Wildlife of the Rodwell Trail
birds seen from the trail in 2023

75 species so far this year

Great Northern Diver
Black-necked Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Grey Heron
Little Egret
Mute Swan
Dark-bellied Brent Goose
Canada Goose
Red-breasted Merganser
Common Scoter
Black-headed Gull
Mediterranean Gull >
Common Gull
Herring Gull >
Great Black-backed Gull
Sandwich Tern
Common Tern
Little Tern
Wood Pigeon
Feral Pigeon
Stock Dove
Collared Dove
Green Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
House Martin
Meadow Pipit
Pied Wagtail
Dunnock >
Song Thrush
Sedge Warbler
Common Whitethroat
Garden Warbler
Willow Warbler
Spotted Flycatcher
Long-tailed Tit
Coal Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Jackdaw >
Carrion Crow
House Sparrow >

Red Kite over Radipole, 28th Feb 2023

September 26th
Swallows and Meadow Pipits were migrating south overhead all morning and at Smallmouth the first three Dark-bellied Brent Geese arrived from the east.

September 3rd
A few migrants about today with a Whitethroat and a couple of Willow Warblers in the Downclose area. A Kestrel flew over here as well and out in the harbour hyndreds of Swallows were moving south or milling around feeding.

August 6th
The Autumn migration is well underway now with Blackcap, Garden Warbler and Willow Warbler all at Wyke this morning. At Downclose a Green Woodpecker was calling loudly.

August 4th
After several weeks of silence suddenly there were Robins singing again today, mostly in Rodwell Cutting. At Wyke Halt a juv Goldfinch was feeding on thistles with two adults and at Downclose a family party of 6 Greenfinches were flying around. The first Willow Warbler of the autumn was here too. A flock of 15 Sandwich Terns flew west over Smallmouth and out in the harbour two Gannets crossed over the Bincleaves Breakwater.

July 9th
The Rodwell Halt Stock Dove made his annual visit today, singing loudly from the usual spot near Wyke Road. Here is a list of his previous occurences:
2022 June 2nd
2021 May
2020 May 16th
2018 March & June
2017 February 18th & April 29th
2016 August 4th & October 2nd
2015 September 9th & 12th
1980 May 5th

July 3rd
A juvenile Blackcap was feeding with a group of 3 juvenile Chiffchaffs opposite Asda this morning, one of the very few times breeding has actually been proved for either of these species. At Downclose ten Little Terns were feeding offshore and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew north along the trail.

June 3rd
A flock of 40 or so Canada Geese flying around the far end of the Bincleaves Breakwater was easily the largest flock of this species ever seen from the trail. For the first time for several weeks the Whitethroat was not heard at Wyke Halt. At Smallmouth the male Pied Wagtail was busy catching flies again but I have still not found out where it is nesting. A single Oystercatcher was on the shore here as well.

May 21st
The first Spotted Flycatcher of the year was at Wyke Halt this morning.

May 19th
This year the breeding warbler count appears to be about 3 pairs of Blackcaps, 3 pairs of Chiffchaffs, 1 pair of Whitethroats and 1 pair of Goldcrests.

May 13th
I was out even earlier this morning when a Peregrine flew over Asda. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was at Rodwell Halt and the Wyke Whitethroat had moved to the northern end of Wyke Cutting, having been at the southern end for over a week.

May 9th
An early morning Hobby over Abbotsbury Road was today's highlight.

May 7th
An examination of the mooring bouys off Downclose revealed 15 Little Terns, the first time I have seen this. A Whimbrel was calling nearby and the Goldcrest was singing at Buxton Road. No activity has been detected from the Rodwell Sparrowhawks lately but the Marsh Road Rooks have been getting very noisy.

May 2nd
A Willow Warbler was singing at Newstead Road this morning and the first singing Whitethroat was at the southern end of Wyke Halt. At Buxton Road the singing Goldcrest was back again. Goldfinch activity today was concentrated around Chickerell Road, perhaps indicating a second pair. The only Chaffinch heard for some time was east of the trail on the far side of Old Castle Road. For the last week or so a male Sparrowhawk has been busy nest-building in a very obvious site at Rodwell Halt. The first juvenile Rook was out of its nest this morning.

