Some plain looking birds can cause quite a stir and are sought after quite vigorously. Our native Marbled Godwit is a gorgeous bird compared to the European Bar-tailed Godwit but familiarity breeds contempt and we would choose a Bar-tailed over a Marbled any day. Conversely Europeans would freak out if a Marbled Godwit showed up in Europe.
This particular bird was located by the esteemed John Fussell of Coastal North Carolina (http://www.uncpress.unc.edu/browse/book_detail?title_id=510) birding fame. He pegged the ID right away based on the short legged appearance. It is interesting that Bar-tailed Godwits are almost the same size as the other godwits (Hudsonian for example) but simply appear much smaller because of their short legs.
Bar-tailed with short legs compared with Marbled behind.
Tucked in it almost looked like a Willet but the feathering on back has more detail. Of course once you see the bill it seals the deal.
Here you can see the barring on tail which differentiates it from Black-tailed or Hudsonian Godwit.