Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa is a scarce winter visitor and passage migrant to Borneo, previous records were of mainly single bird. Sabah records were from Mumiang in the east Coast and from Kota Belud in the west coast. No other record from Sabah has been mentioned in publications. If my memory serves me right, I think there was a single bird in Sempulan, Kota Kinabalu one or two years ago, photographed by Sifu Jason and Sifu Karim. (Edit: My memory failed me, see comment from Sifu Jason.)
We went to Tinagat on 7th August 2010 to check on the waders and to my surprise I saw more than 10 Godwits feeding there at the tide-edge. I saw a Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica at the same place last season. (See here).
Photographs of the birds were taken without hesitation and on further checking with my field guides, they are confirmed to be Black-tailed Godwits.
It is quite easy to differentiate this from the similar looking Bar-tailed Godwit. Here are some of the more obvious features;
- Black-tailed Godwit has straight bill, Bar-tailed has slightly upturned bill.
- Black-tailed Godwit has much longer legs, particularly longer tibia.
- Black-tailed Godwit has barred-flanks in breeding plumage, various traces of it can be seen in the fresh arrivals.
- In non breeding plumage (which we usually see them), Black-tailed Godwit has plain smooth breast and neck while Bar-tailed has streaky neck and breast.
Here are the pictures of the birds, my lifer. (#322 photographed wild birds of Borneo).
A pair of Juvenile White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
Common Redshank Tringa totanus
Little-ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris
Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel
Photodocument of Wild Birds of Borneo
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