Belongs to: grebes and divers

Compare with: great northern diver

Red-throated diver Gavia stellata

Best time to see: mid Dec to late Mar

Key facts

Famous for its courtship displays, in Essex this small diver is fairly common on the coast in autumn/winter

Breeds on freshwater lakes in northern Britain, moving south and taking to the sea in winter; some birds venture inland


Male, grey above, grey neck with striking red throat, black up-turned bill; female, white throat and face, pale bill; 60 cm

Swims on the surface, diving often to feed on fish and amphibians; very ungainly when walking

Flies powerfully with drooping neck

© Robin Chittenden