Monday, January 21, 2013

Black-tailed Godwit

I love watching the Black-tailed Godwit on the Western Yar Estuary, and especially as they allow you to get so close! In this video clip you can see just how busy they are when they feed:

According to Wikipedia, they peck at the substrate up to 36 times a minute, but I reckon that record is well-beaten by my locals! I guess they're feeding on worms and small molluscs. Now and again it looks like you can see an object in the slightly opened beak if you look closely. The other thing that struck me is the just how thoroughly the birds 'work over' a very small area. If you look at the video again, you'll notice that, between 42 seconds & 1 minute in, it literally 'hammers' a very small area. When I've got a bit of time I might try to work out just how many pecks it makes during that time...or you can, and let me know! :-)

The Wikipedia article taught me something else that I didn't know about Black-tailed Godwits: they are thought to be monogamous in the main but, 'A study of the Icelandic population showed that despite spending winter apart, pairs are reunited on their breeding grounds within an average of three days of each other. If one partner does not arrive on time, 'divorce' occurs!'

 This was the beautiful sunset on the Western Yar Estuary this evening. It was made even more atmospheric as over 300 noisy Brent Geese passed through, and large numbers of Wigeon flew overhead. A Red Fox slowly meandered down the field hedgerow opposite Kingfisher Bridge.

1 comment:

  1. Busy aren't they? I am so glad that I don't have to forage in mud for my food.