This special bird has been with us in Whanganui since 16 November 2015, and yesterday AJD left once again to begin his migration north to Alaska. I checked up on him at the estuary every week and over time observed his plumage change from browns into orange/red as he moulted into breeding plumage – see pictures below taken four months apart. During his stay in Whanganui he did do some touring, as at least once he was spotted at Foxton during a very high tide. A jaunt of 60 km for a godwit is just like a walk around the park for us! We hear today that AJD is back at Foxton, likely to join up with a migrating flock, and if like previous years, he will leave on the 25th March. Once before, in 2013, he was observed migrating from Foxton.
25 March 2016 – I have just received word that AJD departed Foxton with a small group of migrating birds at 5 pm – right on his usual departure date.