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Black-tailed Godwit - Limosa limosa

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Black-tailed Godwit3

Algarve. Note very plain plumage of an adult in winter.

Black-tailed Godwit1

Tavira. Adult in breeding plumage - probably a female

Another winter visitor to the Algarve, with a few presumed failed breeders returning as early as July. Unlike the Bar-tailed Godwit, it tends to shun the mudflats and favours the salt pans and marshy areas.  Slightly larger than Bar-tailed, its longer bill is straight with just the merest hint of an up-curve in some individuals. Upperparts are plain grey-brown, lacking any blotching. In flight they are immediately recognizable      by their bold black and white wing pattern. (Bar-tailed Godwit appears plain brown in flight with a pale wedge on the rump and lower back.) In breeding plumage, which many attain while still in the Algarve (much more unusual in Bar-tailed Godwit), they sport a bright orange-red neck and upper breast (females are paler).

Black-tailed Godwit2

Ludo salt pans. Note bold black and white wing pattern of birds in flight.
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Wild Orchids of the AlgarveAlgarve Wildlife, the natural year, Second Edition