Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)
(1/250th sec at f9. Click image for larger version.).
(1/1000th sec at f13. Click image for larger version).
© David Hastings
DescriptionL: 28-34 cm
This small grebe has beautiful golden tufts of feathers on its face during the breeding season, contrasting with its black head and neck, and chestnut flanks. In winter it is mostly black and white. Its steep forehead makes its head look 'peaked'. Its bill is slightly uptilted.
It breeds in northern Scotland, and winters on reservoirs, gravel pits and estuaries in the east, south and west of the UK.
Its breeding habitat is shallow ponds with emergent vegetation. It prefers access to large patches of open water.
Individuals dive frequently, searching for insects, crustaceans and small fish.
This species is on the UK amber list. There are only 40-60 breeding pairs in the UK, and about 120 birds over-winter here.