In summer, male Bar-tailed Godwits go completely brick red underneath from bill to tail. They also differ from Black-tailed Godwits in their shorter legs and the lack of a wing pattern. In flight they resemble small Curlews with generally brown upper-parts, except for the triangular white rump and pale barred upper-tail.
However, they have slightly up-turned rather than obviously down-turned bills. Unlike Black-tailed Godwits, their upper parts are heavily patterned even in winter plumage and they are unlikely to look prominently red or orange on the head and neck.
Common passage and winter visitor to most coasts, especially sandy estuaries and beaches
Breeds only in the far north of Scandinavia and beyond, but is a common winter and passage Depending on the severity of the weather, wintering birds can total as many as 52 500 in Britain and Ireland. Visiting many of the estuaries of Western Europe.
They prefer extensive mud flats, groups scattering over them to probe for food and are driven at high tide to large mixed roosts where they tend to keep a little separate from the Curlews, Redshanks and other species close by.