Thursday, 2 April 2015

Day 150 - Gorgeous Gadwalls

Gadwalls (Anas stepera)
Hi all today's Day 150. I was recently up on the Northumberland coast and had a walk along the coast at Craster to the fabulous Dunstanburgh Castle. On the way there we stopped at Cresswell Pond, a Northumberland Wildlife Trusts Reserve, just after we had explored Cresswell Foreshore. It was a great day out and I saw lots of wonderful wildlife. On the pond were ducks that I hadn't seen before and from my research it seems to be a bit further north than usual. The ducks were Gadwalls.

Not having seen them before I did my research and here's some of the facts I found:
  • The RSPB guide suggests they tend to be resident in Southern and Central England, generally south of the Humber estuary as well as small part of Scotland and Ireland  all year round as well as a bit of Central England. In the Winter they live down in South-Western England.
Male Gadwall
  • In the winter their range extends to larger areas of Central & Eastern Scotland and most of Ireland except for the north west.
  • They are 51cm long and they have a 90cm wingspan. Males weigh 830g and Females weigh 700g.
  • They have a typical lifespan of only 4 years but the maximum recorded age is just over 5 times that, 21 years, 3 months and 29 days.
  • They are more a Wintering bird than anything with 25,000 wintering birds and from 690-1730 breeding pairs in the UK.
Female Gadwall
  • Even though there are a fair amount of birds it is still an Amber Status bird because of the relatively low breeding numbers.
  • Their Latin name, Anas strepera means a noisy duck. Anas meaning a duck and strepera means noisy.Here is a link to their call:
  • They eat a range of stems, roots, leaves and seeds of aquatic plants,
  • They feed by upending themselves rather than diving and apparently are a bit cheeky and sometimes steal food from diving ducks or coots.
  • Gadwalls often pair up in the Autumn so you'll often see them in pairs in the Winter.
Well if you want to read more about these lovely ducks here's a few links:

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. Another great blog post Zach , cracking looking birds :)

  2. Lovely birds, Zach, as always I love your photos and another great post. - Tasha

  3. It's the subtle and complex shading that makes this bird