Black-tailed Godwits in East Gippsland
Black-tailed Godwits are a very rare visitor to East Gippsland. There are no eBird reports, and only a handful of Birdata reports. In fact, I didn't know they even occurred in East Gippsland until local birders told me. Therefore, when John Hutchison ( Avithera ) informed me of a small flock that had turned up, at the end of July, in East Gippsland, I made it a priority to have a look.
The godwits had been reported on the sand island at The Cut, one of my favorite birding places. I wasn't able to make it until nearly a week after they were originally sighted, but I wasn't disappointed. Through the spotting scope, I saw three godwits feeding some distance from me. It was early morning, so I had to work my way around the birds so that I could get some decent lighting. Thankfully the godwits were engrossed with feeding and preening, so I was able to move into position. It was then that I discovered that there was actually five godwits.
The godwits allowed me to approach within 10 metres without even moving, which allowed for good photographing. They were very sedentary, and only moved a few metres the whole time I was there.
There were many other birds around, including an Azure Kingfisher that allowed me to get quite close.
|Little Pied Cormorant|
|Royal Spoonbills in morning light|
The next day, I decided to got back for another look. This time it was late afternoon, with a stiff breeze.
|The five godwits together|
|The godwits in flight|
Seeing the Black Tailed Godwits was a great experience, especially in East Gippsland and it makes a great break during the winter months while waiting for the migratory shorebirds to come back.