Great Scot, it’s a great knot! - Twitchers flock to RSPB Titchwell Marsh to see rare bird

Great knot spotted at Titchwell

Great knot spotted at Titchwell - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of avid bird watchers have gathered at RSPB Titchwell Marsh over the last three days in order to catch a glimpse of a very rare avian visitor.

The bird, a great knot, should have been migrating from its wintering grounds in Australia and heading for the Arctic tundra in Eastern Siberia but somehow took a wrong turn and ended up on the Norfolk coast.

The great knot was discovered on June 15 amidst a large flock of red knot which are common visitors here during winter months and are well known for their whirling flight routines. As the name suggests, the great knot is slightly larger than the more familiar red knot and with this bird in summer plumage it stands out from its European cousins. Red knot have a circumpolar distribution and like the great knot, can also be seen in the Siberian tundra. It is possible that the newcomer feels quite at home with its smaller companions and is likely to remain with the flock for some time.

Since the 1950s there have only been four other recorded sightings of a great knot on the shores of the UK and this is the second sighting in Norfolk. The news was broadcast through the birding community and within hours, people started to arrive from all over Norfolk and beyond.

Brian Delawy from Bicester, Oxfordshire drove 135 miles in order to catch a glimpse of the bird.

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He said: “I was expecting to have to travel to Queensland, Australia to see a great knot. I certainly never expected to see one on the shores of the UK. It’s a stunning bird and certainly worth getting up at 4am for.”

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