Knots - red and great

To: birding aus <>
Subject: Knots - red and great
From: Brent Stephenson <>
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2001 14:24:17 +1300
Hi all,

Has anyone with experience of both red and great knot ever seen a great knot with a narrow reddy-brown wash down the centre of the breast and belly?

I have been observing a knot at the Ahuriri estuary here in Napier, NZ, for several days now. It first struck me as being an unusual red knot, however, it had a very long bill (1 1/4 times head length at least) and long dark brown legs. The wings also extend slightly (c.1cm) past the tail and it seems very long winged in flight. It also seemed large, being proportionately larger than an accompanying turnstone (of course the 12 red knot that were here last week have all gone!), and waded about in water up to its belly often when feeding. It's overall jizz just seems wrong for a red knot, and it appears more 'sandpipery' like a pectoral (its not a curlew sand though). It shows very strong spotting and 'arrow' marks on the sides of the breast and down the flanks, and streaking on the crown, nape and shoulders. It also shows a prominent supercilium which some great knot apparenty do, though they don't usually.

However it does have a narrow band of reddy-brown colouring down the breast and belly. Has anyone ever seen a great knot showing this sort of plumage? According to the books (Hayman, etc.) they should never show any trace of red on the breast or belly.

Any help woud  much appreciated!


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Brent Stephenson MSc (Hons)
PhD Candidate (Zoology)

Ecology Group, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University,
Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Home address:

1A Onslow Road
New Zealand

Phone +06 8336931
Cellphone                025 GANNET (426 638)

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