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

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 six years of this survey can be found here:

2017 Report

2016 Report

2015 Report

2014 Report

2013 Report

2012 Report

Bird Club first Saturday meetings under review

The monthly meetings of the Stapleford Bird Club have not taken place since March 2020, because of the Covid-19 epidemic. The walk leader has continued to visit most months, and his reports can be read under our News section.  He hopes to be able to take a group round again before too much longer.

Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Bird reports 2017 prev  :  next

Report of Stapleford Bird Club - September 2017

Several “old-timers” and some newer members met in the car park at 8am.  The weather was benign though the sun quickly became obscured by cloud.  Cloudy conditions can often be useful, as at some times of the year we walk directly towards the sun and if it is low down our views are restricted by the glare.

On this occasion we saw or heard 15 bird species.  This is in contrast to the 23 species in the same month in 2016, and 17 species in 2015.  The lower numbers this time can be partly explained by fewer “fly-overs” – birds that we see in the skies but which may not be using the Down.  These include Grey Heron which is unlikely to feed or rest on the Down but was seen in 2016.  Also, we had three more members on the walk in 2016 giving us more pairs of eyes and ears to pick out birds.  A few common birds were not found this time, whereas they were in 2016.  This variation in numbers from year to year shows how important it is to list birds over time, rather than from a single snapshot event.

Robins have resumed singing now that autumn is just about upon us.  Two were singing in the car park, and three at other locations.  Their song is still rather weak, but should strengthen on the next few weeks. Two Wrens were also singing, revealing their positions.  Doubtless there were more but these very small birds tend to skulk and are difficult to find at this time of year.  A Kestrel was hunting over North Down, but unusually no Skylarks were found.  A Chiffchaff was singing in Magog Wood, though breeding would have finished a long time ago.  Two species of woodpecker were noted – two Green Woodpeckers (one over the car park and one in Villedomer Wood) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Little Trees Hill).  The largest corvid flock was 15 Jackdaws feeding on Feoffee’s Field.  Only one Carrion Crow was seen, in the harvested arable field.  The perimeter path from Villedomer Wood to Vestey Wood has been nicknamed “Whitethroat Alley” because several of these summer visitors breed in the hedgerow (also a few elsewhere over the Trust area).  None were seen this time, so either they were skulking or have moved on towards Africa.  On the return path, a Buzzard was heard “mewing” over Wandlebury and after a few moments it glided over the Sheep Fields.

Other species not mentioned above were Chaffinch, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Great Tit, Blue Tit, and Dunnock.

Mike Foley

Comparison of September sightings between 2013 and 2017 is shown in this table.


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 that have been seen on Magog Down.

  • Pied wagtail.jpg
  • Wood pigeon.jpg
  • Cuckoo juvenile.jpg
  • Jackdaw.jpg
  • Garden Warbler.jpg
  • Pheasant.jpg