|Three of the five Black-tailed Godwits photographed in Jones Bay on 27/07/17. All five were in non-breeding plumage.|
Note the size difference of the birds in the above photo – the females are larger than the males.
|The original four Black-tailed Godwits found in Jones Bay on 24/07/17 – the bird with some breeding plumage is on the left.|
|A closer view of the bird with some breeding plumage.|
are moderately confiding birds so once we located them we were able to approach
reasonably close to the group as they actively fed in shallow water by probing
the soft sandy bed of Jones Bay.
|The black tail shows well on this bird as it ruffles its feathers.|
|The birds were hard to photograph as they kept on the move while feeding and the best sun angle to illuminate the birds was very small with only the odd bird now and again presenting well to the light as the bird at centre of this photo shows.|
The birds appeared to be capturing small molluscs in the soft sand and they foraged exclusively by wading in shallow water which at times was deep enough to be a little above their bellies.
|Probing with head immersed.|
|At times in deeper water they upended as they probed the sand.|
|Water depth is above the belly here.|
|One bird probes while another searches.|
|A foraging bird stops briefly to scratch.|
|One of the Black–tails is dwarfed by a sleeping Black Swan.|
|Both these birds have just withdrawn their bills from the water and swallowed a small mollusc (too quick to capture).|
|A group preening session – one bird stops briefly to check all is safe.|
|Following the preening session, two of the birds commenced to nap.|
|The sleeping pair often lifted their heads to check all was safe.|
the photos on the computer screen, I noted one bird appeared to have a slightly
up-curved bill and I wondered if this was a Hudsonian Godwit?
|The bird in profile on the right was a little larger and looked to have a slightly up-curved bill and a bulge in the supercilium above the lore?|
The most certain way to identify the vagrant Hudsonian, the American counterpart of the Black-tailed Godwit, would be to see the black underwing coverts and axillaries which are visible in flight or during wing stretches which on this occasion I was not able to see.
|Some Red-kneed Dotterels joined the Black-tails.|
|This fluffed up Red-knee sat tight while a Black-tail foraged around it.|
The Black-tails continued to forage.