Oct 022017

Two birds that can be a cause confusion when visiting the local coastal marshes in Norfolk are the Bar and Black-tailed Godwit’s. At RSPB Titchwell both species are regularly seen in winter. However when feeding they can be quite tricky to identify. Both are extremely attractive birds when seen in their summer plumage, but more drab during winter which is part of the problem.

When seen in flight they should straightforward to identify with very distinctive tail and wing markings. The Black-tailed having a bold black and white stripe on each wing, as well as a black and white tail. Whilst the Bar-tailed have the barred tail and lack any distinctive patterning on the wings.

However when on the ground at certain times of the year when their plumage is changing they can be more difficult. Below are a series of images taken over the last couple of years.

Can anyone help with ID ? Many thanks in anticipation

No 1. Location indicates Bar-tailed but bill suggest Black-tailed

No 2. Location indicates Bar-tailed and curved bill seems to confirm

No 3. Location on fresh water Marsh indicates Black-tailed

No 4. Black -tailed Godwit in winter plumage

No 5. Bar -tailed Godwit taken in early spring

No 6. Black -tailed Godwit in winter plumage


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Alan De Witt

Alan De Witt

After spending a career that demanded much of my time and energy. I'm now retired and finally found some time to pursue an interest in wildlife and photography as well as putting together a website C & A's Wild Images. I now live in Norfolk, an ideal location in the UK to see wildlife and over the years have also had the opportunity to visit and spend time using the camera in interesting and sometimes remote parts of the world. I first became interested in trying to capture wildlife images when I left university in the days of slide film. Initially I used two compact cameras with 20+ zooms but now have moved to a professional Canon SLR set-up.

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Black -tailed Godwit

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