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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Rock Pipit

Bird Sightings : Rock Pipit

Rock Pipit

Anthus petrosus

Gaelic: gabhagan


Photograph © Suzanne Harris
Callanish - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
16th September, 2008

"About 8 of these dark little Rock Pipits at the shore today, they were all together, usually I see them in just one or two at a time. They were very well camoflaged against the wrack and the rocks"


Our Pipit photographs

meadow pipit
meadow pipit
meadow pipit
rock pipit
rock pipit
Meadow Pipit
fresh autumn
Meadow Pipit
fresh autumn
Tree pipit
Tree pipit
Tree pipit


  • Rock Pipit
  • Anthus petrosus
  • Gaelic: gabhagan
  • WI: Common resident breeder (1000 -10,000 pairs)
  • Small dark, darting bird often found on near seaweed covered rocks. Very dark legs. A dark pointed bill. Plumage generally dark greyish-brown. Below streaked markings on greyish breast. (Meadow pipit has pinkish legs & is usually more brightly coloured with contrasting streaked markings.
  • Similar birds: Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit


Rock Pipit records in the Western Isles

Anthus petrosus littoralis is a common resident breeder (1000 -10,000 pairs)

The Scandinavian race Anthus petrosus littoralis is a rare visitor (less than 30 records)

The Hebridean form Anthus petrosus meineetzhageni is not considered a separate subspecies (BOURC)

Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)

On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the Rock Pipit is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.

























(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)



Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

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