Limosa limosa


I had a my best visit to Goldcliff Lagoons of the year so far a couple of days ago. Finally it had stopped raining, which was a most welcome change of events.

The sun was shining the warmth that came with it was starting to dry the huge quantities of mud up. The reserve has been resembling a quagmire and it remains very boggy meaning wellies are an essential item of attire for any self respecting birdwatcher who desires dry feet.

When you enter the reserve now you will be struck by the wonderful sounds of birds. Lapwings, Redshanks, Oystercatchers and Avocets have all started to pair up as its the breeding season. From the hedgerows and reeds an orchestra of bird song can be heard. Reed Warblers, Cettis, Blackcaps and ChiffChaffs blast out a medley of their  greatest  springtime hits. 

The sounds are amazing and it is probably one of the best feelings you can have when walking into a nature reserve. It just kind of invites you in with an air of excitement.

Looking out from the various hides - especially on Monks and Becs Lagoons its really good to see lots of birds onsite.

Early on my visit a female Marsh Harrier flew over Monks Lagoon and out the birds up. I was searching for a Spotted Redshank and despite the bird of prey "reshuffling the deck", the elusive spotted did not put in an appearance for me.

I headed to the Seawall Hide as I had been informed that there was a big flock of Black-Tailed Godwits and that they had recently been targeted by a. Peregrine Falcon that was on the hunt.

Eventually after trudging through the mud I made it to the Seawall Hide where I had some company from a number of friendly birders.

There was indeed two flocks of Black-Tailed Godwits, probably in excess of three hundred birds. The first flock was feeding on Becs in front of the hide. The second flock was roosting at the end of the island.

The Black -Tailed Godwits ( Limosa limosa) looked absolutely amazing in there bright chestnut brown breeding plumage. They really are magnificent waders and we are lucky to have them every year at Goldcliff Lagoons.

The Godwit flock was a little jittery and they appeared to be carefully keeping an eye on the skies in case that Peregrine returned.

As it would turn out the Peregrine did not reappear but something much bigger caused the wader flock to panic.

A huge military plane flew directly above Becs Lagoon and put all the birds up. It was pandemonium and the Godwits put on quite an aerobatic display.

I love it when the Godwits take to the skies and they hurtle around the lagoons back and forth until they think the threat has passed.

On this occasion the Godwits all landed in front of the Seawall Hide. Whilst they remained at quite a distance I am now getting more familiar with my Olympus OM-1 and I think I was able to get some nice photographs of them coming into land.


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