A Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica lappoinca)
on North Monomoy Island, Chatham, Massachusetts
12 May 2004

This Bar-tailed Godwit of the nominate race (Limosa lapponica lapponica) was digiscoped with a Nikon Coolpix 995 through a Bushnell Spacemaster telescope w/20X eyepiece. It was very late in the day and light levels were low, so these shots were taken at a very slow shutter speed (1/15th and 1/30th) and are rather blurry. I've sharpened them as much as possible and, though of poor quality, they at least give an decent idea of what the bird looked like.

A second Bar-tailed Godwit, of the Asian subspecies baueri was seen in the same location just three days previously (9 May 2004). That bird differed from the bird illustrated here in many characteristics: it was smaller with a much shorter bill and shorter legs, giving it a "dumpier" appearance; the underparts were entirely reddish orange (face, neck, breast, belly, and undertail coverts); the wing linings were dusky (vs. whitish in this bird); and the rump and lower back were dull brownish, contrasting very little with the tail (vs. a bright white rump contrasting with a darker tail and prominent white, dowitcher-like "V" up the lower back on this bird).

All photos copyright 2004 Blair Nikula.

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Another Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica lappoinca)
on South Beach, Chatham, Massachusetts
5 June 2004

This is yet another Bar-tailed Godwit seen and photographed on South Beach in Chatham on 5 June 2004. It is very clearly a different individual from the bird above, in that it is much paler and lacks any buffy orange coloration on its underparts. In fact, it looks very similar to a bird photographed on Long Island in late May (see: http://www.oceanwanderers.com/NYBarTailGodwit.html). Unfortunately, I was unable to get any shots of the bird with its bill out, but the bill was extensively pink (much like the NY bird and much pinker than the bird above). These images were digiscoped with a Nikon Coolpix 995 through a Leica Televid 77mm scope w/20-60X eyepiece and are copyright 2004 by Blair Nikula.

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