Pipit, American Pipit, Mountain Pipit, Siberian Pipit, Water Pipit
Russian: Американский конёк
French: Pipit d’Amerique
Japanese: アメリカタヒバリ (Amerika-tahibari)
Body length: 15-16 cm.
Very rare vagrant from America or Asia. Ssp. rubescens breeds in N America and
W Greenland and has been recorded in autumn in W Europe; ssp. japonicus (very different in appearance;
see below) breeds in E Asia (so far as known not W of Lake Baikal) and is
regular in winters in e.g. Israel. Very closely related to Rock and Water
Pipits (all tree until recently regarded as conspecific)
A touch smaller than Water Pipit, with somewhat more slender bill and paler
lores which may suggest Meadow Pipit, but Buff-bellied always much less
distinctly streaked on upperparts than Meadow. Winter: Ssp. rubescens is
clearly buff below with rather narrow but distinct dark streaks and, usually,
dark legs. Ssp. japonicus is whiter below with distinct blackish streaks (incl.
large dark patch on side of throat, roughly as on young Red-throated Pipit),
darker and greyer above, often has neat eye-ring and distinct supercilium,
sometimes with dark border above (can recall Olive-backed Pipit!); legs
reddish-brown, often paler than on rubescens.