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 2018 prev

Report of Stapleford Bird Club - January 2018

New birders or walkers to the Down who want to read these reports can normally read them on the notice board or on the website. Anyone who wants to join us for a walk can come (no dogs though – and I have two!).

As usual, this January we found the usual range of birds – those that anyone can usually see in their own gardens (if fortunate enough to have one) but also birds that are truly rural, and tend to keep to agricultural fields. There were also those birds that stay in open fields and hedges for as long as they can find food, but then drift in small numbers into gardens to eat berries on bushes and trees later in the season. redwingAn example of such a bird is the Redwing (pictured, left): it is a smallish thrush, wintering from Scandinavia, and with a creamy strip above the eye and orange-red flank patches it is easy to identify, and you may see a few eating berries, up to March. However the 50 or so Meadow Pipits that we saw flitting and over the Oilseed Rape crop would not be encountered in suburban gardens.

There are the birds in the car park area that can be easily seen in suburbia - singing Robins, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Blue Tit, Woodpigeon and Dunnock (also called the Hedge Sparrow), Magpie and Jackdaw. More demanding as to the origin of birds seen are gulls such as the Black-headed Gull of which three flew over. Gulls roost in safely in large numbers on large waters such as Grafham Water, or RSPB Fen Drayton, towards the north-west. At Stapleford we often see flocks of gulls purposely flying north about 30 minutes before dusk (in “V” shaped flocks, and although Grafham is many miles away, these can be their place to stay for the night. There may be well six species of gulls in some flocks. When they fly out from the roost in the morning they may come back or stay at wherever they think that they can find food on that day.

The other birds that we found were Great Tit, Blackbird, Kestrel, Golden Plover (30 overflying in the flock), Carrion Crow, Fieldfare, Linnets, Yellowhammer, Long-tailed Tit and Mistle Thrush (2), altogether 21 species.

      Mike Foley

You can view the January sightings for 2013 thru 2018 as a table here.


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 selection of the birds that have been seen on Magog Down.

  • Robin.jpg
  • Bullfinch female.jpg
  • Magpie.jpg
  • Wood pigeon.jpg
  • Cormorant flying.jpg
  • Blue tit.jpg
  • Crow.jpg
  • Willow warbler.jpg