Wader Identification

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
AlfieB77
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2022 5:39 pm
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Wader Identification

Postby AlfieB77 » Mon Nov 14, 2022 3:28 pm

The bill was slightly curved up, and had a tiny spot of pink by the base of the bill. It was mostly the same shade of light spotted brown except for a darker patch by its underbelly (def not a shadow). And had a white eyebrow stripe
Jan
Posts: 1785
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: Wader Identification

Postby Jan » Mon Nov 14, 2022 3:30 pm

Russ, it is good to get young people to concentrate on details when observing a bird, but Alfie only had bins and a quick look before the birds scattered, so a bit hard for him to remember all that stuff! However, I'm sure he will have a go. It may have been a knot godwit that was standing in front of a Godwit with a pink bill??
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RussCannings
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:23 am

Re: Wader Identification

Postby RussCannings » Tue Nov 15, 2022 8:56 am

Thanks for the details Alfie,

This definitely sounds like a godwit of some sort(and likely a Bar-tail) as the upturned bill and pink base eliminates virtually everything else (the eye stripe is also very helpful and typical of the godwits--eliminates things like a young stilt). Perhaps a smaller male and in many postures might appear shorter than a stilt. As for the specific species, all 3 candidates can be variable in non-breeding and transition plumages so hard to say but Bar-tailed of course would be most likely (and does tend to have more flank streaking than the other species anyway).

--Fair point Jan. I figured based on the features Alfie shared originally that the bill structure and leg colour would be just as visible. If someone is asking for help with identification I figure we might as well try and help, and being as holistic as possible is about the best we can do. I'm stoked we have yet another keen birder out in the field!

Russ
AlfieB77
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2022 5:39 pm
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Wader Identification

Postby AlfieB77 » Tue Nov 15, 2022 3:24 pm

thanks, i will report as a bar tailed.
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philbattley
Posts: 660
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 2:21 pm

Re: Wader Identification

Postby philbattley » Mon Nov 28, 2022 4:07 pm

I think the initial description has a hint - "spotty". This would make it a juvenile, and they are not necessarily fully grown in all respects. I have seen photos of juvenile male godwits next to an adult female and they looked like different species. A small juvenile male godwit could easily look wrong for size. We caught some this season and they were shorter-billed than any on record.
Cheers, Phil

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