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What am I?

The knot is a medium-sized, short, stocky sandpiper that migrates to the UK in large numbers during winter from its Arctic breeding grounds.

Commonly spotted feeding in estuaries around the coast, the largest numbers can be seen at high tide roosts in the depths of winter.

A long-distance migrant, the knot can travel up to 15,000 km, stopping along the way at least once to feed.

How to spot them

The knot is fairly large and chunky, with short, green legs. In winter, they are silvery-grey on top and white underneath. In summer, they are brick-red underneath, with speckled, rust-brown upperparts. The bill is long, black and straight.

Where to see them

The knot is a common winter visitor to our coast, gathering in very large numbers on muddy estuaries

Conservation status

The knot is amber listed in the UK. (Opens in a new window)

Did you know?

The Latin name of the knot, calidris canutus, recalls King Canute, the 10th century Viking King of Norway, Denmark and England, who is famed to have set his throne on the beach and commanded the tide not to come in.