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Conservation status: Amber

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.



Latin name

Calidris canutus


Sandpipers and allies (Scolopacidae)

Where to see them

Large muddy estuaries around the coast. Greatest numbers are found on The Wash, Morecambe Bay, Thames, Humber and Dee estuaries, the Solway Firth and Strangford Lough.

When to see them

Around UK coasts between August and May. Largest numbers can be seen at high tide roosts between December and March.

What they eat

Shellfish and worms


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
--320,000 birds-



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