[Tweeters] Good Godwit!

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Thu Jul 24 14:14:09 PDT 2014


Some of my favorite items to read are written descriptions of unknown birds, especially by beginning birdwatchers. The best ones are long detailed descriptions including more features than are exhibited by any living bird. Sometimes it takes a little mental detection work to pick out the facts from the whatever's. Sort of fun.
But sometimes one will see a very unusual bird, doing unusual things, in unusual places. Or maybe not, really.
Last week I was checking out the eelgrass beds at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, and standing quietly on the sandy beach, when I caught some bird movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned quickly to see a brownish bird fly up from the sand, and instantly spotted the diagnostic long, upturned bill of a Godwit! "Cool" I thought, particularly since I am rarely in the same place as a Godwit, as far as I've noticed.
But then the Godwit made an seemingly un- godwit -like move - it flew up under pilings of the Marine Science Center pier and disappeared up there. This all happened fairly quickly.
"Hey, wait a minute!" I thought, and barely had to, since the bird soon came out and flew back down to the beach. Remarkably it's long beak had fallen off!
Well not really, because, you see, this bird was actually a brown-colored Rock Dove. Another Rock Dove flying up under the pier with a long strand of nesting material trailing from its bill made me realize that what I'd seen was the brown Rock Dove with a curved twig sticking forward from it's bill.
"Good Godwit, buddy!" I called over to the impersonating pigeon, who was picking up more nest stuff. It was a pretty entertaining show.
For the record it was bright and a bit misty - and hey, the sun might possibly have been in my eyes.

Jeff GibsonWhatever Wa


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