The little flock of Marbled Godwits and the solo Long-billed Curlew that I first saw a month ago (“Early Wits” September 11 2021) seem to have settled in, at least for a while. I counted eight of the godwits, keeping company with the curlew, still on the mudflats at the Schoolhouse Creek outfall. I was lucky to catch them in a good light at a low tide. In recent weeks there have been few tides below 2.0 feet during daylight. The deep low tides have occurred during the night. That isn’t a problem for these sandpipers. They have good night vision and sensitive feelers in their beaks that tell them whether there’s anything of interest in the spot where they’re plunging their proboscis. As noted previously, the females have visibly longer beaks than the males. My guess is that the curlew is a female. Of the three godwits shown just below, I suspect the first one on the left is a female, the others males.
- October Red-wing
- Quiet for Now