittled him down to either a Rock, Water or Meadow Pipit.

We're leaning towards the scarcer Water Pipit purely on the strength of it's duller and greyer plumage, buff white breast and paler legs (which because of the sun are showing more orange than was natural).

We think the Rock Pipit is darker and has much darker legs.

Would love to know what you guys think?

Thanks everyone


  • Very nice - I would certainly rule out Rock Pipit with that colouring and the light legs. Personally i would have put it down as a Meadow Pipit, probably on the basis it looks pretty much like one and I probably wouldn't have thought of Water Pipit as I have never seen one.




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  • Hey Bob,

    Thanks for the comments and the info - I know, I'd never heard of a Water Pipit either but was just trawling the internet to try and find comparisons. It's a tricky one and, yeah, I think maybe the likelihood is that it's a Meadow Pipit but the colouring just didn't look like it could be - it was bright and sunny though and the image could be misleading me.

    Thanks again Bob, much appreciated.

  • Meadow Pipit for me too. Nice clean lines with even stripes down the flanks and pale legs. Not dark or smudgy enough for a Rock Pipit. I think Water Pipit has dark legs.



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