See also...

If you are interested in birds, you may also like to read what's on our Birds on Magog Down page.

Bird Club - come and join us!

If you have never given birdwatching a try do come along on the first Saturday of the month (meeting in the car park at 8am from April to October; slightly later at 8.30 am from November to March).

Membership is very informal–– just turn up and enjoy the birding walk. It is a healthy way of getting fresh air and exercise, and de-stressing while learning about birds.

We welcome new members of any age from beginners to life-time bird watchers. Sorry, no dogs

skylark_garth_cropped_250Photo: Skylark (Alauda arvensis) © Garth Peacock 2015

Bird Reports 2015 prev  :  next

Report of Stapleford Bird Club - September 2015

Saturday 5th September was cool, and it was raining and windy when we met in the car park at 8 am.  Birds are not adverse to rain but they do not perform well in windy conditions and this was reflected in the birds recorded, only 17 species but still up on the month compared to some years.  

Unusually, few species were noted in the car park – just a magpie, robin and blackbird, and then further on, a dunnock. Some summer migrants were passing through – an occasional “hweet” in the hedgerow revealed a chiffchaff and six swallows were swooping low over the North Down.  As ever, a few woodpigeons were recorded here and there.  Little Trees Hill held a singing robin and magpie and a robin peeked out from Jane’s Piece.  Drifts of Field Scabious adorned that part of the hill-side, and clumps of Wild Marjoram were flowering on the edges.  Two goldfinches and two chaffinches flew towards the Parish Pit. The usual corvid flock of rooks, jackdaws and carrion crows were on this visit busily feeding on Feoffee’s Field, about 60 altogether.  As new flocks arrived they descended in a wild and downward tumbling flight, with abrupt switchback twists and swerves, called “whiffling”. 

Several adult and immature lesser black-backed gulls flew by – the adults’ dark-grey backs and upper wings and body size being good clues towards their identification.  Several of these were also seen distantly, feeding on soil invertebrates in newly cultivated fields towards Stapleford.  Alongside Villedomer Wood, numerous house martins and swallows flew down the footpath avenue no doubt in search of insect food in the less windy conditions there.  It was now drier but still windy, so for a change we cut across along the edge of the Sheep Field.  On the return leg via Youth Wood we heard a green woodpecker, and heard a great spotted woodpecker across the road. Long-tailed tits were calling, and no fewer than three robins were singing in one hedge, no doubt trying to establish winter territories. 

Near the picnic area, we noticed a clump of a yellow-brown bracket fungus growing out from a fence post.  It was Gloeophyllum sepiarium “the Conifer Maizegill”.

Have we ever mentioned before, that one of our regular birders is completely blind?  She enjoys the walks hugely and by concentrating on sounds alone is a valuable member.   Everyone joins in, at some point, even just to say “What’s that call?” or “What’s flying over there?”, so we can all listen and look and – hopefully – identify each bird.

      Mike Foley

Birds on Magog Down

We publish the monthly reports of Stapleford Bird club here, plus other occasional bird-related articles; hot links in each report will take you to the RSPB information page for each bird spotted.

The gallery below shows a random six of the birds often seen on Magog Down.

  • Blackbird.jpg
  • Blackcap female.jpg
  • Blackcap male.jpg
  • Blue tit.jpg
  • Chaffinch.jpg
  • Chiffchaff.jpg