Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Black-Tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

OTHER NAMES: Common Godwit, Warwhelp, Yarwhip
Latin Etymology: Limosa (species specific name) limosa (species specific name)
 Adult Winter plumage Black-tailed Godwit (probable subspecies L. l. islandica) at Herne Bay, Kent - January 2011

Featured Subspecies: Limosa limosa islandica (?)
Weight: 280-340g  /  Length: 39cm  /  Wingspan: 70-82cm
UK RED LIST / IUCN Red List Near Threatened

Technically speaking, the Black Tailed Godwit is the rarer of Britain's two Godwits, but seeing it is probably easier than the bar tailed for two reasons - firstly it has a greater summer presence in the UK compared to the Bar-tail being almost enitrely a winter migrant. Secondly, the Black-tail can be found much more widely on fresh water than the Bar-tail, meaning that it can be seen inland. Combined together it basically means that unlike the Bar-tail, seeing this bird doesn't require going to the sea in Winter. I found photographing it in general relatively easy - it's large size being a good advantage in that regard, but it doesn't seem to be the kind of bird which favours birdwatching close to hides or vantage points from the ones I've seen
. Sadly, the bird in this photograph had a broken wing, and this is likely the only reason I got a photo this clear without it flying off.

Related Species:
Family: Scolopacidae 
Genus: Limosa 

Subspecies: L. l. islandica, L. l. limosa, L. l. melanuroides

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Rare breeding species (c. 55 pairs), locally commong Wintering bird (44,000 birds) and passage migrant (12,400 birds)
 - Seen at sites including Rutland WaterRainham MarshesElmley MarshesHerne Bay and Oare Marshes

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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