The gadwall (Anas strepera) is a very handsome duck! A little larger than its relatives, it has this wonderful mottled appearance with a distinctive white patch in an area of black in the wing which can be seen from some distance. It does not have any other really distinctive features to set it apart from other ducks.
The gadwall is another duck that is more common in winter in Dorset. Unlike some duck species that are happy on sheltered water source the dawall is very much a fresh water bird. It is usually seen in the company of other ducks, especially mallard.
They strike me as being a very serene, calm bird. They float regally around surveying the scene and rarely make a fuss or any noise. This is a duck that seems to have grown in numbers in recent years, I certainly see them more often these days than I once did when I started birding.