Saturday, 27 April 2013

Bar-tailed Godwits Excellent Adventure

One of the reasons we travelled to Farewell Spit recently was to see some Bar tailed Godwits. These amazing birds travel down to New Zealand from their breeding grounds in Alaska. They spend the New Zealand summer feeding, and getting ready to head back north.

Sadly even though our trip out onto Farewell Spit was amazing, we didn't see any godwits. We did see other birds that day, and I'll show you those some other time, but I was especially keen to see the godwits. It had become a bit of a quest.

So it was a very exciting moment to see a lot of bird shapes at Taupata Stream the following day on high tide (the best time for seeing sea birds). Would these be godwits?



It was almost too much to hope for.

There were groups of different sea birds
And there they were!

hanging with some white-fronted terns

and some Pied Oystercatchers too

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)


Driving further around the bay we found more birds at Pakawau!

There were godwits there too!
Later we even found them at Nelson....
Which just goes to show that you need to look at what's around you

At Pakawau there was a great sign showing us how far these extraordinary birds have come.

Their journey south is the longest known non-stop flight of any bird
Which they do in an incredible 7-9 days
They have an even longer journey home, but make a stop in Asia!

The pohutakawa were beautiful that day too. 



Saturday Snapshot, is a wonderful weekly meme from at home with books

22 comments:

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Birding is big here around the Gulf Coast, but, sadly, no godwits. To the best of my knowledge.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Thanks for sharing your adventures! Love those little creatures....

Here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Awww great photos, now I feel like I've been there too; thanks so much

Ginx Craft said...

That looks a great place to birdwatch. Love the godwits and oystercatcher. We saw oystercatcher in Suffolk, a few years ago, an avocets.

marveloustales said...

Wow, Alaska to New Zealand? Very impressive! Love those beaks on them. :)

bermudaonion said...

That looks pretty big for a stream! The birds are beautiful!

Daisy Paltrow said...

Great pictures, the pohutakawa were breathtaking!

Daisy from A Serendipitous Life

Frances Stiles said...

I just love bird photos! These are great!

Sim Carter said...

what incredible journeys they make! And I thought the 18 hour flight from L.A. to Sydney was long :)
Great name for these birds, any idea where 'godwits' comes from?

rippleeffects said...

Wow... shorebirds that I've to travel to the other side of the globe to see. Thanks for sharing!

Alyce said...

Very neat that you got to see them! The birds and the scenery in your photos are beautiful!

Melissa Owens said...

Beautiful pictures! I particularly like the last one with that pop of red!

Here is my SATURDAY SNAPSHOT post.

Joyous Reads said...

That is a long ways away to fly, isn't it? Gorgeous snapshots. Thanks for sharing! :)

Ali said...

Hooray for the godwits! I love your story about finding them unexpectedly. They're pretty darned cute!

Brona Joy said...

Well done for persisting - the wait was worth it. What a curious pointy looking beak the godwit has too.

simpleimages2 said...

Darwin was right. The birds adapt their beak to the conditions. Those beaks are long and needed for the oysters. Amazing birds.

Nell at njschout said...

They really fly a long way, don't they!

Paulita said...

I learn so much from reading other people's blogs. Fascinating info and great photos. Here's Mine

Lmkazmierczak said...

Nice series of shots...thanks for sharing your adventure♫

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

That is such a cool bird. They have to be pretty efficient fliers to stay in the air for a week and not stop to eat!

Carol said...

Great photos. and those seem like pretty amazing birds.

Martha Eskuchen said...

Bird hunting sounds like an adventure I would like. Lovely pictures of birds and the red trees!
Thanks for sharing.