Pipit or Reed Bunting

I took this photo at Rainham Marshes on Sat 20-11-2021, sorry it's not that great. 

Can someone help with ID please? 

At first I thought it was a Pipit of some sort but on another website a few people have told me it's a Reed Bunting, I'd like to learn what the differences are so I'd be gratefull if someone could tell me what I'm looking for in order to come to that conclusion.

Many thanks.


  • Morning Steve,
    I'd say it is a very typical bunting, and that it's a female reed bunting.

    As I'm far from expert though, I suggest you wait for more reliable opinion, and more detailed advice on separating the two.

    All the best, Dave
  • With distant photos, it's hard to make out things like leg colour and bill proportion. Closer up, bill shape would have ruled pipits out of this. For this photo, the i.d. would have been made on 1) probability (reed bunting is the most common of buntings looking similar to this?) 2) plumage and obvious pale moustache 3) proportions 4) location.
  • Thanks for the replies, I'll try and remember those points next time. There were Pipits seen in the area but Reed Buntings are far more common there.
  • Yes. The location point was more as supporting evidence for Reed bunting as opposed to excluding other species.