On the 17th of April I did a post on Marbled Godwits because they are migrating through Utah now to get to their breeding grounds and on that post I mentioned that I saw them often on their wintering grounds in Florida like the foraging Marbled Godwit above that I photographed in a tidal lagoon at Fort De Soto County Park. Quite often the flocks would number 50 or more in one location. In Florida I was able to get close to these shorebirds but more often than not if I just laid still they would approach me. Sure, I got wet and muddy but it was worth it.
In October of 2010 while photographing birds in the shallow waters of Glover Pond near Farmington Bay a Marbled Godwit seemed to just drop down out of the sky in front of me and the bird was at close range. At first I thought the godwit might be sick because it was late in the year and we had been having issues with botulism but on further thought I believe this was simply a young bird that was migrating to wintering grounds a touch later than the other godwits. It drank water, ate and appeared healthy and I checked eBird and see that it isn’t all that unusual to see them in October according to the data submitted.
This was as close as I had been able to get to a Marbled Godwit here in Utah until four days ago.
Four days ago while photographing a Willet and gulls in the White Rock Bay area of Antelope Island I saw a big shorebird flying in and suspected that it was a Long-billed Curlew so I trained my lens on the bird and before it landed I realized it was a Marbled Godwit. It flew in close and walked up close several times so I was able to get a nice series of images of this godwit in a grassland habitat.
Marbled Godwits do breed in grasslands north of here and I have seen them at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge but in or near the water. These images are my first of a godwit in a grassy environment.
I was surprised to see this Marbled Godwit on the island but over the years I have learned to expect the unexpected whenever I am out photographing birds!
Life is good.