Flight of the knot

11/10/2014
Some 50,000 knot spend autumn on the mudflats at Snettisham in Norfolk. High spring tides cover the whole mudflat, forcing the birds to leave the shore to roost around the margins of a nearby lagoon. Taking their Latin name Calidris canutus from King Canute, the knot try to defy the rising tide and wait until the last patch of mud is inundated. Just after dawn has broken they take off in a succession of great flocks. Equally spectacular is the tightly packed huddle of birds at their high tide roost. I waited a couple of hours until the tide was falling and somehow the knot knew the mudflats were exposed again. They took to the air as one, a flock so dense that no chink of sky can be seen between the birds. Imagine making this image into a knot jigsaw.