Brick Red Wader

Axe Estuary

Here’s the scenario. You’re on a massive limestone promontory jutting out into the Bristol Channel. Let’s say it’s Brean Down although you’ve had no inclination to return there (the prospect of your second only grasshopper warbler has tipped the balance).

You’ve yomped to the end of the outcrop despite a nagging Achilles, with only the highlight of a meadow pipit. You found a fort there which you didn’t expect but which you also didn’t have on the wish list. You’ve yomped back for another meadow pipit while the Achilles has spread kneewards. Regardless of the pain you take an extra few hundred yards to look over the Axe Estuary.

Down there, about a million miles away are two waders, obviously of the same species but one with brick red underparts. You know they’re godwits. You don’t even need the size comparison of a nearby curlew. The question is: which godwit? They’re truly too far to distinguish niceties like bill curvature and thickness, or leg length.

Black-tailed or bar-tailed? If you’re really good I’ll give you my best guess in a later post. Meanwhile you can have your own punt in the comments below.

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