Rock pipits are a common sight on UK coastline, particularly around rocky beaches. These small birds are part of the Motacillidae family which also includes other species of pipit and the wagtails.
Rock pipits are streaky brown/grey in appearance and have distinctive long hind claws as seen here.
These birds are insectivores, their long thin beaks idea for probing into small cracks and crevices for tiny invertebrates.
Here in Aberystwyth away from the beach, these birds can often be found in the harbour inlet where they forage down on the tidal mud flats in search of food.
They tend to be fairly approachable, certainly less flighty than their wagtail cousins, and their predictable movements along the water’s edge can provide a good opportunity to get some lovely close up views.
Sitting and waiting patiently beside the water, it was only a matter of time before this pipit wandered on past, as it meticulously patrolled the shore, flushing out tiny insects as it went.
Despite my close proximity the rock pipit continued to feed undisturbed, picking tiny insect larvae from the mud which are just visible in the photos below.
Want to know more about the location where these photos were taken? Read here.
— All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2019 © www.greyfeatherphotography.com
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