Hudsonian, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwit near Adelaide

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Subject: Hudsonian, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwit near Adelaide
From: Ian May <>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 22:13:34 +1030
g'Day all

This afternoon in near perfect observing conditions, Jenny Skewes and
myself watched the Hudsonian Godwit roosting with a flock of Grey Plover
about 50 metres from the embankment on which we stood.  Repeating
behaviour observed during previous visits, the Godwit spent most of its
time motionless and sleeping with its head under wing, but occasionally
showing the under wing pattern when raising its wings for a stretch and
also revealing its distinctive bill while preening.

However tonight, about 1/2 hour before sunset,  the Hudwit took flight
revealing its dark under wing, dark tail, white rump and short narrow
white wing bar.  And when it settled on a small islet about 200 metres
north of us, to our delight it was joined by 11 Black-tailed and 2
Bar-tailed Godwits arriving suddenly on the scene and all in near full
breeding plumage.   This new flock were more unsettled and we obtained
excellent views as they made two short flights before settling to roost
about 70 metres to the east of us.

This observation coincided with a 2.4 m. high spring tide at 1900 hrs.
It was probably the tide that brought in the other Godwits from nearby
coastal mudflatsts.   In Adelaide we have similar high tides for the
next two evenings with the peak at 1920 and 1943 hrs. respectively.
Anyone that would like to see the comparison of three Godwits together,
with a bit of luck might get a repeat performance if they plan a visit
around those times.


Ian May

0409 474 575

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