Bird Watching (UK) - - September Id Challenge -

With its orange tones, and very long, straight bill, this bird can only be a dow­itcher (rare North Amer­i­can wader) or a godwit. But dow­itch­ers have al­most Snipe-length bills, with a slight down­ward droop at the tip and pale green­ish, not black­ish-grey, legs. So, this is surely a godwit, but which one? Our two god­wits, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed, are quite sim­i­lar birds in many ways, es­pe­cially if you can’t see the wing (or tail) pat­tern. An orange front end with no black bar­ring on the flanks may make you think Bar-tailed, not a Black-tailed. But, look at those neatly fringed back and wing feath­ers; this is a ju­ve­nile. And only Black-tailed ju­ve­niles have such a pat­tern. This is backed up by those long up­per legs; this is a ju­ve­nile Black-tailed Godwit.

KEY FEA­TURES †Very long straight bill †Orange 'front end' †Neatly fringed back and wing feath­ers †Long tibia

Long tibia Neatly scal­loped/fringed back and wing feath­ers Long straight bill

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