Bar-tailed Godwit – 1894

Limosa laponica

An autumn visitor; to be seen occasionally on its passage northwards in the spring, when it is in its bright chestnut breeding plumage.

This species is not uncommon on the sands and mud-flats around the coast in September, when all the birds are in their ash-grey winter plumage, some few of the adults still retaining a few of the rufous feathers upon the breast.

Mr. Tracy states that it was common in his time around Pembroke; Sir Hugh Owen has met with it in small flocks on Goodwick sands, and Mr. C. Jefferys, of Tenby, has informed us of one that was shot on the south sands there in September, 1889.

On their first arrival the Godwits are very tame, and the flocks will permit the gunner to walk up to them where they are feeding on the ooze in a straggling line ; the outer birds will run in towards the main body on his approach, and the compact mass of birds will afford the chance of a successful shot. We have, ourselves, had great sport on many occasions on the mud-flats of the North Devon rivers, and as these birds are excellent for the table we always found them to be greatly appreciated by the friends among whom we distributed our spoils. The Bar-tailed Godwit nests in the far north of Lapland, &c, and well authenticated eggs are scarce in collections.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and it’s Islands

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