When to see
Both Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwit can be seen on the bay but not always at the same time. The Black-tailed Godwit are usually only seen on migration in spring and autumn travelling to and from their breeding grounds in Iceland. In the late summer they can be around the bay for some time but will eventually leave to over-winter on estuaries further south. The Bar-tailed Godwit by comparison will over-winter on Findhorn Bay and their numbers rise as the winter goes on before eventually departing for their breeding grounds in Scandinavia in April.
Where to see
Both species can be seen feeding on the central area of the bay, although the Black-tails will generally favour the southern end of the bay. The Bar-tails can sometimes be seen on the sandbars off the southern end of Findhorn village.
Both species develop distinctive red underparts in their summer breeding plumage which is always more prominent on the males. Most of the year though we see them in their winter plumage. The Bar-tails can look noticeably grey on the upper parts compared to the Black-tails which are a more grey-brown colour. The most distinctive difference between the species though is when they are seen in flight with the white wing bars and much longer legs on the Black-tailed Godwit.
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