Gadwall - Mareca strepera

Alternative names
Anas strepera
Description

This very grey-coloured dabbling duck is a little smaller than Mallard and has a white belly.  The drake has an obvious black rear end. It shows a white wing patch (speculum) in flight. When seen close up the grey colour is made up of exquisitely fine barring and speckling.  The adult male in eclipse plumage resembles the female. (Eclipse plumage replaces the breeding plumage after the breeding season and appears at a time when the main flight feathers are moulting.)

Identification difficulty
Habitat

Visits gravel pits, lakes, reservoirs and coastal wetlands in winter. To see breeding Gadwall look in the shallow edges of lakes and gravel pits where there is vegetation - mainly in the Midlands and the south-east of England, eastern central Scotland, eastern Northern Ireland and the south-east of Ireland, and south-east Wales.

When to see it

Anytime of year, but chances are better in winter when numbers increase as birds migrate to spend the winter in the UK, away from harsher continental weather.

Life History

It nests in low numbers in the UK and is an Amber List species.

UK Status

Fairly common and widespread in Britain

VC55 Status

Common in the winter in Leicestershire and Rutland, less so as a breeding bird here.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Gadwall
Species group:
Birds
Kingdom:
Animalia
Order:
Anseriformes
Family:
Anatidae
Records on NatureSpot:
2061
First record:
10/02/2006 (Nicholls, David)
Last record:
19/02/2024 (Messenger, Nigel)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

The latest images and records displayed below include those awaiting verification checks so we cannot guarantee that every identification is correct. Once accepted, the record displays a green tick.

In the Latest Records section, click on the header to sort A-Z, and again to sort Z-A. Use the header boxes to filter the list.

Latest images

Latest records