Chaz Jackson discovered three BLACK-TAILED GODWITS mid-morning on the main marsh at College Lake BBOWT and these were still present at midday (Mick A' Court). Being the first twitchable in the county this year, I raced straight over and enjoyed excellent views of them feeding and resting at the north end of the main island from the new hide from 1300-1445 hours.
As it was an early date for three returning adult birds from Icelandic breeding grounds, I had a close look at them and noted that all three had striking orange (not pink) long bills and were very orange (rather than reddish-purple) on the underparts. The orange underparts also abruptly ceased and were replaced by white, with black barring on the belly and flanks. There was some light orange on the flanks and one individual was slightly better marked than the other two birds. Frustratingly, the exact patterning on the tertials could not be noted and no photographs were taken before they flew off at 1600 hours. Everything pointed towards the three being adult male EUROPEAN BLACK-TAILED GODWITS (limosa), perhaps displaced by the NE winds England has been experiencing over the past three or four days.
There was no sign of the Wood Sandpiper today but the LITTLE RINGED PLOVER family, several juvenile Common Redshanks, the OYSTERCATCHERS and numerous Lapwings were on show, and a male GARDEN WARBLER was in song (Lee Evans)