Turnstones and Godwits

Yesterday I did my regular walk from The Stade to Bexhill counting Turnstones, recording 123; numbers are falling as wintering birds leave. These counts produce very few other waders, so it was nice to see a group of 7 Godwits feeding on the rocks at Glyne Gap. I had noted a passage of Bar-tailed Godwits past Rock-a-Nore earlier in the morning [A total of 556 were recorded going E past Dungeness], so asssumed these were Bar-tails stopping off briefly to feed. However I was very surprised to see that one was in fact a Black-tailed Godwit- note the differences in the bill colour and shape. This bird has extensive barring on the flanks and looks like the Icelandic race, which winter in Britain. The Bar-tails were a mixture of breeding and winter plumage birds, great to see these waders in breeding plumage at close range. I assume these birds migrated together and cannot recall seeing such an association before.  While I was photographing them a Whimbrel flew past, another spring migrant wader which has been rather scarce this year.

The Godwit passage continued today, with 524 past Rock-a-Nore in 2 hours this morning.


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