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 - June 2017

As we met on 3rd June in the car park at 8.00am, it was 12 deg and a little dull but it soon brightened and became quite warm.  Just right for a walk for anyone!

As usual, in the car park area we found a variety of birds.  If we had decided to linger there – always a temptation as it is bird-rich – we would surely have found even more species but a walk around most of the Trust area is our main intention for birding and a moderate walk;  this is why we like to meet up there once a month.

The car park had a hovering Kestrel, a male, but no prey was at hand while we were there.  But there is always a chance of viewing one pouncing on a vole – part of the natural food chain, but perhaps something not liked to be seen by everyone.  The Trust has put up a nest box on Little Trees Hill specifically for Kestrels, but as yet they seem to breed elsewhere but they regularly use the Downs as a place to find food. In the car park, we also had a chattering Magpie, and singing Wren, Garden Warbler and Robin.  We could clearly hear a Skylark just over the hedge over the North Down, close to the main path up the hill.  To us this showed that Skylarks and dogs on walks can live together, but only if the dogs are kept apart from the ground–nesting birds in the critical periods.

Altogether, we had at least two singing Skylarks on the North Down and also there a lot a corvids of various species, mainly Rooks. In our usual route through the Magog Wood and towards Villedomer Wood, we noted the usual birds but also two Mistle Thrushes, now more regular, which may show them to be breeding on the Trust but we are not sure.  We were pleased to find Yellowhammers, Linnets, a loudly-singing Goldfinch, and especially a singing Corn Bunting along the Stapleford-side outer perimeter path.  Strangely no Whitethroats were confirmed.

Butterflies may not always be identified reliably but Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood were indeed seen, showing that some members of the club have expertise well beyond birds.

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