Monday, 14 July 2014
Great Knot at Breydon Water
On reaching home after work yesterday I was very surprised (I am swamped with work) at the moment current) I was surprised to find a whole host of messages about a Great Knot at Breydon Water! Here we go again I thought as the last alert of one of these had proved to be an erroneous identification and I had thought it was just a Knot and raised doubts at the time. So leaving home at 6.10 by 6.40pm I was pulling into the Rugby club car park and walked what must have been a 2 mile walk along the south end of Breydon where we appeared to be almost along the Burgh Castle end. I joined the 80 strong throng of birders and was directed to the further end of the estuary along the western bank where it was seen on the western muddy bank just metres from the the river channel. Directions were good where it was seen "underneath" and between a windmill in the distance and a telegraph post. It was seen just behind a trio of BH Gulls. It appeared slightly larger than a Knot with a more attenuated rear end (a bit like Baird's Sandpiper) It had had a slightly longer black bill which appeared thicker at the base. What was most obvious was the blackish on the breast which appeared to contrast with the more whiter underparts with black spots on the flanks. It showed more rufous brown on its back too and showed pale straw coloured legs. It was indeed a fine adult Great Knot in full summer plumage. Only the 4th record for Britain, a rare British tick for me and the first I've seen since my trip to China in 1999. A great bird and a great find by the Yarmouth birder. It spent its time busily feeding on the estuary before finally flying right and seen at the same distance just by the Tern platforms. Other birds seen on the estuary included 6 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Greenshank, Whimbrel, Black tailed Godwit and 5 Avocet.