Bar-tailed Godwit

Ryan Shaw rtshaw80 at
Wed Jan 2 17:06:46 PST 2002

Greetings all-

Justin Rink, a visiting birder from Illynoise and I took a quick visit to
Tokeland so that he could get a look at the Bar-tailed Godwit. We arrived
at Toke Point at about 2:00PM today. Would have gone sooner but I work
graveyard shift now and needed sleep... Anyways, the weather at Tokeland
was partly cloudy with a few intermitten showers. But it was EXTREMELY
windy. Surf was coming quite far over the rock breakwater along the road
towards Tokepoint, soaking my car as it passed. Tide was real high, so it
was actually good conditions for the godwits. They were all sitting on one
of the docks out of the wind. We counted a minimum of 500 Marbled Godwits
on the dock, with 25 Long-billed Dowitchers, and 15 or so Willets. And on
the far right hand side of the flock sat the basic plumaged Bar-tailed
Godwit. I assume its the same bird that has been there since the fall. But
now its plumage is quite nice looking. The white mottling in the greater
coverts was quite striking. A very sweet bird with which we observed at
close range. Justin was quite extatic, as BT Godwit was definitely not a
bird he was expecting on his trip to Washington. A boat came close to the
flock, and several of the Godwits, including the Bar-tail took flight,
flying farther into the roosting flock. With the Bar-tail actually landing
on top of a Marbled Godwit and standing on its back for about 30 seconds.
Quite humorous.

Well we couldn't really stay that long to bird the area, had to get some
supplies for 3 days in NE Washington starting tommorrow!

How many overwintering Bar-tailed Godwit records are there for Washington?
My first bird of the year. Black capped Chickadee. I spent most of 1/1/02
attempting to sleep before I had to go to work, but decided to go to my
window and pish towards a Doug Fir in my yard. Out popped a few BCCHs. So
I decided to call it a day there, with only 1 bird on my year list at the
end of the day.

Cheers and Good Birding

----Ryan Shaw
----Lacey, Washington
----rtshaw80 at
----(360) 491-1084
----AIM: RTShaw80

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