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Order Waders, Gulls, Skuas/Charadriiformes, Family Sandpipers/Scolopacidae

Bar-tailed Godwit/Limosa lapponica - Adult

L 33-41 cm (incl. bill 7-11), WS 62-72 cm. Breeds on open tundra and taiga bogs. Migrates (late May and late Jul-Aug) mainly along coasts and over sea to and from winter grounds in W Europe and W Africa. Large flocks on some tidal flats.
IDENTIFICATION: About equal in size to Black-tailed Godwit, from which told by shorter legs (esp. tibiae) and slightly shorter, usually clearly upcurved bill (beware that bill is longer on female than on male and hence more like Black-tailed). The two godwits best told by plumage: barred tail; white rump extending in point up back (as on Curlew); plain wings lacking wing-bar. Leg projection shorter than on Black-tailed. Bill dark with pink base. - Adult summer: male has whole underparts dark rufous (darker than Black-tailed), whereas much paler underparts of female (off-white, washed pale apricot) usually entirely lack rufous, and breast is streaked. Bill black with a little pale at base. Adult winter: Upperparts pale brownish-grey, with dark feather centres giving streaked effect (Black-tailed plain); off-white below without buff; faintly streaked on breast-sides only. Bill pink-based. - Juvenile: Like adult winter but darker above, with neatly buff-spotted edges to scapulars and (most obvious) tertials; breast all streaked; buff wash on foreneck/breast (cf. ad. female).
VOICE: Call is nasal ‘cewee-cewee’ (sharper than Knot). Song (in displayflight) is persistent, nasal ‘kuwe-kuwe-kuwe-…’, often preceded by series of rapid ‘witwitwet’.

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