RE: Hudsonian Godwit in Altona, opinions please

To: "Birding-aus (E-mail)" <>
Subject: RE: Hudsonian Godwit in Altona, opinions please
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 12:26:00 +1000
I've had quite a few private replies about this now, all pointing out that 
there's no way the reddish bird I spent an hour watching was the Hudwit, and 
that it isn't in breeding plumage (and won't be, because it is a first year 
bird).  Interesting that they were all private, perhaps trying to save me some 
embarassment?  Never mind, I'm a little consoled by the fact that I was at 
least suspicious that I had the wrong bird (and not a little that I saw the 
right one in flight).

Several have suggested that the Hudwit was in fact the plainer bird that is on 
the left in several photos, with the more strongly demarkated bib.  I'm not 
sure why I was under the impression I should be looking for a bird in breeding 
plumage, as there's no suggestion of that, now that I reread the birdlines, etc.

Hopefully the photos will help anyone else still looking for the bird.  I'll 
try and find time to relabel them today, and hopefully I can find some better 
ones of the right bird among the ones I rejected.

Peter Shute

Peter Shute wrote on Monday, 8 June 2009 10:10 PM:

> This morning I saw the Hudsonian Godwit in flight, identified by the
> underwing pattern, but didn't manage to match it up to the bird that
> landed.  There were three godwits feeding together, and I assumed it
> was the one with reddish underparts, but because it didn't have a
> white throat it doesn't match the pictures I've seen of that species
> in breeding plumage.  I assume the other two were bar-tails, as all
> three had upturned bills.
> It also didn't have barring on the underparts, which I assumed might
> be because it isn't in full breeding plumage.  But is it possible
> that its throat will later become white?
> Here are the photos, all very grainy:
> I'm happy that I saw it in flight, but did I identify the right bird
> on the ground?

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