Great Northern Diver (Common Loon) Gavia immer

Fairly scarce in Norfolk, commoner around the north and west coasts of Britain.

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adult Great Northern Diver, Scrabster Harbour (Highland, UK), 25th February 2012

 

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first-winter Great Northern Diver, Whitlingham Broad (Norfolk, UK), 1st January 2010

 

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Great Northern Diver, Burnham Overy (Norfolk, UK), 11th January 2014

 

Great Northern Diver, Scrabster Harbour (Highland, UK), 25th February 2012

 

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first-winter Great Northern Diver, Whitlingham Broad (Norfolk, UK), 7th February 2010 (same bird as above)

 

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first-winter Great Northern Diver, Hayle (Cornwall, UK), 3rd March 2007

 

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Great Northern Diver, Longniddry Bends (Lothian, UK), 31st December 2013

 

Great Northern Diver, Dunnet Bay (Highland, UK), 25th February 2012

 

Great Northern Diver, Dunnet Bay (Highland, UK), 25th February 2012

 

Great Northern Diver, Burnham Overy (Norfolk, UK), 25th December 2013

 

It's also an easy species to find in much of North America, where the following photos were taken. Unfortunately these fantastic creatures are known by the very unfantastic name of Common Loon over there.

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Great Northern Diver, Island View Beach (British Columbia, Canada), 13th September 2006

 

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Great Northern Diver, Monterey Bay (California, USA), 30th April 2005

 

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Great Northern Diver, Island View Beach (British Columbia, Canada), 10th September 2006

 

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Great Northern Diver, Point Reyes (California, USA), 2nd May 2005

 

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Great Northern Diver, Campbell River (British Columbia, Canada), 12th September 2006

 

 

When the following individual came into view (left hand photo) it appeared to have an all-pale bill. At first, due to a combination of distance and lighting, careful scrutiny failed to reveal any dark on the bill whatsoever, and moreover the bill appeared to show the structure shown by White-billed Divers. Other features did not compute with White-billed Diver though and so I wasn't too surprised when it came a bit closer (right hand photo) and showed that it was in fact a Great Northern Diver with dark running all the way down the culmen. A valuable lesson to remember when faced with a putative White-billed Diver!

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Great Northern Diver, Oyster Bay Shoreline Park (British Columbia, Canada), 12th September 2006