Saturday, 19 April 2014

Red-throated Diver (Gavia stellata)

OTHER NAMES: Red-throated Loon
Latin Etymology: Gavia (name in Latin for an unidentified seabird) stellata ("set with stars")
Winter plumage adult Red-throated Diver at Trevose Head, Cornwall - April 2016

Featured Subspecies: N/A
Weight: 1-2.7kg  /  Length: 53-69cm  /  Wingspan: 110cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List - Least Concern

Allegedly the most common diver species in the UK, found breeding in Northern Scotland, and Wintering along the entire coast. In theory it should have been the easiest diver for me to see, however I didn't find this to be the case.  The problem has for me been that it tends to spend it's time fairly far out at sea where it is difficult to observe and it's breeding grounds are in the more remote parts of the UK, there were a few occasions where very distant birds flying out at sea may have been this species but were just too far off to get a clear identification.  However, I eventually struck lucky with this individual who I came across by chance feeding just off a beach I was walking along.

 - Related Species -
ORDER: Gaviiformes
FAMILY: Gaviidae
GENUS: Gavia
SUBSPECIES:  None - monotypic

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Scarce Breeding Species (1000-1600 pairs) and Uncommon but Local Migrant (approx. 17,000 birds)
 - Wintering bird seen at Trevose Head (1 Winter plumage adult in 2014) .

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List RSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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