Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday: Migratory Shore Birds

Bar-tailed Godwits are quite large waders, with females being bigger than males. The Bar-tailed Godwit is mainly mottled brown above and lighter and more uniform buff below. It has dull white underwings, and a long, slightly upturned bill. As the name suggests, the white tail is barred with brown. This is the non-breeding plumage of the Bar-tailed Godwit and is the main phase seen in Australia. The breeding plumage is darker and more rufous, with females duller than males. Young birds resemble non-breeding birds.
**Info from Birdlife Australia

The Bar-tailed Godwit undertakes one of the avian world’s most extraordinary migratory journeys. Recent research reveals that some individuals from the East Asia/Australasia Flyway population made a nonstop flight of over 11,000 km, the longest continuous journey that has ever been recorded for a landbird.

A group of Bar-tailed Godwits with a smaller shorebird (4th from right). I'm not 100% sure of the ID of that one.

The Great Knot is a medium-sized shorebird with a straight, slender bill of medium length and a heavily streaked head and neck. In Australia, they are usually seen in non-breeding plumage, with grey upper parts with pale scalloping, and white underparts with heavy streaking on the neck, grading to spots on the breast. In breeding plumage, Great Knots have a black band across the chest, and black, white and reddish speckles on the upper parts.
**Info from Birdlife Australia

The difference in size between the Great Knots and larger Bar-tailed Godwits can be seen here.

The Curlew Sandpiper is a small to medium-sized wader (migratory shorebird). It has a long, black bill with a down-curved end and black legs and feet. In its non-breeding plumage, it is grey-brown above, white below, with a white wing bar visible in flight. In breeding plumage, it is bright reddish brown below and the wings are barred black.
**Info from Birdlife Australia.

And finally, amongst this group of Bar-tailed Godwits (below), are 2 "ring-ins" -- The small bird, front-middle, is a Great Knot and, dwarfed by the 2 Godwits on the left is a Grey-tailed Tattler.

The Grey-tailed Tattler is a medium-sized wader, with long wings and tail. The bill is rather long and straight. In non-breeding plumage it is grey above and almost white below. There is a white eyebrow. The eyes are dark brown, bill black, short legs and feet bright yellow. In breeding plumage, the entire underparts are conspicuously barred dark brown. Immature birds are similar to adults in non-breeding plumage.
**Info from Birdlife Australia.

Linking up with Stewart's meme:



eileeninmd said...

Hello, wonderful sightings of the shorebirds. The Godwits are one of my favorites. Great series of photos. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

Helen said...

Thanks for the info and wonderful photography of these birds.

Brian King said...

Beautiful photos, Liz!

Stewart M said...

Cracking set of shots - waders will always be a challenge to ID I think!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Pat Tillett said...

Very nice photos! I love watching shorebirds flit about as the water comes in and out.

Bob Bushell said...

What a beautiful images, the Godwits are superb Liz.

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