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 Post subject: Black-tailed Godwit
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:57 pm 
Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Posts: 2258
Location: I'm the patty in Jam Street
Award: Birder of the Year (2012)
The Black-tailed Godwit is a rare non-breeding summer migrant from the Palaearctic region to southern Africa, with a dozen or so records spread across South Africa, where they are usually seen at lake margins, marshes, swamps and coastal wetlands.

After dipping on this rare visitor two weekends ago, I had tremendous views this time around. I have seen them before: in England some 16 months ago, but this is a first for my South African bird list, tick number 649!


Having arrived at Marievale very early I was totally alone with the godwit for almost an hour before another twitcher pitched up. This fascinating bird immediately started to move into deeper cover, so I left it, thankful for the great time spent in the company of this wader that primarily favours inland lake margins. The Black-tailed Godwit feeds primarily on a variety of small insects and their larvae, annelids, mollusks, crustaceans, spiders, fish eggs, frogspawn and tadpoles. It also takes plant material such as berries and seeds.

The status of the Black-tailed Godwit on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was changed from “Least Concern” to “Near Threatened” in 2006, due to the continuing decline in the size of the population; a major loss in most key breeding areas seen as the main cause of this dramatic decrease in breeding success.

The godwit with its awesome, slightly upswept bill looks as if it should somehow be a natural record-holder. Nah! On bill size alone the pelicans are champs with bills that can measure close to 500 mm in length. So bill size in relation to body size? Double-nah! The hummingbirds are the champs here with some bird having bills four times their body length (excluding the tail).

Hmmm, that leaves me unexpectedly with “writers block”... These impressive shorebirds will, for the time being, have to remain without further acclaim while I do some more research...

664 Latest lifer: Ovambo sparrowhawk

 Post subject: Re: Black-tailed Godwit
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:06 pm 
Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:22 pm
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Location: Centurion, Gauteng
Award: Angel of the Year Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year (2012)
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Beautiful Johan :thumbs_up:


Sanibonani(isiZulu), Molo(isiXhosa), Thobela(Sepedi), Dumela(Setswana), Lumela(Sesotho)
Abusheni(Xitsonga), Sanibona(siSwati), Avuwani(Tshivenda), Salibonani(isiNdebele), Hello(English), Hallo(Afrikaans)

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