Wednesday, 2 May 2012

FINALLY! Got the Godwit!!!

I'd say Bar-tailed Godwit is considered a scarce passage migrant in the York recording area, with only a few records each year, but undoubtedly the Lower Derwent Valley (LDV) is the best place to catch up with one.  Yesterday I mentioned that Tim had found a Bar-tailed Godwit at my local patch, North Duffield Carrs but by the time I'd got back from the office there was no sign of it in the increasing gloom. Last Thursday I mentioned that I thought I'd had a distant Bar-tailed Godwit at the back of the reserve but couldn't confirm it before it was flushed  by a Sparrowhawk while I was manoeuvring myself to get closer, only for one to be seen later in the same day further up the valley! Finally, last March I missed one at Thorganby too, again I was stuck in the office and missed it on my way home! 

However, as you may have guessed by my blog title, today I caught up with one! I got a call while I was having my breakfast from the old man of the north alerting me that it was in front of the hide. Five minutes later I was sat in the hide enjoying superb views as it fed in the company of several Whimbrel (more on them later).  I managed a couple of record shots on my phone (below).

Bar-tailed Godwit (Phone-scoped) 

 Bar-tailed Godwit (Phone-scoped) 

 Bar-tailed Godwit (Phone-scoped) 

Bar-tailed Godwit (Phone-scoped)  

Bar-tailed Godwit with a Redshank for company (Phone-scoped) 

Other birds recorded at this time included about 6 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank, 2 Oystercatcher, several Redshank and 10 Black-tailed Godwit. Several Sedge Warblers were still singing away, however new in were a couple of very vocal Lesser Whitethroats.  Many Swallows were about, along with several Sand Martin, House Martin and a couple of Swift.

I popped back in this evening and all were still present, with Whimbrel up to at least 18 bird with a couple of Snipe noted.  I also had 165 Teal which is a fairly decent count for this time of year (I'd guess?), 6 or 7 Pochard flew quickly north through the valley and a pair of Pintail were again present on the water.

Two of the Whimbrel I saw were very interesting as they were colour-ringed. Will post up details on their life histories as soon as I get hold of them - hopefully tomorrow.

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