Bird report for 2008

December 2008 (50 species) >   
November 2008 (57 species) >   
October 2008 (57 species) >   
September 2008 (54 species) >   
August 2008 (43 species) >   
July 2008 (39 species) >   
June 2008 (36 species) >   
May 2008 (37 species) >   
April 2008 (45 species) >   
March 2008 (51 species) >   
February 2008 (45 species) >   
January 2008 (49 species) >   
December 2007 (49 species) >   

records in italics relate to earlier years
[records in square brackets relate to escaped birds]

Great Northern Diver >
Up to 3 birds in the harbour from November 12th - mid March.

Black-throated Diver
3 in the harbour in the first week of January.

Little Grebe
1 or 2 in Small Mouth from November to February.

Slavonian Grebe
Up to 5 at the start of the year with 1 seen occasionally up to the end of February. 1 or 2 off Sandsfoot from November 7th.

Black-necked Grebe
A very poor year for this species with just a couple of sightings in the first 2 months of the year.

Great Crested Grebe
Present from November - March with a peak of 25 off Sandsfoot in mid-March. A Red-necked Grebe which was with this flock was not seen from the trail.

Present in the harbour all year and also seen flying over the Weymouth end of the trail. A flock of 26 flew over Downclose on August 31st and were seen to alight of the middle arm of the breakwater.

A few in the harbour from October - March.

Little Egret
Seen on and off between Sandsfoot and Small Mouth throughout the year but absent from March - July. A bird flew over Newstead Road on August 18th.

Grey Heron
Occasionally seen flying over Newstead Road en route from Radipole to the harbour, where they feed at night.

Mute Swan
Occasionally seen flying over Newstead Road.

Canada Goose
Heard calling over Abbotsbury Road in the early hours of November 30th.

Dark-bellied Brent Goose
Occasionally seen off Sandsfoot in the winter months with a peak of 15 in early March. Larger numbers often seen from Smallmouth flying over Ferrybridge, with at least 1,000 on December 28th. The first returning birds were seen on September 16th.

1 flew over Newstead Road on January 9th.

1 off Downclose on February 17th and another on November 22nd and December 14th.

Long-tailed Duck >
A party of 3 or 4 around throughout January, mostly far out in the middle of the harbour and viewable only with a telescope.

Velvet Scoter
1 in early January, distant views only.

Red-breasted Merganser
The wintering flock in the harbour included up to 100 birds visible from the trail from November to April.

Odd individuals seen throughout the year all along the trail, but absent from May - August so probably didn't breed.

Mostly seen around Downclose, observations followed a similar pattern to the previous species.

1 over Downclose on September 22nd.

The pair breeding on the breakwater were visible from the trail on a couple of dates in April. 1 flew over Chickerell Road on October 13th and another or the same bird was over Abbotsbury Road on October 24th.

3 birds soaring high over Newstead Road on several dates in March/April were probably the pair from Wyke Road with one of last year's young. 1 flying north low over Downclose on October 11th and 1 was soaring high over Bincleaves on October 28th.

Single birds occasionally seen between Sandsfoot and Small Mouth throughout the year. 1 flew over Marsh Road on April 27th.

Ringed Plover
1 heard calling over Newstead Road on the night of July 26th. 1 at Small Mouth on August 29th and December 30th and a party of 5 near there on November 25th.

1 near Whitehead's Pier in March.

1 near Whitehead's Pier in March.

Common Sandpiper
Up to 4 off Downlose at the end of July.

1 heard calling over Newstead Road at dawn on September 1st. 1 seen flying in to Ferrybridge from Small Mouth on November 25th.

1 at Small Mouth on March 8th and another on October 11th.

Arctic Skua >
1 in the harbour after gales on October 7th.

Black-headed Gull
Commonly seen from all points of the trail throughout the year apart from in June when they were all in their breeding colonies in Poole Harbour.

Mediterranean Gull >
Throughout the winter months there were usually a few in the harbour around the Sailing Centre or feeding further out. The last one was seen in March and the first bird was back on August 29th, with 1 or 2 in a flock of Black-headed Gulls hawking for flying ants on July 27th. The maximum number recorded in the harbour was 20 on October 28th. 6 flew over Newstead Road on December 21st.

Common Gull
Surprisingly rare in the harbour with just a few records in the harbour from November to January. An adult hawking for flying ants in a large flock of Black-headed Gulls over Newstead Road on July 27th was a very unusual record.

Herring Gull >
Common throughout the year and seen from all points of the trail. Several breeding pairs visible on rooftops in the Hillcrest Road area.

Great Black-backed Gull
Usually 1 or 2 off Sandsfoot and also seen in flight from most parts of the trail.

Lesser Black-backed Gull
Occasional records from the harbour but 5 seen from Small Mouth on September 8th.

1 at Small Mouth late in 2007.

Common Tern >
First seen in the harbour on April 28th and then continuously present up to the end of July when records become more sporadic. Last seen on October 4th.

Sandwich Tern >
Always a few in the harbour from the first record on March 28th right through to October 12th. 15 on September 8th was the maximum.

Little Tern
Several in the harbour most days in May and June with the first bird seen on May 10th.

1 off Downclose in February.

Several in the harbour in January.

Wood Pigeon
Common in all parts of the trail apart from the far south. The maximum number seen was a flock of 100 birds flying east over Newstead Road on December 19th.

Collared Dove
As above, but particularly abundant just north of Wyke Road tunnel where huge quantities of peanuts are put out for them in the winter. Numbers reached at least 60 in late December.

Tawny Owl
A male heard calling from the trees above Marsh Road on October 21st.

