Bar-tailed Godwits are the most numerous of all the migratory shorebirds around the bay. Because of this I often ignore them while looking for some of the rarer migrants. However, at this time of the year the change into breeding plumage makes them especially interesting to watch and photograph.
A few days ago this flock was in the little bay just south of Norman Point. There were also a number of Pied Oystercatchers roosting with them.
I could see only faint hints of breeding plumage on any of the birds. However, most were feeding instead of resting during the high tide. They need to stock up on food and store a lot of extra fat for energy before they begin their northward migration.
I found this group of Godwits a couple of days later roosting in the South Crab Creek area. There was a huge variety in plumage ranging from those that were still in total non-breeding plumage to those already showing lots of red and darker colors and patterns down their back and wings. Eventually the red will completely cover the front of the males.
A roosting flock of Godwits is quite noisy. They remind me of a yard full of chooks - (chickens to those in the northern hemisphere!) - constantly chattering to each other. This one looked to be making a much louder statement.
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