Anthus spinoletta

Range & Status

Breeds in Europe and west Asia; in Britain and Ireland up to 100 scattered birds winter, chiefly in southern England.

Regional Distribution

Cornwall: small numbers (10-20) widely recorded November-April, chiefly in ones and twos. Small parties occur, especially March-April when there is a marked passage. Most favoured sites include Marazion Marsh, Landulph Marsh and Amble Marshes. Isles of Scilly: merely a scarce migrant. Note that the Scandinavian race littoralis of Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus can be confusingly similar in spring, when it too passes through in small numbers.

Habitat & Ecology

In winter by pools in wet fields, freshwater and brackish marshes, and even coastal ' spring' flushes.


Wetland drainage.


Management and creation of shallow brackish and freshwater marshes would benefit this species. The importance of Cornwall for this species was indicated during 1993/4 winter when over 20 birds reported following flooding of coastal fields.