First black-tailed godwits of spring

This video from England is called A black-tailed godwit feeding on the Port Meadow floods at Oxford [among black-headed gulls, a shoveler, and wigeon].

Today, again at the nature reserve where Baillon’s crakes have nested.

A sunny day, but windy and cold. During the night there has been frost. Most ditches in the reserve are frozen.

Snipe flying.

Grey lag geese. Coot. Moorhen.

On the frozen “Baillon’s crake lake”, many black-headed gulls, fewer common gulls, and still fewer herring gulls. Gadwall ducks. Teal.

Male and female shovelers, some resting.

The big canal in the southern part of the reserve is partly frozen. In the ice free part, a little grebe dives.

On an island in the northern lake, I see the first seven black-tailed godwits of this spring (though it still feels more like winter)! Probably, they came back very recently from Africa. They are digging for worms in the grass.

Shelducks. Northern lapwings.

A bit later: six black-tailed godwits walking on ice. The same ones of a few minutes ago? Soon, they fly to another island.

In the big canal north of the reserve, Egyptian geese, great cormorants, male and female tufted ducks, coots swimming.

Lots of coots and gadwall ducks on the northern meadow.

Near the bench, eight black-tailed godwits and two snipe standing on the lake bank. As I get too close, the godwits fly away to the ice.

There is some open water in the mostly frozen canal along the railroad. A great crested grebe and five common pochards swim there.

Then, fifteen black-tailed godwits, flying in formation and calling. Are they just arriving from Africa?

As I walk, just before the “Baillon’s crake lake”, many teal, probably over a hundred, in the reedbeds. I think more teal are arriving right now from the south. In between those cute little ducks, two much bigger birds: a male and a female pintail duck. This is the first time I have ever seen this species here.

A pintail photo is here. And here.


Then, another “first” for me at this reserve: two black swans.

Benjamin Van Doren about flight calls of night-migrating birds: here.

2 thoughts on “First black-tailed godwits of spring

  1. Pingback: British wetlands help birds in harsh winter | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Godwits, geese and teal | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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