Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
For Pipits, however, with other factors taken in to account, it works. There are six Pipits seen in the UK. Of these, two are very uncommon you are unlikely to see Richards and Tawney Pipits - leave those to the experts! That leaves four to choose from.
The Water Pipit is an unusual winter visitor to watercress beds on Dorset's rivers so if you see a Pipit away from this habitat it won't be a Water Pipit.
Tree Pipits are found on our heaths, usually perched in the occasional birch or pine trees that occur there. They are also summer visitors and easy to match up when you find one thanks to the heath/tree connection.
The Rock Pipit is a Dorset resident all along our rocky sea cliffs and ONLY on our rocky sea cliffs, hence Rock Pipit.
This leaves the Meadow Pipit for everywhere else! Heath, downland, rough pasture, even farmland are its preferred habitats with a marked drift towards coastal regions in autumn and winter. It is also our most common Pipit sometimes appearing in quite large flocks.
This little one (probably not quite an adult because it is still very light underneath) is not by a watercress bed, not in a tree on heathland, and not on rocks, it is on coastal downland and so its a Meadow Pipit!