Gavia stellata is the smallest diver found in the UK, growing to a maximum length of about 69 cm with a wingspan of up to 1.1 m. The bill is slightly uptilted and usually held pointing slightly upwards. The forehead is flat and the chest is also noticeably flat, a useful feature with which to distinguish this species from the black-throated diver, especially from a distance. In summer, the throat and upperparts are grey and the red neck patch is dark and may look black from a distance. The upperparts are paler and more mottled than other divers. In winter there are extensive white markings on the neck and face and around the eye, and the upperparts are speckled with white. Juvenile plummage resembles the adult winter plummage but with dusky streaks on the head and neck, and the upperparts have a dull grey speckling. The feet are lobed and the legs set well back.