Status and distribution A summer visitor to the Western Palearctic breeding locally from Britain and France to central Europe, north to southern Sweden and more continuously from eastern Europe into Russia. Fairly widespread in the Balkans but very scarce and local breeder in Turkey.
Most birds leave region August-September, some remaining into October, and return in March-April. Small numbers winter around the Mediterranean but most migrate to tropical Africa.
Vagrants recorded north to Iceland and the Faroes, and south to the Azores and Canary Is, also recently on the Cape Verde Is.
Habitat Shallow freshwater lakes and marshes with abundant marginal vegetation, on passage also on larger, more open waters.