Short-eared Owl
1 flying south over the harbour on October 28th was the 100th species seen from the trail since Sept 2007.

Common over all parts of the trail from April 28th to August 21st, particularly numerous at the northern end around Abbotsbury Road.

1 near Small Mouth on November 2nd.

Green Woodpecker
Seen or heard around Buxton Road on 4 dates in February, March and September. 1 over Hillcrest Road on November 2nd and 1 heard at Rodwell Halt on November 8th.

Great Spotted Woodpecker
On January 5th one bird gave great views from the Marsh Road Embankment. At least 2 very mobile birds were seen at various points along the trail on September 22nd with another over Sandsfoot Halt on October 6th. A female was seen near Wyke Road tunnel on several dates in November and 1 flew over Newstead Road on December 14th.

Heard in flight high over various sections of the trail throughout October/November, with a flock of 12 over Small Mouth flying east on October 12th.

Sand Martin
1 flying south over the harbour on July 27th.

Common throughout the trail from April 4th to November 3rd, with the largest movement seen on September 22nd when many hundreds were seen flying north!

House Martin
Common only in the Newstead Road area, with very few records elsewhere apart from in the massive northward migration on September 22nd.

Tree Pipit
2 or 3 around Downclose on September 8th and another heard there on September 27th.

Meadow Pipit
The reeds on the seaward side of Downclose Cutting held a few birds throughout the winter up to April, by which time at least one was singing. No birds were seen over the summer, but started turning up again in September.

Rock Pipit
2 on the rocks at Small Mouth on January 6th; 1 near the Sailing centre on and off through November.

Yellow Wagtail
1 over Newstead Road on October 5th.

Grey Wagtail
1 or 2 feeding in the wetter areas of Rodwell Cutting through the winter months, absent from April to September.

Pied Wagtail
Can be seen flying over the trail at any time of the year. A flock of 30 over Newstead Road in early October was the largest group seen.

Common throughout the trail and in song all year.

Dunnock >
Seen everywhere apart from Rodwell Cutting which must be too shady for them. Sings most of the year but quiet from June to October.

Common throughout the trail and the most obvious songster all through the year, apart from a few weeks in mid-summer.

Black Redstart
A very poor showing this year with just one sighting at Small Mouth at the end of March.

Up to 3 around Downclose for most of the year, but absent during the summer.

Only seen at the southern end of the trail, usually on the shore. 1 spring record at the end of March but more common in the autumn with 8 seen on August 31st.

Common everywhere all through the year but particularly numerous in October - November. Singing from March to June.

1 over Abbotsbury Road on November 21st.

Song Thrush
More often heard than seen, its loud song obvious from late December to July, mostly early in the morning. Probably 5 pairs along the trail, widely spaced from Newstead Road to Downclose.

Only recorded once in the first part of the year, at the end of February when they could be heard calling overhead on migration at night. In the autumn birds were heard at night from October 21st. Seen at Newstead Road on November 22nd and 25th.

Sedge Warbler
1 above Old Castle Road on April 28th and another at Downclose on August 29th.

Dartford Warbler
A young bird around Downclose Cutting during October - November 2007.

First seen at Downclose on May 19th and last seen there on August 29th with many sightings there in between.

Present throughout the year from late December to October, anywhere from Newstead Road to Downclose, in song from March to July. Maximum of 10 seen on September 27th.

Wintering birds were seen from late December to March with autumn migrants turning up from September 6th. Singing throughout the year whenever the sun was out. Records in June may indicate that the species may have bred in the area.

Willow Warbler
First seen at Downclose on April 5th, the only other records were on April 17th, July 26th and August 21st.

Can be heard throughout the year particularly in the Wyke Road area, with a maximum of 10 on October 4th. Several were seen displaying on October 13th.

1 at the southern end of Old Castle Road on March 29th.

Spotted Flycatcher
1 high up in the trees at Rodwell Halt on September 16th.

Long-tailed Tit
Common all through the year from Newstead Road to Downclose. A flock of 15 flying over Wellworthy's social club was the largest number actually counted.

Coal Tit
Seen or heard sporadically at Rodwell Halt throughout the year. 1 calling from a garden in Downclose on October 11th.

Blue Tit >
Common throughout the trail.

Great Tit
Common throughout the trail.

1 heard at Rodwell Cutting on November 3rd.

Common throughout the trail.

Jackdaw >
Can be seen flying over any part of the trail, especially around Newstead Road. A flock of 25 high over Downlclose was the largest number seen together.

Mostly seen in the winter from the Marsh Road Embankment or feeding on the athletics ground. 10 were seen flying north over the harbour on October 6th.

Carrion Crow
Common throughout the trail.

Seen with increasing frequency through the year, most often over Newstead Road and Downclose. Maximum number seen was 4 over Downclose on November 2nd.

Often seen on rooftops mainly around Newstead Road and Downclose.

House Sparrow >
Common throughout the trail.

Chaffinch >
Common throughout the trail, especially around Wyke Road. Sings from February to July.

1 over Downclose on October 27th appeared to drop into a garden in Dundee Road.

Common throughout the trail, especially around Downclose.

Goldfinch >
Common throughout the trail.

Can seen or heard high overhead on migration in September and October anywhere on the trail.

Mostly seen in Downclose Cutting where the first birds were seen on March 29th and then sporadically through the summer up to November.

Lesser Redpoll
2 interrupted their autumn migration and fed on thistles at the end of Dover Road for a few minutes on November 12th 2007.

1 heard near Hillcrest Road on September 16th. A female in bushes near Newstead Road on October 27th.

[Red Bishop]
On November 5th 2007 a very bright male was with sparrows at the edge of a garden in Portwey Close, visible from Rodwell Halt.