Red-throated Diver at Fairhaven Lake in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, England - March 2014
Usually found on the sea in winter in excess of double figures it is a rarity on inland water. This one has popped up at Fairhaven Lake and decided to take up temporary residence. Even in it's winter plumage the bird is striking with its red eyes, white throat and speckled black. Photographers have been coming around the country to see it.
The smallest of the UK's divers, its grey-brown plumage and up-tilted bill readily distinguish it from the other species. In summer it has a distinctive red throat. They usually jump up to dive and can stay underwater for a minute and a half. They are very ungainly on land, only coming ashore to breed. A recent moderate population decline make them an Amber List species.
Where to see them
Shetland is the UK stronghold for this species with other key populations on Orkney, the Outer Hebrides and the north Scottish mainland. They are also found along the whole of west Scotland south to the Mull of Kintyre. Outside the breeding season it is numerous along the UK's east coast, and occurs patchily along the west coast, with concentrations off west Scotland and around north-west Wales.
When to see them
They arrive on their breeding grounds in April and depart in September and October. Birds from further north start to be seen off the UK's east and west coasts in August and September reaching a peak in October. Most birds move back north in March and April.
What they eat
UK Breeding:- 1,000-1,600 pairs
UK Wintering:- 17,000 birds