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 2016 prev  :  next

Report of Stapleford Bird Club - March 2016

For the second month in a row, the meeting scheduled for the 5th was postponed for a week due to poor weather on the day.  Heavy rain turning to sleet, with snow falling at the top of the Down, set in just before the intended start so the walk was abandoned.  An impromptu survey of the car park from the car with windows wound down revealed that there were very few birds flying about or singing, in such inclement conditions. 

Saturday 12th March was cold and cloudy but was dry with only a slight breeze from the south-east.  From the outset it was clear that spring is on the way, with breeding territories being established: we constantly encountered  birds in song although only seven species were actually singing.  We counted as many as twelve singing robins, their melancholic song contrasting with the strident notes of the three song thrushes that were in full song.  The car park and picnic area held robins, a song thrush, blackbird, goldfinch, chaffinches, and a skylark was singing over the North Down on the other side of the hedge. In Youth Wood, blue tits and robins were the main species seen (or heard), and we noted our first great tits, wren, and magpies in Magog Wood.  A second skylark was singing over the North Down, and a “chissick” call alerted us to a pied wagtail flying overhead.  Little Trees Hill must surely be a nesting site for the green woodpecker which we saw flying into it, and our first singing chaffinch for the day was singing well there.  A flock of 220 woodpigeons were settled in Feoffee’s Field and a wren sang from the hedge-line of the Parish Pit.  Blue tits and a dunnock were seen in Villedomer Wood and a flock of fieldfares flew north, perhaps on the way to their breeding grounds north and east of the UK.  South Down was rather quiet with only a single carrion crow and jackdaw, along with two skylarks and a second flock of woodpigeons.  A flock of 25 linnets rested in the outermost hedge-line of the arable area, and two dunnocks were blasting out their songs from the hedge-tops just 20m apart from one another.  Two common gulls (which in fact are not too common in inland areas) were feeding in the winter wheat crop.  No new species were noted in Vestey Wood, but a long-tailed tit and jay flew in front of us along Memorial Wood.  The overwintering wild-bird seed strip held a reed bunting and a pheasant, and on our way back to the car park a second green woodpecker flew low in front of us.  Altogether twenty-three species were seen during this pleasant two-hour walk.

Mike Foley


 

Long-term Survey of Breeding Birds

In February 2012, Bryan Davies and Robin Cox of Cambridgeshire Bird Club proposed a long term breeding bird survey on Magog Down.

Full reports of the first five years of this survey can be found here:

2012 Report

2013 Report

2014 Report

2015 Report

2016 Report

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
  • Whitethroat male.jpg
  • Starling.jpg
  • buzzard in flight.jpg
  • Whitethroat female.jpg
  • Magpie.jpg