The Godwits Must Be Crazy
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica baueri, near Green Timbers, Homer Spit, Homer 24 October 2009. In addition to the barred tail, note the grayish plumage, checkered back pattern, distinct supercillium, shorter neck and legs, more compact shape and smaller size than the Marbled Godwit also present in Homer.
One species of godwit in October is good–two is crazy! At best a casual fall migrant through the region, this juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit was found in Homer yesterday by visiting birders, Brian and Julie. There are a handful of August and September records for Homer, but none of the previous fall records have been later than 20 September. This bird was feeding at the mouth of the small creek between Louie’s Lagoon and Green Timbers on the Homer Spit. It will need to fatten up for the non-stop 6,000 mile overwater flight to its wintering grounds in Australia or New Zealand.
A bit further down the beach the Marbled Godwit, present since the 18th, was in Mud Bay with a nice flock of shorebirds that included 29 Long-billed Dowitchers, 7 Dunlin, 6 Rock Sandpipers and a Sanderling. Pretty nice shorebirding for late October.