The male and female pair of dabbling Gadwalls pictured here have been enjoying the aquatic vegetation, salt water invertebrates, and relative quietude of Cape Ann’s cove beaches. They’ll soon be heading north and west to breed.
Gadwalls are “seasonally monogamous,” and almost always pair up during the fall migration. Seasonally monogamous– a new term to my ears–and one I find rather funny.
With understated, yet beautifully intricate feather patterning, look for the males black rear end feathers.