Knot Such a Bad Idea

With my 300th UK species still eluding me my thoughts had turned to the Great knot that has been at Titchwell for a few days. Having read a couple of Blog reports from Oxfordshire birders who had made the trip ( http://blackaudibirding.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/get-knotted-16th-june-2016.html , http://oxfordbirder.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/titchwell-great-knot.html ) I decided that, if it was still around on Thursday I would go for it on Friday. My plan was to drive up to Titchwell on Thursday evening, grab a few hours kip in the car and to be on the beach for Dawn. Pete was up for the trip as well so half-eight on Thursday evening found us heading east on the M4. Managing to beat the overnight road closures and various heavy downpours an uneventful journey saw us arrive in the car park at Titchwell at just gone midnight. After some poor quality sleep we woke a little after four to the sound of a cuckoo. A couple of Oystercatchers flew over calling loudly and several Swifts were also noted. After a quick freshen up in the toilets we headed for the beach arriving at around twenty to five. On the way we had great views of the sun rising over the reserve. IMG_3266 (1024x575) IMG_3267 (1024x575)We weren’t the first to arrive having been beaten there by about ten minutes by a birder from Winchester. It was a beautiful morning with little cloud or wind. Several Sandwich and Little Terns were feeding out to sea and there were a few waders on the water’s edge. The tide was on its way in and as it rose more waders started to appear. The flock of Knot grew to around three  to four hundred but of the Great Knot there was no sign. Oystercatchers, Curlew and a handful of Grey Plover flew in followed by more Knot. It was now near to seven o’clock another birder who had joined us earlier on the beach had decided to go to Brancaster to check out Scolt Island. He called us to say there was no sign of the bird there either. A couple of large flocks of Knot flew in swelling the numbers towards a couple of thousand birds.

There were now seven or eight of us searching. There were several Red Knot in the flock but no sign of the target bird. Just before half-seven some more small groups of Knot flew in and finally the Great Knot put in an appearance. Unfortunately it stayed on the seaward side of the flock so although we never got to see the bird in the open we still  had excellent views. After about ten minutes the birds as one all flew up with the flock splitting into two groups.

The smaller headed for the freshwater at Titchwell while the rest went off towards Scolt Head Island. Of interest on the beach was the massive amount od presumably dumped by a storm empty razor clam shells. There we thousands and thousands of them all along the whole length of the sands.

We then headed for the Parrinder hide where we spent an hour or so enjoying the many birds on the freshwater lagoon. The highlight was a couple of Spotted Redshank and several young Avocets.

We left Titchwell at around a quarter to ten and after stopping for a celebratory breakfast at the Chill Out Cafe near Guyhirn GetAttachment.aspxarrived back in Swindon at three.

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3 responses to “Knot Such a Bad Idea

  1. Well done both of you. Good spotting skills required to pick it out from such a sizeable flock and a nice bird to find for your 300th.

  2. Great! don’t you think that any spotting scopes is needed for a prefect watch?

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