Revisiting Black-Tailed Godwits on the Exe

It’s a week since I visited the Exe estuary and saw Black-Tailed Godwits in large flocks. They are very distinctive in flight, which black and white wing bars and a black bar on their tail:

Black-Tailed Godwits on the Exe

Today I’m walking alongside a tributary to the Exe when I see a single wader:

Black-Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I’m not sure what it is; I’ve never seen one close up before.

I follow it along the river as it works the shallows of the bank:

Black-Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

As I approach the Exe at Topsham there’s an influx of waders:

Black-Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Black-Tailed Godwits:

Black-Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Their bills are quick and nimble, just like my mum’s fingers were on the sewing-machine table:

Black-Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Incoming!

They look like an ever-changing symphony of notes on a wave-like stave:

Black-Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Black-Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Black-Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

They certainly make a splash:

Black-Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Success:

Black-Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

And finally I’m close enough to them to see their distinctive black tail again. What wonderful birds:

Black-Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

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