Wednesday 8 November 2023

Venus Pool - Black tailed Godwit invasion

It was early afternoon and something extraordinary was brewing at Venus Pool as Simon Twigger put the news out that a huge flock of 300+? Black-tailed Godwits had just dropped in...

I hightailed it over immediately and this was the sight that welcomed me!!

I quickly realised that 700mm of long lens (see below) were never going to tell the story so downsized to my 100-400m zoom lens!

Even then, to try and get them all in the frame was night on impossible?

An antisocial Crow added flight to the spectacle and there were three or four practice departures...

They always seemed to drift back!

Eventually, just after 4pm  a more determined departure seemed to be in the 'offing' :-)

I'd managed to keep up with the departing Godwits so that they were all (hopefully) in the field of view'. I printed out this image and using a highlighter once each bird was ticked (to avoid duplication) eventually got a total of 285!

I sent the image top Tom Lowe, hoping I'd missed some and steer the count towards 300? Proving how good this method worked however, Tom got exactly the same count of 285. And a much neater result by doing his count on screen!  Thanks Tom!

To put counts into perspective, the previous highest tally was 68 on 11th June 2006 and I can still remember how amazing the buzz was at the time. We move on, will an outrageous mega flock eclipse this one...