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 Bird Club walk will be on Saturday 3rd November

Meet in the car park at 8.30am. If the weather is very poor, it may be delayed until the next Saturday. All welcome, sorry no dogs.

Bird reports 2018 prev  :  next

Report of Stapleford Bird Club - June 2018

After meeting in the car park at 8.00am for our (fairly) early morning birding walk, we became “bird listeners” for a few moments to check out the singing Chaffinch, Robin, Dunnock and Blackcap, a rattling Lesser Whitethroat, and calling Goldfinch and Blackbird. To the unwary, a Dunnock’s song can be quite similar to that of a Wren, though without the trill that a Wren always adds at some point. A Magpie was watching over the car park from a tree-top, and a Jay flew by.  A Kestrel kestrel_illustration_c_lynda_durrant_180was hunting low over the bushes, and by way of the light from the sky passing through the wings and tail, feather patterns were clearly seen, with all the intricate lines of bands and spots that distinguish it from other British raptors. Song Thrush was singing loudly from Youth Wood. 

Sightings of some common birds were fewer this month (e.g. Blue Tit), partly due to the frantic feeding regimes of the smaller birds with demanding hungry youngsters. Some birds tend to be less obvious at this time of year while they gather insects in the dense tree canopies and also tend to be more secretive near the nesting site.  Even so, with millions of young tits enlarging the population at this time of year we did expect to see at least one Blue Tit!

The combined effect of the Trust’s cropping area being down to Winter Barley and Winter Oilseed Rape this year, plus the hedge-row management, has resulted in a rise in some of our more uncommon farmland birds:  three buntingsyellowhammer (Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting and Reed Bunting) and a finch (Linnet).  Rape crops are a preferred nesting site for Reed Buntings away from wetland areas and the male is a delight to see – a streaky brown bird with a black head and chin with a white collar and moustache. Its song is rather plaintive and not particularly far-reaching.   We noted as many as four Corn Buntings which is a record number for us in recent years. The best vantage point to view all these birds is near the end of Villedomer Wood, looking across the crops and hedge-line and also towards Stapleford. Skylarks can be heard here singing from all directions over the crops and grassland (and also on North Down).  Continuing walks will help to map territories of these species.

The walk was thoroughly enjoyed by all, and was enhanced by the interesting plants in flower such as Sainsfoins, Kidney Vetch, Germander Speedwell, Goat’s Beard and White Helleborine, the latter being an uncommon orchid for this locality.  Other bird species seen or heard were Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Great Tit, Wren, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Common Whitethroat, Swallow and Swift (27 species in all - see here for a table of sightings).

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

  • Magpie.jpg
  • Dunnock.jpg
  • Pheasant.jpg
  • Blackcap male.jpg
  • Golden Plover.jpg
  • Linnet male.jpg
  • Stonechat female.jpg
  • Bullfinch female.jpg