Asiatic Dowitcher, Snipe-billed Godwit.
A large wader with a straight uni-coloured bill.
Non-breeding: The head, and neck are streaked with grey brown on a white base. The top of the head and a line through the eye are darker, whilst there is also a white supercilium. The underparts are white, but breast and flanks but slightly streaked with dark grey. The rest of the upperparts are dark grey, with individual feathers having a thin buff border. The bill is straight, long, black and has a swollen tip. The legs are black.
The crown, nape, most of the neck are a deep chestnut-red. The supercilium is white and there is a dark line through the eye. The rest of the upperparts are dark brown, with individual feathers being fringed with white. The underparts are chestnut-red, though the breast and flanks are finely barred with black. The belly and vent are white, barred with chestnut-red.
Juvenile: Similar to the non-breeding plumage. But feathers on the back are fringed with buff rather than white. There is also buff on the breast and flanks .
It occurs mainly in north-western Australia, first being recorded in Darwin in 1971. It is found in the tidal mudflats of the coast and estuaries. Some flocks of over a hundred have been reported. It is a rare visitor to other parts of Australia.
This species is little known in Australia, but arrives in September and departs in April.
The Asian Dowitcher breeds in three distinct areas; central and eastern Siberia, Mongolia and north-eastern China. Its nest are found close to water usually in meadowland.
Regular visitor to the north-west of Australia, but rare in other parts.
East Asian-Australasian Flyway Population: about 23,000.
Bar-tailed Godwit: Very similar in non-breeding plumage to the dowitcher. The plumage is more streaked. The bicoloured bill is slightly upturned.
Black-tailed Godwit: Very similar to the dowitcherin non-breeding plumage. The plumage is less streaked. The bicoloured bill is straight.