Hudsonian Godwit

To: David Stowe <>, "Birding-aus (E-mail)" <>
Subject: Hudsonian Godwit
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2009 08:30:32 +1000
Some great shots there, David.  Was the second Bar-tailed Godwit present?

Some questions for anyone who can answer them:

I've been trying to work out why the Hudsonian's undertail appears to be white 
when it's on the ground, yet black in flight.  Photo 5549 shows what I mean.  I 
guess it's just the undertail coverts hiding the tail when it's folded, and the 
flight shot, 5476, backs that up, although the legs prevent us seeing whether 
the coverts extend the full length of the tail.

Neither Morcombe nor S&D show the undertail in flight.  Slater shows it with 
the black extending right across, P&K shows the coverts protruding a little way 
into the black.

Photo 5540 shows why I initially thought the reddish bird was the Hudsonian.  
Its tail appears black in that side on photo, whereas the Hudsonian's appears 
to be white.  I can understand now why the latter looks white, but why does the 
Bar-tailed's tail look black?  Am I mistaking a primary for a tail feather (and 
vice versa for the Hudsonian)?

This photo:
shows the outer tail feathers have a white outer web, which wouldn't help 
things when viewed side on.

Peter Shute

From:   On 
Behalf Of David Stowe 
Sent: Friday, 26 June 2009 11:04 PM
To: Birding-aus (E-mail)
Subject: Hudsonian Godwit

A quick belated note to say that we saw the Hudsonian Godwit at the
mouth of Laverton Creek on Tuesday morning. Grant Brosie, Nick Livanos
and myself went down from Sydney to see it.
I have uploaded some shots to my pbase site if anyone is interested.
Weather was terrible but we had great views of the bird at rest and in

Many thanks to those posts on birding-aus and especially to Geoff
Jones for taking us around.
David Stowe

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