Reddish Vale Country Park

The Gadwall is a bird of open wetlands, such as lakes, wet grassland or marshes with dense fringing vegetation, and usually feeds by dabbling for plant food with head submerged. It nests on the ground, often some distance from water. It is not as gregarious as some dabbling ducks outside the breeding season and tends to form only small flocks. This is a fairly quiet species; the male has a hoarse whistling call, and the female has a Mallard-like quack. The young birds are fed insects at first; adults also eat some molluscs and insects during the nesting season.

In Great Britain, the Gadwall is a scarce-breeding bird and winter visitor, though its population has increased in recent years. It is likely that its expansion was partly through introduction, mainly to England, and partly through colonization to Great Britain, with continental birds staying to breed in Scotland. It has been reported in the River Avon in Hampshire. In Ireland a small breeding population has recently become established, centred on Wexford in the south and Lough Neagh in the north.



Lifespan, maximum recorded age 21 years, average lifespan, no records,

Wingspan, 90cm,

Weight, 830-700g,

Diet, leaves and shoots,

UK breeding, 790 pairs, UK wintering, 17,500.


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Reddish Vale Country Park

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