Friday, 19 October 2012

Birds in Focus - Knot

Knot at Marshside high tide (Alan Flavell)
The Knot is a dumpy, short-legged, stocky wading bird. In winter, It is grey above and white below; in summer the chest, belly and face are brick-red. In flight, it shows a pale rump and a faint wing-stripe. It forms huge flocks in winter which wheel and turn in flight, flashing their pale underwings as they twist and turn.

Many knots use UK estuaries as feeding grounds, both on migration and in winter, and therefore the population is vulnerable to any changes such as barrages, sea-level rises and human disturbance. Large numbers of birds visit the UK in winter from their Arctic breeding grounds.

Knot at Marshside high tide (Martyn Jones)


Knots are found in large muddy estuaries around the coast between August and May. The greatest numbers are found on The Wash, Morecambe Bay, and on the Thames, Humber and Dee estuaries, the Solway Firth and Strangford Lough. The largest numbers can be seen at high tide roosts between December and March. They eat shellfish and worms.

Here is a BTO identification video:

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