Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Anthus spinoletta - Water Pipit

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.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.