Friday, 16 August 2013

Tree Pipit tremendum

Incredible morning at Inverkeithing, with Tree Pipits piercing the air with their lispy shouts throughout. I recorded 8, but in reality there were times where I was quite sure there was more than one bird.

Birders know that the mind can play tricks, so I did go to Xeno Canto to re-assure myself that I wasn't going nuts and recording Mipits (quite early for them anyway). There are three main differences between the calls for me. Firstly, Tree Pipits always sound like they're angry to me. They really spit out their flight call as opposed to the Mipits more gentle tseep, although that can be quite loud at times too. Secondly, Mipit call is slightly higher. But the most important is, thirdly, the lispy nature of the Tree Pipit call. It's kind of "smudgy". Even in the sonogram the second two differences are clearly seen. The trailing edge of the Tree Pipit call is less distinctly demarcated. There's also the differences in flight jizz. I can see now the comparison between Tree Pipit and Little Pecker, but I'm not convinced that Mipits mever look like that. not yet anyway - the season is young.

Meadow Pipit flight call

Tree Pipit flight call

Since flypast Tree Pipits are hard to photograph here are a Common Tern and Curlew (female based on long bill?) instead. Also one Crossbill at Cullaloe this morning, but no waders.

(footnote: Mysterium Tremendum - Noted atheists Christopher Hitchens, Carl Sagan, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris have maintained that the idea is not necessarily a religious one and expressed their views on the importance of separating the numinous from belief in the super-natural. E.g., when one experiences awe and fascination with natural phenomenon such as majestic landscapes, night sky or deep appreciation of fellow human creations such as art and engineering marvels. At times like these a feeling of the numinous would be capable of overwhelming the mind and body, yet it would not necessarily to be interpreted as supernatural or of divine origin. AS - for example a cracking run of Tree Pipits or a Leach's Petrel at Inverkeithing)

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