I saw black-tailed godwits for the first time (to my conscious knowledge…) this summer in southern Ireland in Timoleague, at the head of an estuary to the west of Kinsale, Co. Cork.
Mostly they were on the far side of the water, and hard to capture in detail on camera. We watched them foraging, sticking their long probing bills into the squishy sand. In fact, their entire heads.
Eventually one of the godwits took flight across the estuary and landed in the muddy margin on our side. Here are some of the photos that resulted. These birds seem to be rare for the area, so they were a lucky and unexpected find.
Now I have met these lovely godwits, I’ll know what to look out for next time. As long as I don’t get confused with the similar bar-tailed godwit…
All photos: Keith Salvesen