Two Months of fieldwork!
Title: Paddyfield Pipit Studies!
Paddyfield Pipit Studies (Anthus rufulus)
Size: 10.4x 10.4 inches (26.5×26.5 cms)
Medium: Pen on Smooth illustration Italian paper,220 GSM
Duration: 14 hours
Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
April-May 2021
Reference: Own Reference image

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During my morning walks, observed an abandon farmland for few months. This vacant field has been hosting few species of birds, could make few videos and studies on pair of Paddyfield pipits. Would like to share my observations. Let me know your thoughts!

Here in this above study, the male is putting up a threat display while mistakenly I entered too close to his nesting area. I backed off immediately and sat at a man-made bund watching the pair guard their territory from many predators. He uses this display to ward off other males and predators, incase the predator gets too close, the pair launch an attack. Now, don’t ask me how I know about this!

Leg study
Pen on smooth 120GSM paper
11×12 inches (27.94×30.48 cms)
Duration: 40 minutes

Their legs are interesting to study, 4 digits(toes), middle toe begin slightly longer in-length when compared to the outer and inner toe. The hind toe claw(talon) is thin, slender and long. This might help the pipits in their hop and jump movements.

Side profile wing study
Pen on smooth 120GSM paper
11×5.5 inches (27.94×13.97 cms)
Duration: 25 minutes

Back-view wing study
Pen on smooth 120GSM paper
11×7.5 inches (27.94×19.05 cms)
Duration: 1 Hour

Their wing studies both the side and back-view give us an idea about their flight pattern. Small distance flight, quick take-off and landing is clear with the tiny primaries. Their tail feather measures equal to the length of the longest primary feather.

Nest Study
Pen on smooth 120GSM paper
11×7.5 inches (27.94×19.05 cms)
Duration: 30 minutes

Later in the day, when the pair had left the nest unguarded for a moment, had time to watch the cluster of three eggs from a safe distance. Here is a study of it. A ground nest. Both took turns to build the nest, nest had a couple of wild turmeric plants growing around it. Absences of twigs, tree leaves, cotton or other soft material were interesting to observe. Depth from the ground was about 1-2 inches, ideal for the female to incubate the eggs while watching out for predators.

They share this piece of land with Lapwings, Rock pigeons, Large billed crows, Common mynas, Jungle mynas, Garden lizards and few other species. Occasional visit from a Rat snake what makes the scene come alive, one can observe the calls of Lapwings and their circular low flight. The others are on high alert, not to mention about our Pipit pair.

Sharing few images of this pair who kept me occupied for two months!

Male guarding his territory

Female looking up for predators while incubating her eggs

Female incubating her eggs

This pair could raise two young ones successfully, the third one didn’t make it this year. I was happy for the two that made their way to this world; it was heartening to watch them grow and take their first flight. Wonder that’s how life is for all of us too, in nature only the strong and wise survive?

Or is it about the opportunities one gets when compared to the others who didn’t make it through?

I hope you found this post interesting? Let me know in the comments!
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Prasad Natarajan
Prasad Natarajan

Rediscovering Nature: Wildlife Blogger, Artist and photographer.

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