Knot (Calidris canutus)
(1/100th sec at f13. Click image for larger version.)
(1/200th sec at f13. Click image for larger version.)
© David Hastings
DescriptionL: 21 - 26 cm; WS: 47 - 53 cm
The Knot is a dumpy, short-legged 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 does not breed in Britain but is a winter visitor and passage migrant in spring and autumn, journeying to and from its high Arctic breeding grounds.
It is mainly found on the coast in winter. Around 300000 birds over-winter in the UK.
Huge flocks form on estuaries in winter. These wheel and turn in flight, flashing their pale underwings as they twist and turn.
Its conservation status is amber, as the population is vulnerable to changes such as barrages, sea-level rises and human disturbance.