September 1st, 2008

Fast Flying Godwit!

Report from Pete Potts: On the morning of the 13th August 2008 at Farlington Marshes Local Nature Reserve , Langstone Harbour, Portsmouth, Hampshire, Southern England we caught 15 Black-tailed Godwits and colour-ringed the 13 new unringed birds. One was an adult male and was a heavy bird for a male godwit, weighing 275grms. Females are bigger than males weighing up to 350grms. I said at the time this bird is going to head a long way south. Godwits store their energy for flight as fat so when they plan to fly a long distance they put on lots of fat!

Adult godwit colour ringed on the 16th August at Farlington Marshes Local Nature Reserve, Langstone Harbour, Portsmouth, Hampshire, Southern England. (photo © Pete Potts)

Just three days later on the 16th August Juan Mª Domínguez Robledo saw a Black-tailed Godwit with red ring on the left tarsus, yellow ring on the left tibia, and lime ring over green ring on the right tibia, in Ría de Boo, Santoña (Cantabria, Spain; 43º26'48"N 3º27'52"W). It was the same bird!

The same godwit feeding on the Ría de Boo, Santoña, Cantabria, Spain three days later! .......(photo © Juan Mª Domínguez Robledo)

This is our first ever sighting of a bird we have ringed in The Solent in Spain or any where south of western France.It was in a flock with other 105 godwits, while they were feeding on mud flats. The bird had flown 839 kilometres in three days or less! This is a great record for the project and shows that without the colour ringing we would never have known about this fantastic journey.