Thursday, 30 April 2015

Shapwick Heath - Hudsonian Godwit!!!

First UK lifer of the year (371) and was this really my first serious distance twitch!! Stubbornly remaining distant most of the day, I managed to eke out rather a lot of record shots of the Hudwit to keep myself busy with the delete button:-)

The gallery - every man, woman and dog were there! Big crowds last Saturday and 'twas well in the 100's today with a constant flow of folk coming and going.....


Interesting phone conversations? "Yeah, really sorry I can't get in today, back's gone and can't get out of bed"!


The view and the dots on the far side of the scrape are the Godwit flock - I know, I can't see them either!


I'll spare you the shots I took at 300m + distance. Fast forward 4 hours and it finally relocated to the near side of the scrape :-)


Still 100m or so distant and the heat haze was terrible!






Flight shots eventually became the order of the day!


Showing of those striking black axillaries and underwing coverts....


And then, comparison shots with the Black-tailed Godwits....




Sometimes taking on an incredibly dark look to the plumage!



Who needs feather detail when you can convey so many differences between Hudsonian and Black-tailed Godwit with one distant flight shot......


The slightly upcurved bill, short narrow wingbar, narrow band at the tail base and feet projecting much less beyond the tail.....



Zooming in!


Always easy to pick out - the darkest bird in the flock!






By evening it was just the few late arrivals and photographers lining the path!


Those upperparts again!


And a final image, lit up by the setting sun......



A third for Britain, the previous two being a long stayer in the early 80's followed by a one dayer in Aberdeenshire later that decade attests that this was a bird not to be missed! I'm glad 'I was there' for this one!!

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