The Black Throated Diver

One of the most tranquil of all birds is watching a Black Throated Diver silently swimming at close quarters across a loch.  Their markings are strikingly beautiful and its not until you see them at close quarters that the delicate pattern of black and white is fully appreciated.

They are reasonably common across Northern Europe, Russia, and North America.  In Britain they are limited to some of the more remote Scottish Lochs and Islands and are fully protected as a Schedule One bird due to the numbers and disturbance at the nest. 

In America Divers have the name "Loons".  The Black Throated Diver is called the "Arctic Loon", but there are plans to try and rename it "Black Throated Loon" to try and stop confusion and bring in some common species names.

In Scotland there are a few hundred breeding pairs each summer, but the world population has a large geographic range in an East West right from Scotland east through Northern and Eastern Europe, into Russia and then through into America. The exact world population is not known, but is estimated to be between 75,000 and 1,500,000 pairs. 


I have photographed Divers in both Scotland and in Finland.  In Scotland it was at a fair distance from a vehicle due to the licence restrictions, but in Scandinavian countries such as Finland & Sweden, they are much more common to see and thus easier to photograph.  The images below were taken in Finland.