Sunday, 26 June 2016

Back for the Great Knot

With the great knot lingering in Norfolk for its second weekend we decided to have another try for it today. The weather was much better than on our first visit, bright blue skies and lovely warm sunshine, and the whole place looked that much better than it did last week. True to form the bird decided yesterday to change it's habits the day before the weekend and for the first time during in its stay it spent yesterday evening on the beach near Holme, which is where it was found first thing this morning. However the rising tide pushed it off the beach before we arrived and it flew to it's favoured roosting site at Scolt Head Island, about 5 miles to the east and just off Brancaster. It was a distant view at Scolt  Head Island with a few hundred red knot, but as the tide receded the flock spread out and came a bit closer and the great knot was one of the closest birds feeding in the water. Though still quite distant you could clearly see the dark mantle with chestnut scapulars and more particularly the black spotted breast which made it look very like a giant summer plumage pectoral sandpiper to my eyes. Also offshore here a few little and sandwich terns.

Then we moved to Titchwell  in the hope that the great knot might relocate there as the tide receded further, but unfortunately that never happened. Still we saw some decent birds at Titchwell, including 5 spoonbills, 1st sum little gull, red-creasted pochard, 250 avocets, 2 bearded tits and a nice selection of waders.

UK Life 414 (Great knot), Year 235 (Great Knot, Little tern)

Twitching the great knot on Brancaster beach.

NOT the bird I saw yesterday! In the absence of any photos from Scolt Head Island, these are great knot I saw in Australia last October. Unfortunately being in winter plumage they are nowhere near as nice as the Norfolk bird which is in summer plumage.

Avocet at Titchwell.

Titchwell. Black-tailed godwit and Knot in flight, with avocets in the bottom left.

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