Wildlife of the Rodwell Trail
birds seen from the trail in 2018


91 species so far this year

Great Northern Diver
Black-necked Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Little Grebe
Fulmar
Cormorant
Shag
Gannet
Dark-bellied Brent Goose
Canada Goose
Shelduck
Mallard
Goosander
Red-breasted Merganser
Eider
Common Scoter
Red Kite
Sparrowhawk
Buzzard
Osprey
Peregrine
Kestrel
Oystercatcher
Bar-tailed Godwit
Whimbrel
Curlew
Lapwing
Golden Plover
Ringed Plover
Dunlin
Common Sandpiper
Black-headed Gull
Mediterranean Gull >
Common Gull
Herring Gull >
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Sandwich Tern
Arctic Tern
Common Tern
Little Tern
Guillemot
Razorbill
Wood Pigeon
Feral Pigeon
Stock Dove
Collared Dove
Green Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Swift
Swallow
Meadow Pipit
Pied Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
Woodlark
Wren
Dunnock >
Robin
Wheatear
Blackbird
Fieldfare
Redwing
Song Thrush
Grasshopper Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Reed Warbler
Common Whitethroat
Lesser Whitethroat
Blackcap
Garden Warbler
Chiffchaff
Willow Warbler
Goldcrest
Firecrest
Long-tailed Tit
Coal Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Treecreeper
Magpie
Rook
Raven
Jackdaw >
Carrion Crow
Starling
House Sparrow >
Chaffinch
Bullfinch
Greenfinch
Goldfinch
Linnet
Crossbill




Black-necked Grebe eating pipefish, Underbarn Beach, 14 January 2018





June 22nd
The treecreepers were heard again this morning, with the first Stock Dove of the year also heard, both near Rodwell Halt. A Reed Warbler was singing near the Outdoor Education Centre and at Smallmouth a Lesser Black-backed Gull was on a sandbank and a Curlew flew overhead calling.

June 14th
A pair of treecreepers and a singing garden warbler were the highlights today, both near Rodwell Halt. The windy weather also brought the first gannet of the year into the harbour, seen from Downclose.

June 9th
For the second day running a reed warbler has been singing in the bushes at Downclose. This morning a lesser whitethroat could be heard distantly from Wyke Cutting, the first for a month.

May 24th
A fulmar flying over Smallmouth and along the Beach Road this morning brought the bird list up to 148 species since 2007. The pair of stonechats are still in Wyke Cutting and looking very much as if they have a brood of young somewhere. The raven family (two adults with two young) were in the Sailing Club car park.

May 23rd
An osprey over Smallmouth was the second for the Trail this year. Sat on the seat opposite Dover Road I had a close encounter with a sparrowhawk which disappeared into a bramble bush inches off the ground right next to me.

May 19th
A smart male stonechat in Wyke Cutting yesterday was followed today by a female in the same spot, the first there since February. A male sparrowhawk was hunting low along the trail near Marsh Road this morning.

May 16th
After yesterday's reed warbler a sedge warbler was singing above the Sailing Club. A male peregrine shot east over the northern end of the trail early this morning.

May 15th
A pair of very late brent geese in the southern end of the harbour were most likely pale-bellied but were too far away to be sure. A pair of shelduck flying around the centre of the harbour may well indicate that they are breeding somewhere on the breakwaters. Little terns were feeding off Smallmouth today in some numbers (10+) and the Bincleaves ravens appeared with their two young on their first flight away from home. Nearby a reed warbler was singing on Wyke Embankment,where there are stll a couple of singing common whitethroats but no sign of any lessers.

May 8th
Today's highlight was a red kite low over the trees near Asda. Plenty of singing warblers today with about 5 blackcaps, 4 common whitethroats and 2 or 3 lesser whitethroats. At Bincleaves an adult raven was feeding 2 well-grown young on the shore, the first time breeding has been proved here.

May 4th
The first two whitethroats were singing on the trail today, one at Downclose and one in Wyke Cutting. A single merganser was flying around the harbour. In the afternoon a buzzard and a peregrine were circling high over Newstead Road.

May 1st
A male sparrowhawk was displaying over Marsh Road this morning with blackcap, chiffchaff and willow warbler singing nearby. In Rodwell Cutting one or possibly two goldcrests were singing. Just off the trail at Bincleaves three stock doves were seen and a juv raven was already flying well. Two mergansers were in the harbour.

April 27th
A real surprise today when a crossbill appeared over Old Castle Road and landed in a tree right next to me!

April 23rd
Walking along the coast opposite Wyke Cutting I unexpectedly disturbed a common sandpiper and two wheatears. A pair of whimbrel arrived shortly after. A lesser whitethroat has been singing in Wyke cutting for the past two or three days. All mergansers appear to have left the harbour now.

April 18th
Smallmouth was the place to be again today with a couple of wheatears on the rocks and a grasshopper warbler reeling in Wyke Cutting.

April 15th
Two new species for the year at Smallmouth today, a pair of common terns and a flock of four whimbrel.

April 7th
An arctic tern was a very rare site just south of the trail at Smallmouth this morning, along with thirteen Sandwich terns. A flock of sixty mergansers off Downclose Embankment was one of the largest seen this year. The first swallows were seen today.

April 11th
An osprey circling high over Abbotsbury Road this afternoon would have been easily visible from the northern end of the trail.

April 2nd
Sandwich terns have just arrived in the harbour, although a single bird, possibly an over-winterer, has been around for a couple of weeks. Nine black-necked grebes were seen today, grouped together for the first time this winter. A male sparrowhawk was opposite Dover Road.

March 12th
A pair of stock doves at Rodwell Halt today, where one was singing two days ago. The great spot has been calling and drumming a lot lately and today a goldcrest was singing there as well. A coal tit and a blackcap were near Buxton Road bridge and two Canada geese flying over Smallmouth was a new species for that end of the trail.

March 6th
A skylark singing high over Smallmouth was the first time they have been heard singing over the trail. A blackcap was also singing near Hillcrest Road.

March 2nd
More birds arrived on the second day of snow, most notably two woodlarks in Wyke Cutting. The ringed plovers were still st Smallmouth but today were joined by a lapwing and several golden plovers. A group of four bar-tailed godwits near the sailing club were a new species for the trail. Apart from these rarities fieldfare, redwing and linnet were seen for the first time this year.

March 1st
On a snowy, windy day any cold weather movement seemed to bypass the Trail altogether, with if anything less birds than normal. For instance no long-tailed tits have been seen at all since the cold weather started a week ago. Very few other tits either. I did add a couple of new birds to the year list at Smallmouth though where there was a small party of dunlin and ringed plovers feeding.

Mediterranean Gulls at Castle Cove, March 1st 2018


February 26th
The first grey wagtail of the year was just north of Wyke Road Tunnel this morning. Apart from wrens there were very few small birds about in this very cold weather.

January Summary
Plenty of black-necked grebes this month but no slavonians at all. One or two great northern divers present most days but often in the southern half of the harbour. Woodpeckers have been very noisy in Rodwell Cutting with two or three great spots joined on one occasion by a green. Drumming has been heard all month, since December in fact. More bullfinches than usual at the southern end with a pair often seen in Wyke Cutting.

January 14th
The black-necked grebe at Sandsfoot Beach was filmed with a pipefish this morning. On the trail a great spotted woodpecker was at Old Castle Road and a green woodpecker was heard at Rodwell Halt.

January 3rd
A close black-necked grebe was seen just away from the trail at Sandsfoot Beach with a jay and calling green woodpecker nearby. On the trail all was quiet in the windy conditions but a great spotted woodpecker was heard at Rodwell Halt.