Berthelot's Pipit

November 23, 2014  •  2 Comments

One of the birds I was most keen to see on Tenerife was the Macaronesian endemic Berthelot's Pipit. I'd seen some cracking photos on the web, and was keen to replicate those as well as see the bird really well. Ideally both of course, and is was likely that one would follow the other unless I was really unlucky. As it happened they're everywhere, and incredibly tolerant of a close approach. I had no idea what they sounded like, and don't even have the call on my phone (nor any of the Tenerife endemics as it turned out), but when I heard an unfamiliar call on the first afternoon that somehow just sounded pipit-y I was soon onto one, and then the species became a regular feature of pretty much anywhere I went in the lowlands. I managed some pretty nice image in fading light on day one, and so went to bed pretty pleased with myself given the really limited time I'd had. The first images, though dull, do convey the exact setting very well. The birds liked to run along the ground, but when a slight lookout presented itself, they seemed perfectly happy to hop up. The tactic was to place myself ahead of likely rock and see what happened. Sometimes it was bypassed, other times it all worked out.

Later on in the trip, I think on my final morning, I had a number of birds in much better light. Whilst the images above were taken at 1/250s (as usual just a monopod for ultimate flexibility), those below benefited from upwards of 1/2500s! Much better, but then of course you have harsh light to contend with. Never happy, that's the motto of most bird photographers I know....


Thank you for your post re the Berthalots Pipins which I used foridentifying some cute and tame birds yesterday whilst holidaying in Caleta de Fuste, Fuerteventura. They enjoyed some hazelnuts I happened to have with me! I took some photos but just with my phone so though I got some nice compositions they are just snaps.
John Perry(non-registered)
Saw this pipit this morning on sea wall near Adele - beautiful. Thanks for identifying it. Best wishes
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