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 1st December

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 - August 2018

The Club enjoyed a walk in July, but too late to be reported in The Messenger.  We noted 20 bird species, and remarked then that very few birds were singing or calling. Breeding noticeably tails off by late July but this year the end for most birds was hastened by the very hot and dry conditions - which particularly affect ground feeders such as Blackbirds and Chaffinches.

We met on 4th August at 8.00am. Up to that date, my records showed that no significant rainfall for 57 days and Magog Down seemed parched, though the woodland felt cool and still green. Plants in flower included the purple-flowered Greater Knapweed, Wild Carrot, Wild Mignonette with its yellow-green spires of flowers, and the very common Artemisia vulgaris, also known as Wild Wormwood, Mugwort, Felon Herb, Chrysanthemum Weed, Old Uncle Henry, Sailor's Tobacco, and Naughty Man.

In the car park we saw a Greenfinch, Blue Tit and Goldfinches, heard a Chaffinch and a Magpie chattering in the trees, and listened to the fluting “tseep” of a calling Dunnock. A Green Woodpecker was heard in Youth Wood. Two Skylarks rose from the grassy North Down and briefly danced together. Magog Wood was quiet with just three Blue Tits seen. About 50 corvids, a mixture of Jackdaws, Rooks and Carrion Crows were busily feeding on the remaining stubble of the harvested Winter Barley and Oilseed Rape crops, between the paddock fields and Vestey Wood.  Within Little Trees Hill we saw a Blackbird, Robin, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Chaffinch, a family of Long-tailed Tits, a singing Woodpigeon and Wren, and a Yellowhammer arose from Colin’s Bank and flew into the wood.

Also in the wood was the star bird of the entire walk – a Treecreeper.  One had been seen in July but only by one of us. As we scanned the tree trunks we were delighted to find one again, searching for food on trees on the edge of the wood. This time we all saw it (except for our blind member, and unfortunately we were too far away to listen for its high pitched call). The Somerset name “Tree Mouse” describes it well as it is very mouse-like in its movements as it scurries up tree trunks. It is between Blue Tit and Great Tit in size, has a slender body and a long, thin downcurved bill. It is speckled brown above and mainly white below, and blends in the background of tree bark well.

On the fences of Feoffee’s Field we saw two Linnets, and two Buzzards were seen distantly over Sawston, identified by their characteristic flight. On the way back by Memorial Wood a third Green Woodpecker was heard.

Altogether we saw or heard 20 bird species [click here to view them as an illustrated table].

     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 six years of this survey can be found here:

2017 Report

2016 Report

2015 Report

2014 Report

2013 Report

2012 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.

  • Mistle thrush.jpg
  • Whitethroat female.jpg
  • Pheasant.jpg
  • Chaffinch.jpg
  • Whitethroat male.jpg
  • Wood pigeon.jpg
  • Stonechat male.jpg
  • Dartford Warbler.jpg