Identification: It most closely resembles the Slavonian Grebe but in all plumages it has a small and characteristically up-turned bill, a steep forehead and peaked crown. In winter the dark crown extends into a dark smudgy area through the eye, thus spoiling the neat contrast between black and white which a Slavonian would show.
Habitat: Breeds on shallow well-vegetated lakes. Winters on estuaries, lakes and reservoirs.
Distribution: A scattered and sporadic UK breeder, although breeding plumage adults can often be seen on passage in spring at favoured reservoirs, such as Rutland Water. Breeding birds can be seen between April and September from the main hide at the Loch of Kinnordy in Tayside. In winter they are regular in small numbers inland and off coasts and estuaries, but quite rare in northern England and Scotland.
Breeds at scattered sites in Europe, becoming much commoner further east. Les Dombes in France and the Laguna de Tarelo in Spain provide great views. Lakes such as Techirghiol in Romania and Burdur in Turkey support literally thousands of birds in autumn and winter (186,000 at Lake Burdur) and the waters around Formentera (Balearics) have a wintering population of about 4000 birds.
Population: The UK population is estimated at somewhere between 23-48 pairs, but is difficult to properly ascertain given the species' secretive behaviour. Wintering birds total about 120, mainly in Britain.
A minimum of 30,000 pairs breed in europe. Russian population 10000-100000 Turkish population 2000-10000