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Conservation status: Amber

This very grey-coloured dabbling duck, a little smaller than the mallard, and with an obvious black rear end. It shows a white wing patch in flight. When seen close up the grey colour is made up of exquisitely fine barring and speckling. It nests in low numbers in the UK and is an Amber List species.



Latin name

Anas strepera


Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)

Where to see them

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

When to see them

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.

What they eat

Stems, leaves and seeds.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-690-1,730 pairs25,000 birds-



In the UK
S and E England, and parts of Wales, N Ireland and Scotland


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