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Black-tailed godwit?

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Old Monday 8th August 2011, 13:23   #1
Kingfisher21
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Black-tailed godwit? England

Can you guys confirm that this sleepy bird is a black-tailed godwit (the photo was taken in West Sussex in early May)? If so, could someone explain how exactly a bar-tailed godwit would look different? Many thanks!!
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Last edited by Kingfisher21 : Monday 8th August 2011 at 13:35.
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Old Monday 8th August 2011, 13:35   #2
Jan-Paul Charteris
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It is a Bar-tailed Godwit. Upperparts are less evenly patterned in Black-tailed, Bar-tailed such as this one have slightly Whimbrel/Curlew like patterning
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Old Monday 8th August 2011, 13:39   #3
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I agree with what Jan says and would add that the much shorter leg length (even just the tibia) is also a great feature to learn - especially on distant birds.
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Old Monday 8th August 2011, 14:45   #4
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Oh, how unexpected, many thanks guys - that was a lifer then!
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Old Monday 8th August 2011, 15:15   #5
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Also, in my experience, I tend to see Bar-tailed Godwits along coastlines/tidal mud-flats; but Black-tailed Godwits in coastal freshwater pools, away from the sea.

Well done on your lifer!
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Old Monday 8th August 2011, 18:54   #6
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I agree with bar-tailed godwit for the reasons given.
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Old Monday 8th August 2011, 21:56   #7
Jan-Paul Charteris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracker View Post
Also, in my experience, I tend to see Bar-tailed Godwits along coastlines/tidal mud-flats; but Black-tailed Godwits in coastal freshwater pools, away from the sea.

Well done on your lifer!
I do agree in general, Titchwell is particularly good for observing this difference in habitat preference.

Worth bearing in mind also that this Spring there was a huge Bar-tailed influx nationwide, including in many inland areas, but with massive numbers along the Sussex coast, where the OP took this
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Old Tuesday 9th August 2011, 00:37   #8
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Very interesting, many thanks for your comments! I wasn't sure because I have seen black-tailed godwits in exactly the same area.
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Old Tuesday 9th August 2011, 09:57   #9
Jan-Paul Charteris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingfisher21 View Post
Very interesting, many thanks for your comments! I wasn't sure because I have seen black-tailed godwits in exactly the same area.
They will overlap in habitat...I've seen them in mixed flocks at Church Norton, and especially at Farlington in Hants where so many Black-tailed occur, they're often feeding almost side by side.

At Titchwell I've often noticed on the freshwater lagoons the vast majority were Black-tailed, and along the shoreline the vast majority were Bar-tailed, but even here there is some overlap.

Another thing, given that this was taken in May and appears to be adult rather than 1st summer or anything, it's almost certainly a female. Bar-tailed have much more of a tendency to sexual dimorphism (males brighter than females) than Black-tailed in breeding plumage

Jan
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Old Tuesday 9th August 2011, 10:35   #10
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Cheers Jan - it was indeed at Church Norton! Thanks for sexing the bird for me! I'm very much into songbirds but also very interested in waders (or any birds really) so want to learn as much as possible. I'm usually out with my camera so quite often waders are too distant for me to even try to get a shot & identify them. Pagham is of course great for waders in winter.
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