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 - October 2016

For the second month in a row, our walk over Magog Down started in gloriously sunny and calm conditions and remained that way for the whole time. 

buzzard_in_flight_180As usual we encountered many bird species in the car park area – calling Robins, Chiffchaff, and Chaffinch, and we saw Long-tailed Tits, Blackbirds, Blue Tits, ten Goldfinches, a Greenfinch, and a Great Tit.  Overhead there were Skylarks and a low-flying Buzzard [pictured, left].  We suspect that Buzzards breed nearby but not [as yet] on the Down.  Also overhead was a flock of eight Starlings.  These birds may have been a local flock spreading out from an overnight roost, but often at this time of year, tight flocks from an easterly direction (as these were) may be migrants which, having crossed the North Sea overnight, can fly inland some considerable distance before settling down.  A flock of six Lesser Black-backed Gulls was probably looking for an overworked farmer cultivating a field in preparation for a new crop-sowing, and in doing exposing a feast of juicy worms and invertebrates.  Over the weekend, recycling centres where food-containing refuse is dumped are closed, and gulls of various species tend to disperse to look for food elsewhere. 

Two Carrion Crows were feeding on the North Down, and more of our common species were spotted or heard within the bushes, including a Wren and Woodpigeons.  In Magog Wood, a Kestrel was being mobbed by two Jackdaws.  A Green Woodpecker called loudly overhead as it flew into the wood.  Little Trees Hill held at least four chattering Magpies – these have  become much louder in recent weeks – a Stock Dove [pictured, right] flew stock_dove_in_flight_180over, and a flock of House Martins swooped low, probably searching for insects while on migration.  A Dunnock was seen in Villedomer Wood, and on checking the Trust’s arable fields, we saw a Herring Gull among 40 Lesser Blacked-backed Gulls.

During the return part of the walk the most common species within the wooded areas was the Robin, sometimes seen but more usually heard calling or singing.  We have entered the autumnal period when Robins become much more vocal.  We heard another calling Chiffchaff, saw some Rooks and Carrion Crows in the Sheep pastures, and two Swallows swooped low over us.

In total we encountered 26 bird species. 

Mike Foley


Comparison of October sightings between 2013 and 2016 is shown in this table.


 

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.

  • Greenfinch.jpg
  • Pheasant.jpg
  • Green woodpecker.jpg
  • Stonechat female.jpg
  • Yellowhammer.jpg
  • Blue tit.jpg