Black-tailed Godwit still in Texas

I had the feeling that after we failed to locate the Black-tailed Godwit at Brazoria NWR on July 7th nobody had been really looking. I had missed the bird while it was easy to see during June as I was out of the country and was disappointed that it had apparently left just days before I returned. This morning I had a hunch that it may still be around and on a whim gave it a try. I arrived around 8 am and started scanning. The recent rains had changed the fields quite a bit. The field on the western side of the road where the bird had been originally found contained too much water for shorebirds, so did the field on the eastern side where it was last seen, but just north and south of that along the eastern side the rice fields had perfect water levels for shorebirds. I scanned through a few scattered birds on the western side, shorebird numbers were low. Concentrating on the eastern side where muddy flats and some standing water interspersed dense vegetation I found some yellowlegs and ibis. Also dowitchers, Killdeer, Least Sandpipers, and lost of stilts. Training the scope south (to the right) of the viewing area designated by yellow rope I spotted the Black-tailed Godwit craning its neck from the vegetation right around 8:20 am. The long straight bicolored bill very obvious. I watched it preen for about five minutes and forage. When some workers pulled up in a truck in the fields it flushed and flew a semi-circle right above me, revealing the distinct tail and underwing pattern. I found the bird again an hour later in a flooded field just north (abutting FM2004) when it flew up from denser vegetation. It returned to the original field and I could get some poor flight photos. It switched fields one more time and was actually visible from FM2004 in the eastern portion of the field. I left at 10 am with the bird most likely where I had found it. If anybody is still looking for it I recommend focusing on the eastern field and patiently waiting for the bird to fly or move. It was loosely associating with yellowlegs and White-faced Ibis. Below a collage of some poor photos just to record and document that the bird is still here.



2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Judy on July 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I knew you would see it. It was just a matter of time. Congratulations!


  2. Thank you, yes I am pretty happy it is still around, it’s a great bird so close to home.


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