Mobile bird identification
In winter the Knot has a pale grey back with light edged feathers, a white underside, a pale stripe above the eye and short greenish to grey legs. The Knot is a large wader with a heavy round build, it has long wings in flight.
Knot Calidris canutus
On it's wintering grounds the Knot can form large flocks, sometimes numbering several thousand and, many birdwatcher's travel to see the spectacle of the flocks flying in synchronisation.
Species: C. canutus
In Summer the male and female Knot has a rich deep red underside, breast and head. The birds back is a mix of brown, grey and chestnut. The Knot is similar to the Curlew Sandpiper when in breeding plumage, however the Knot is a shorter less elegant bird, lacking the long legs and neck of the Curlew Sandpiper, as well as the curved bill.
Note the heavy build of the Knot. The back feathers edged with light grey are evident in this image. The light eye stripe, dark bill and short legs help to separate the Knot from other species.
Although seen at a distance the distinctive 'long winged' appearance of the Knot can help to confirm it's identity.
Adult Male & Female (Winter)
Adult Male & Female (Summer)
The Knot does not breed in Europe, it's principle nesting area is in Northern Greenland and Canada. It Winters in Western Europe crossing Iceland on route. Some birds winter in South America and others make it to South Africa. In the UK it winters around the entire coast in suitable habitats. It can sometimes be found inland when on passage.
Nests on Arctic tundra. In winter the Knot can be found in large numbers on muddy estuaries, although sometimes it can also be found on other types of coastline.
Knot in winter plumage.
Knot seen in the UK are usually either in winter plumage or like these birds in moult, with only patchy red on the underside.
A flock of Knot in summer plumage, note some of the birds are in moult and have varying amounts of red.
Upperparts are chestnut, dark-brown and grey
Legs and bill variable in colour
*Deep Chestnut red underside and breast
Thanks to:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 (Modified)
*Chestnut-red head and eye stripe
Thanks to:https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrea_pauline/ (Modified)
* Donates key ID points
*Straight shortish black bill
Light eye stripe
*Pale grey back, larger feathers edged with lighter grey
Greenish to grey legs
* Donates key ID points
Breast lightly marked with grey