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