A wildlife diary of the western Isle Of Wight's beautiful countryside!
Friday, February 22, 2013
Tied up in Knots!
At Newtown Nature Reserve it's possible to count close on a thousand Knot feeding together. Here, just a few miles to the west, these ten constitute the largest gathering that I've come across so far! And I thought that 'Tied up in Knots' was an appropriate title for this post because I've never witnessed any other waders huddling together as closely as this as they slowly make their way up the shoreline! Soon much of their grey plumage will turn a beautiful deep red colour, which is why their full name is Red Knot nowadays.
Like the Dunlin these birds have travelled a long way to spend the winter on our shores - from Scandinavia and as far west as Siberia. 10 birds are not going to give me one of nature's most famous wildlife spectaculars as massive flocks of these birds bank and wheel together over other estuaries on the mainland, but just watching this small flock was reward enough for venturing out in freezing temperatures!