Distribution Britain 379 (+22.3%) Ireland 10 (+42.9%)
Numbers breeding: Britain 935 RBBP Ireland <10
European status: 8,500 (16% in Britain and Ireland =3)
British population trend: healthy and increasing
How likely are you to record it? 32 squares (0.7%) Ranked 125=
These birds breed on tiny lochans and feed on the sea or adjacent larger waters mostly north and west of a line from Glasgow to Moray. Numbers reduced 100 years ago by persecution and collecting but continuing increase and range expansion in Scotland with survey estimate of 935 pairs in 1994. Irish population apparently less than 10 pairs but stable. Breeding failures at the young stage have increased recently and are worrying but Shetland productivity is very weather dependant. Prospects seem good for further range expansion and filling in of gaps provided global warming does not degrade the conditions the birds require.
Gibbons, D.W. et al. 1997 Bird Study: 44, 194-205.
The following Bird On! picture is available:
Red-throated Diver (Watercolour by Robert Gillmor)
The following Bird On! sketch is available:
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From The State of the Nations Birds
Copyright © 2000 by Chris Mead