Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - JOHN MILES

DODD WOOD IS FA­MOUS FOR its breed­ing Ospreys, but the wood of­fers a wider choice of species and a very in­ter­est­ing walk around this Forestry Commission site. Park­ing at this lower site al­lows a much closer view of the east end of Bassen­th­waite Lake, where a wide range of species have been found. Win­ter ducks in­clude Wi­geon, Teal, Tufted, Goosander, Gold­en­eye, Pochard and oc­ca­sional Shov­eler and Pin­tail. Cor­morants gather to dry out on the fence stakes head­ing out into the wa­ter but some rarer species have in­cluded both Great White Egret and Spoon­bill. Walk­ing up the forestry road you are al­ways aware of a mixed group of birds from Jay to Green Wood­pecker. A mixed dis­play of tits and finches can be found at the feed­ing sta­tion, which is stocked 12 months of the year. Mov­ing up the track, the species of trees changes from Dou­glas Fir to Sitka and Nor­way Spruce and hybrid Larch along with Ses­sile Oak, Woolly Birch, Cherry, Ash, with some amaz­ing lichens on them, and wil­lows. This wide mix gives a great po­ten­tial for birds with Red­start (pic­tured be­low), Spot­ted and Pied Fly­catch­ers pos­si­ble. The conifer clas­sics in­clude Gold­crest, Cross­bill and even Goshawk. The views at height are amaz­ing, es­pe­cially as you are likely to en­counter birds of prey, as well as Raven. The sec­ond view­point has scopes trained on the Osprey nest dur­ing the sea­son. On the Skid­daw area look for Hen Har­rier hunt­ing the steep open sides of the fell. En­ter­ing the Beech wood, you can lis­ten for the Wood War­blers in spring. Check this area for dis­play­ing rap­tors and Ravens as they are pos­si­ble.

Walk to the end of the wood giv­ing views of the Skid­daw mas­siff. Check for hunt­ing rap­tors and feed­ing chats. Lis­ten for Cross­bills and Siskin.

4Walk down hill on the left had side of the val­ley check­ing the Beech wood for breed­ing war­blers and wood­peck­ers. Carry on back to the car.

5Look out for Red Squir­rels at the feed­ing sta­tion

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