Sunday, 23 March 2014

Late afternoon ...

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

The Black-tailed Godwit (L. limosa) is an elegant bird. Standing long-legged and with a bill to match, it is the Icelandic race L. l. islandica that winters in Britain, Ireland and Western Europe, including Sussex. Returning Black-tailed Godwits arrive in Sussex from July onwards, some stopping here to moult before moving further south, others staying on to overwinter. As the population in Iceland has expanded, the numbers visiting Britain have more than quadrupled since the 1980s; though the numbers visiting Sussex have remained relatively stable. Chichester and Pagham Harbours are both internationally important sites for L. limosa in winter, holding up to 3% of the UK total between them. Although this species is widespread and has a large global population, its numbers have declined substantially in parts of its range owing to changes in agricultural practices. Overall, the global population is estimated to be declining at such a rate that the species qualifies as Near Threatened.

Always a pleasure to see …


Barfield, C., 2014. Black-tailed Godwit. The Birds of Sussex. Thetford: British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Books on behalf of the Sussex Ornithological Society, pp. 271-272.
de Potier, A., 1996. Black-tailed Godwit. Birds of Sussex. Sussex Ornithological Society, pp. 270-271.

BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Limosa limosa. Downloaded from on 23rd March 2014.

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