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

The next meeting of the Stapleford Bird Club will be on Saturday 2nd September starting in the car park at 8am

If the weather is very poor, it may be delayed until the next Saturday.
All welcome, sorry no dogs.

Bird reports 2017 prev  :  next

Report of Stapleford Bird Club - April 2017

Our monthly visit to Magog Down was postponed until the 15th and was the first in the run of walks starting at the earlier start of 8.00am. 

Not particularly chilly, it was however rather windy, and perhaps because of the conditions our first impressions as we met in the car park were that bird song was a bit subdued, compared to what we might have expected at this time of year.  Then after a few minutes of waiting, birds started to show or sing – Robins, a group of twittering Goldfinches, Blackcaps, two wheezing Greenfinches, Great tit, Chaffinch and a Blackbird.  Greenfinches favour the car park, with its excellent nesting habitat.  greenfinchAs we strolled up North Down a Magpie appeared from the bushes, more small birds were singing, and two Carrion Crows were marching over the short grass.  Two Skylarks were seen, one flying low over the ground while the other was compensating well for the wind and able to maintain a singing position high over its territory.      

In Magog Wood we had our first sighting of one of our summer migrants – thechiffchaff Chiffchaff, one collecting nest material, while a second was singing.  Some of these birds do overwinter in the UK, but most of our breeding birds have overwintered in Southern Europe and North Africa.  The Blackcaps we first heard in the car park also overwinter in roughly the same area.  Again, some Blackcaps do overwinter here but these tend to be birds from Germany undertaking only a partial migration and staying with us due to our (relatively) warmer conditions.  In both Magog Wood and Little Trees Hill, we had the chance to listen again to some of the same species to hone our ID skills, and also some others including singing Wrens, Woodpigeons and Blue Tits, and calling Long-tailed Tits.  Three Pheasants were feeding on open ground but soon exploded in frantic flight as we approached.

The only bird of prey seen today was a Kestrel which was seen to pounce on a vole and successfully carry it away.  corn_buntingIn the Sheep Paddocks a single Rook was noted.  Along the perimeter path, we were very pleased to find a singing Corn Bunting perched on the highest point of the lines of bushes, and a second flew into the Trust’s cereal crops, where two Skylarks were singing.  Two perched Linnets were calling.

Altogether, we recorded 20 species, the same number as in April 2016, but not precisely the same species.  

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