(2139) Limosa lapponica lapponica.
THE BAR-TAILED GODWIT.
Scolopax lapponica Linn., Syst. Nat., 10th ed., i, p. 147 (1758) (West Europe). Limosa lapponica. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 256.
Vernacular names. Same as for L. l. limosa.
Description. - Breeding plumage. Crown and lores rufous with black streaks; supercilium, sides of head, whole neck, breast and under plumage rich rufous; feathers behind the eye and a line down the hind-neck streaked with black; mantle and inner secondaries rufous with broad central streaks of black, these dividing the rufous on the inner secondaries into notches; lower back, rump and upper tail-coverts white, more or less streaked with black, the longest coverts suffused with a little rufous ; tail barred black and white throughout, the central tail-feathers slightly suffused with rufous; primaries black with white shafts and the 1st to 6th or 7th mottled with white on the base of the inner webs, remaining primaries black with narrow white internal edgings; outer secondaries brown-grey with white edges and a white inner streak following the contour of the feather; axillaries and under wing-coverts white with black streaks.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill pinkish flesh-colour, the terminal half horny-brown to almost black legs and feet greenish-grey to almost black.
Measurements. Wing, 202 to 216 mm., 211 to 227 mm.; tail 66 to 77 mm.; tarsus 46 to 51 mm.; culmen, 72 to 83 mm., 95 to 106 mm. (Witherby).
In Winter the rufous disappears, the upper parts are brown,, each feather edged with fulvous ; the wing-coverts are broadly edged with pale fulvous; chin and throat albescent; fore-neck and breast fulvous-brown, with a pinky tinge and faintly streaked with darker brown, the streaks more distinct on the flanks ; abdomen and under tail-coverts white or fulvous-white ; the sides of the head pinkish-fulvous, much streaked with dark brown.
Females are similar to the male but do not always assume so complete a breeding plumage.
Young birds in the first autumn have the upper parts more marked with buff spots, which also form notches on the inner secondaries.
Nestling like that of the previous species but less cinnamon-pink in general tone and with the coronal and other dark marks better defined.
Description. Breeding in Northern Europe from East Finland to the Yenesei or Asiatic Siberia and probably as far East as the Taimyr Peninsula. In Winter it migrates South to Africa and the Mekran coast, Sind and Cutch in North-West India.
Nidification. The Bar-tailed Godwit does not breed so far to the West as the Black-tailed Godwit, nor so far to the South. Nest and eggs are not distinguishable from those of that bird, though the latter average smaller and are - as a whole - even duller and more smudgily marked. Fifty-one eggs (Jourdain) average 53.4 x 37.3 mm.: maxima 59.5 x 37.3 and 57.2 x 39.3 mm.; minima 49.1 X 36.4 and 53.0 x 35.0 mm. The breeding-season commences in the middle of June, some eggs being laid as late as the last week in July.
Habits. Much the same as those of the Black-tailed Godwit-Its call is said to sound like " low-eet, low-eet," whilst it has a musical "yodelling" love-song and its alarm-note has been likened by Miss Haviland to the sound of a scythe being sharp¬ened on a whetstone.