Passing Black-tailed Godwits

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Jun 6, 2019
The recent posting of excellent photos of a French-ringed Black-tailed Godwit by MisterT prompted me to join Outer Hebrides Birds. A June sighting of a full summer plumage bird is really very late for 'spring' passage. The team studying the species in Iceland will see their first Black-tailed Godwit chicks very soon. Potentially, the bird could have been delayed by bad weather or could, perhaps, have made one attempt at the crossing and been forced back to refuel. That's something that has been seen elsewhere in the world - thanks to satellite tracking. This blog in the WaderTales series gives information as to how Black-tailed Godwit migration is affected by spring weather:

The 'three spot' rings, as seen in MisterT's pictures are now being used as part of a new French scheme. There is quite a lot of interest in Black-tailed Godwits in France, fuelled to some extent by a threat to add the species to the hunting list, after a few years of reprieve. France is a popular winter location for Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits but also plays host to passage birds that breed in the Netherlands and surrounding countries and head further south to Spain, Portugal and west Africa. Given the huge amount of money that is being spent on trying to support a rapidly-declining Dutch population ( it does seem a wee bit mad for birds to have to cope with French guns. Curlew are still shot in France and there is a blog about hunting of the two species here:

Hebridean birders will realise that the number of Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits has been rising steeply for decades. Warmer springs bring earlier grass growth, earlier breeding and higher nesting success, as discussed here: This spring has been another warm one in Iceland so you can expect to see a good number of lost-looking juveniles in August and September.


Always Birding
Feb 6, 2017
I have finally managed to find the origin of the Black-tailed Godwit through the website that I was guided to. The bird was ringed in Moeze France on 19 Decemeber 2017 and seen again around the area the following winter. Not an easy website to navigate as can be seen by my double entry on the sightings but non the less very satisfying to be able to find the project and log the sighting.

Wadertales - just so much great information there

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Likes: YvonneB