Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta) - HBW 9, p. 766

French: Pipit spioncelle German: Bergpieper Spanish: Bisbita Alpino
Other common names: Mountain Pipit(!)

Taxonomy: Alauda Spinoletta Linnaeus, 1758, Italy.
Possibly forms a clade with A. pratensis, A. roseatus, A. cervinus, A. petrosus and A. rubescens. May form a superspecies, and until recently treated as conspecific, with last two of those. Birds from NW Caucasus sometimes separated as race caucasicus, but considered inseparable from coutellii. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • spinoletta (Linnaeus, 1758) - breeds in mountains of C & S Europe; winters W & S Europe and NW Africa.
  • coutellii Audouin, 1828 - breeds N, S & E Turkey, Caucasus and mountains of N Iran and Turkmenistan (Kopet Dagh); winters in neighbouring lowlands and S to NE Africa and Arabia.
  • blakistoni Swinhoe, 1863 - breeds in mountains of S Russia (E to Transbaikalia), Mongolia, E Kazakhstan, Tadjikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and NW & C China (W Xinjiang, Qinghai); migrates to Pakistan, NW India and S China.