American Birding Podcast



#ABArare – Black-tailed Godwit – Virginia

The impressive run of shorebird records continues. The latest is a Black-tailed Godwit (Code 3) from Chincoteague NWR, Chincoteague Island, VA. Ron and Carol Gutberlet discovered it around 1:30 PM on August 11. It was on an extensive sandy area directly opposite the Toms Cove visitor center. The Gutberlets watched the godwit until 3 PM. It was still there when they left, but it has not been seen since, except perhaps by one party the next morning.

ABArare Black-tailed Godwit Virginia

ABArare Black-tailed Godwit Virginia 2The bottom photo shows the white underwing linings that are a field mark for Black-tailed Godwit. The underwing linings of Hudsonian Godwits are black. (photos by Ron Gutberlet)

Ron Gutberlet writes on this eBird checklist that he was counting Semipalmated Plovers when the godwit wandered into view. At first, he thought it was a Hudsonian Godwit, the more-expected species, but it then flew, exposing the white underwings that identified it as a Black-tailed.

Though the godwit has not been seen for sure since Saturday afternoon, if you want to look for it, see this map (there’s also a link on the eBird checklist). To get to the visitor center, take Beach Access Rd almost to its end to get to the Toms Cove visitor center.

It should be noted that the Black-tailed Godwit in Texas is still present as of August 10, over two months after its initial discovery.