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 - October 2017

We gathered on the 7th October in the car park.  The weather was fine, but with a fine drizzle for a time later on.

Sometimes it is not the numbers of  bird species that matters to birders, it is actually finding a bird which we do not expect during a walk, or one that doesn’t normally show well  and then they can delight us with their presence – even a Goldcrest [pictured left]. goldcrest_60How many birds do we miss because we are not watching in the right direction (often not upwards into the sky for storks, raptors).  How many birds call but we do not identify by ear because we are chatting to friends?  Sometimes we cannot be blamed because one call is too vague and the bird has already flown away.  Many birds have similar calls, and the Great Tit can cause a lot of confusion: some say that it has over 30 different calls, and these can sound very much like some other birds, such as the Chaffinch.

It is interesting that the BTO are using sosiphicated sounding recording and software so that they can identify migrating birds by sound at night (Redwings, Fieldfare and other species). Several species migrate at night, either directly from Scandinavia or after a break on the Norfolk coast. The more information that can be gathered will eventually help the birds find a resting place whilst on their migration. [Read more about their research on the BTO's website.]

We had the usual range of birds that are expected to be present. In total we had 18 species: Goldfinch, Magpie, Stock Dove, Pheasant, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Wren, Rook, Jackdaw, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Woodpigeon and Kestrel.  Also Black-headed Gull and several Lesser Black-backed Gulls flying over.  But no Blackbirds!

robinWe encountered five Robins calling or singing.  Robins have such a complex set of behavioural patterns that only after bird-ringing and other observations that we know more about their life style.  Juveniles [pictured below] tend not to move much more than a few kilometres, robin_juvenile_60as do males but females are far more adventurous, some going as far south as Spain!  But Robins from the European North tend to migrate here to escape the cold, so by mid-winter we have Robins not only originating from Magog Trust but from many other areas and other countries.  Scandinavian and German Robins are supposed to be greyer and the breast less red, but I can’t tell the difference!

Mike Foley

October 2017

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.

  • Dunnock.jpg
  • Stonechat female.jpg
  • Blue tit.jpg
  • Chiffchaff.jpg
  • Crow.jpg
  • Mistle thrush.jpg