Knot something you see every day!

Image: Scott Guiver

Visitors have been admiring Knot murmurations at Essex Wildlife Trust’s Two Tree Island nature reserve.

You may have been lucky enough to witness a Starling murmuration; a large swirling blizzard, hypnotically fluttering in unison against an autumnal sky, but have you ever seen a Knot murmuration?

Knot are medium-sized sandpipers and a common winter visitor to our coasts having migrated from their Arctic breeding grounds. They gather in large numbers to feed on the invertebrates and crustaceans found in our estuaries.

Visit Essex Wildlife Trust’s Two Tree Island nature reserve over the next few weeks to witness clouds of Knot eddy in the sky, observe their white underbellies as they catch the light and hear the beat of hundreds of co-ordinated flapping wings as they swoop and dive. It is a truly breathtaking experience and arguably one of the most impressive spectacles in Essex.

Adjacent to the internationally protected Thames Estuary, Two Tree Island is a winter refuge for a huge variety of winter wildfowl and waders. Enjoy around 6 km of trails around the island and visit the bird hides along the way. Free parking is available on site, Belton Way, Leigh on Sea, Essex, SS9 2GB.

Knot

Image: Scott Guiver

Here are our some of our staff carrying out important conservation work at Two Tree Island, one of our many wetland nature reserves.

As Knots fluttered in mesmerising formations overhead, the team worked on clearing sea purslane from the islands then laying shingle, craftily transferring equipment across the thick mud using a dinghy! The ongoing work is providing alternative roosting sites for waders and potential breeding locations for summer residents such as Terns and Avocets.