April 27th
A Whitethroat at Chickerell Road was the first of the year. At Smallmouth a pair of Shelduck flew over and the Kestrel was back at Downclose again.

April 23rd
A diverse list of birds this morning with Eider, Fulmar and Little Tern all off Downclose. At Smallmouth a Peregrine flew low overhead towards the Fleet.

April 20th
A Kestrel hovering high over Wyke Halt was the first seen on the trail this year.

April 10th
A couple of firsts for the year today, both at Newstead Road where a couple of House Martins showed up briefly in the evening and overnight a Cuckoo was heard calling as it presumably flew over.

April 8th
The first Swallow of the year was at Smallmouth, flying south oddly. The pair of Goldfinches were still at Sudan Road and two singing Chaffinches could be heard, one east of Sudan Road and another near Wyke Road.

April 4th
The first Willow Warbler of the year was singing early this morning at Wyke Halt. At Marsh Road the rookery seems to have stopped growing at seven nests, including one stolen from the resident pair of crows!

March 31st
On a very windy day the Gannet that flew west quite close in off Wyke Halt was hardly a surprise, neither was the Linnet there - a first for the year. Nearby a single Oystercatcher at Smallmouth suggested that its partner may perhaps be already on a nest. Goldfinches have been more in evidence this year with several sightings around Newstead Road and today one singing at Sudan Road.

March 26th
Just one Eider off Sandsfoot this morning but no less than 12 Sandwich Terns sat on the bouys, the first this year. At Buxton Road the Goldcrest was still singing and a Stock Dove was another first for the year.

March 18th
A pair of Oystercatchers at Smallmouth were the first for the trail this year, although there have been up to 4 at Underbarn through the winter. Just two Black-necked Grebes were off Underbarn, both looking very dark now. At Buxton Road the Goldcrest was still singing in the Leylandii at the top of the bank and at Marsh Road the rookery is now up to 6 nests.

March 12th
The new rookery at Marsh Road has now grown to five nests, including one crow nest taken over by a pair of Rooks. It seems they have also stolen all the twigs from a Magpie nest left over from last year.

March 5th
A solitary Brent Goose off Downclose was the first seen from the trail this year. Further out were 5 Black-necked Grebes and 55 mergansers, the most seen this winter. A Curlew was heard here again and at Buxton Road a Goldcrest was heard singing.

February 27th
A Firecrest that gave a brief view at Sandsfoot Halt this morning was the first for a year or two. A Raven flew over Wyke Road and in the harbour just one Black-necked grebe could be seen, with about five each of mergansers and Great Crested Grebes.

February 19th
Two Curlew heading towards Underbarn were another addition to the year's trail list as was a Green Woodpecker heard calling several times in the Hillcrest Road area.

February 12th
The Buxton Road Chiffchaff was still about this morning and the first Pied Wagtail of the year could be heard calling somewhere near Sandsfoot. From the end of Old Castle Road three dark Eider could be seen distantly along with a total of about 45 mergansers. A pair of Ravens were following each other around here and the first Grey Heron of the year flew across the harbour from Portland.

February 5th
Chiffchaffs have been quite scarce this year so I was pleased to get good views of one this morning next to the Buxton Road bridge. A distant Chaffinch singing in Verne Road was the first heard this year.

January 30th
The first Redwing of the year was at Newstead Road this morning.

January 27th
The first Great Spotted Woodpecker of the year flew over Rodwell Halt this morning. Nearby at Marsh Road was a Goldcrest which has been seen on several occasions recently.

January 22nd
12 Black-necked Grebes off Smallmouth this morning, the highest count since last winter. The Eider flock is now up to 5 birds, scattered across the harbour. A Coal Tit singing near Granville Road was a first for that part of the trail.

January 9th
An identical list again today off Sandsfoot, with the addition of a flock of 4 auks, probably Guillemots, flying south through the harbour.

January 6th
The first week of 2023 has produced a couple of Great Northern Divers, single Black-necked and Red-necked Grebes and 3 Eider all off the Sailing Club. At Buxton Road a Coal Tit could be heard singing off towards Bellevue Road.

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