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The Godwit Escort Service

Monday, July 14, 2008

More things you don’t see every day…marbled godwits. What are those? They sound like some kind of bonbon (the kind I spend all day popping into my mouth while I lie on the divan, watching game shows). Godwits are enormous sandpipers, like curlews who got their bills straightened. Godwits are beautiful, especially in flight. Godwits are also easily annoyed, especially when they have chicks running about in the tall waving grass.

We never got out of the car; these godwits came to us, yelling and complaining. We were careful to crawl along at a snail’s pace lest a chick be squatting in a tire track. The godwits believed that they were distracting our vehicle from attacking their chicks, and we didn’t try to dissuade them. We just let them lead us away, with our friend Ernie driving and Ann navigating and Bill and me leaning out the windows, shooting frame after frame of these leggy furious beauties.

They flew along at window level, yelling.

They landed in front of the car and strode away with a come-hither look on their long faces.

They ran alongside our car.

They crossed and cris-crossed over us. Their cinnamon wings flashed against the verdant green, producing images so beautiful that they border on surreal.
And then we were far enough away and the godwits doubled back to reunite with their chicks, and the show was over. I wondered if they meet every car this way, and if people understand why. Perhaps you can get used to having a marbled godwit escort when you drive this road in June. I doubt I ever could.


WOW. What magnificent creatures, and what great shots! I especially like the open-beaked "And stay out" shot. Thanks.

Marbled gotwits? Bonbons, maybe. . .or how about British upperclass. The Gotwits--remember them?

Lovely birds--and your description of cinnamon wings: perfect.

Oops--meant to say Godwits.

I prefer the name Garbled Modwits for some reason. 8-)

Catbird is right. WOW! What a magical experience with such beautiful birds! I'm sure you will cherish the memory of them "leading" your car for a long time.

Whoa! They look so ORANGE!

Effort -free birding. My favorite kind.

Holy crap! What incredible birds when in flight! That bill! Those sculpted wings! I'm agog!

Form meets function and adds a gorgeous color into the mix. Very nice!

I can honestly say, I've never seen or heard of a Marbled Godwit. Would love to know how someone determined that was just the name for this brave bird.

Leggy beauties, indeed, complete with dark stockings and what appear to be almost stilleto heels.

And in flight, those sleek wings have almost a pterodactylish quality to them.

How fortunate you and BotB were to be escorted by such godwitted guardians!

godwits are wonderful, though this is a species I've never seen. We have two spwecies of godwits over ehre (though one is very rare). Your photos are excellent.

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