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 - July 2017

When we met on the 8th (a week later than usual) in the car park at 8.00am, it was pleasantly warm, with just a slight breeze and the sun was bursting through thin cloud.

“BioBlitz”!  What can that be?  It is in fact participation by any members of the public, alongside experienced naturalists, ecologists and scientists, in a 24 hour race to document as many species of organisms as possible on a given site.  It happens at least once a year over many sites including some in Cambridgeshire, and seeks to gather data on all wildlife to feed into national databases.

The Bird Club is not involved in this, but during our two hour walk this time, I did feel very much that we were doing a mini “Bioblitz”.  July can seem to be a quiet period for birdlife:  the young are feeding up, out of sight; many adults are exhausted and are no longer singing or nest building.  The total numbers of birds seem to drop but this is not at all true, particularly as in the dense leaf canopies it is not easy to pick out a bird that is quietly feeding.

But the Bird Club has enthusiastic individualssmallskipper_clover_180 who not only enjoy seeing birds but also like to stop to look at plants and butterflies.  And as a leader it can be very hard work to keep people moving along to keep to our two hour schedule!  If I were to mention one person who would stop to look at something, I would have to name most of them.  We found Marbled White, Ringlet and a Skipper species, to name just three butterfly types there.  Floweringsainfoin_thumb_60 plants were in profusion – including Scabious, Musk Mallow, Sainfoin, Birds-foot Trefoil, Wild Marjoram, Ladies Bedstraw and Hedge Bedstraw, Clustered Bellflower, and Toadflax.  All these plants were by the footpaths, we did not have to explore to find them.

We found 20 species of birds, none of which were rare, but a few of them are important indicators of countryside bio-diversity.  We were thus very pleased to see and hear several Yellowhammers in the hedge-rows, and Linnets there too.

The list of birds seen was: Goldfinch, Blackbird, Wren, Robin, Bullfinch, Dunnock, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Skylark, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Yellowhammer, Linnet, and Lesser Black-backed Gull flying over.

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