Like most other pipits, the Water Pipit is an undistinguished looking species on the ground, mainly brown above and dark streaked buff below. It has dark legs, white outer tail feathers and a longish dark bill. In summer it has a distinctive breeding plumage, with a pinkish breast, grey head and pale supercilium. It is similar to the Eurasian Rock Pipit 's summer plumage, but one can tell them apart by their song.

Habitat and Distribution

The Water Pipit breeds in the mountains of southern Europe and southern temperate Asia across to China. It is a short-distance migrant moving to wet open lowlands such as marshes and flooded fields in winter. Some birds migrate north to Britain for winter, taking advantage of the warm oceanic climate.


This species is insectivorous.

Calls and Songs

Its call is an explosive `fit`, like Eurasian Rock Pipit. Its song is similar, but it consisting of maybe 5 `blocks` of just about half a dozen notes each (the Eurasian Rock Pipit has fewer, but longer blocks); it ends either with no or with.