The Hudsonian Godwit is a rare bird, only recorded twice before in this country and the last time was in 1988. A bird that breeds at scattered sites from Alaska to the Hudson Bay, but this female had found itself in Somerset in the company of more familiar Black-tailed Godwits. The bird had first appeared last Friday (24th April) and was seen by a lot of people on that Saturday, but then it flew and was not seen again. That was, until the 29th April when it was noted again in the same place, in the company of the same Black-tailed Godwits. A twitch was definitely on the cards, after all, this is quite possibly a once in a lifetime bird.
Myself and my friend Chris Orders made the journey on Sunday morning amidst pouring rain and poor visibility. On arrival at the car park, the rain stopped, but the clouds still filled the sky and we made our way to the birds' favoured haunt. There were a few birders present, all telling us of the birds continued presence, although at that time it was out of sight. We waited. An hour and a half went by with 'booming' Bitterns and Great White Egrets in breeding plumage to keep us entertained and then the majority of the Godwit flock took to the sky from its out of sight position and there, amongst the paler Blackwits was the bird we had travelled to see, the female Hudsonian Godwit. Easily identified by the dark underwings, the bird whirled around in the sky for a minute or two and then proceeded to land, this time in full view. Scope views were excellent, showing the 'Hudwit' in all her glory. A summer plumaged bird that was slightly smaller and shorter-legged than her cousins and an overall darker appearance with a slightly upturned bill, reminiscent of a Bar-tailed Godwit. The group did fly a few times, but after the third time they proceeded to stay firmly on the ground with their bills tucked under their wings for at least an hour and a half. At that point we left and made our way back to Peterborough.
|Slightly harder to identify in this picture, but I assure you, the bird is there! Can you see her?|