[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
IS much like, and in size equal to, if not somewhat bigger than, the woodcock. He abides and seeks for his food on sandy shores, where he dextrously extracts with his slender beak, the imprudent worm that wriggles himself out as soon as the tide has retired. A peculiarity belonging to this bird is the shape of his bill, which is a little turned upwards. The head neck, and back are of a reddish brown; the belly and vent white; the legs dusky and sometimes black.
Several authors have reckoned the flesh of this bird among delicacies, but epicures differ much on this point. The Godwit is timid and shelters himself at the approach of tempestuous weather:
The storm is o’er, and to the distant verge
Of harrass’d ocean, now the scatter’d clouds
Slowly retire, and dart their dying fires;
Whilst on the beaten shores, among the rocks
And pendant weeds, the Godwits more secure
Seek, in full cry, their scanty food; they strut,
And sport, and flutter o’er the ebbing surge.