Richard’s Pipit (Anthus richardi)

Two Richard’s Pipits were on the saltmarsh between Red Rocks and West Kirby (SJ28D) from 21 November to 11 December 2005, with one remaining until 12 February 2006. This appears to have been the first record in the county’s present boundaries within our defined winter period.

This rarity is normally recorded in the county once every few years, in autumn. During the time when it was treated as a national rarity, from 1958 to 1985, 97% of the total of 1,245 birds found in Britain and Ireland were in autumn, mainly from mid-September to the end of October (Dymond et al 1989). They breed in Siberia, Mongolia and China and winter in southern Asia but some apparently take a westward or northwestward path, mostly arriving in Shetland, or on the east coast or the south-west of England (Brown & Grice 2005). It seems likely that the Wirral birds had arrived earlier in the autumn and gradually made their way here.