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  :  next

Report of Stapleford Bird Club - September 2018

On yet another sunny morning with only a light breeze, we stayed in the car park for a few minutes to check the birds present, and it became apparent that few birds were on show. Other than two Magpies calling to each other, Robins were the only other species seen or heard there.robin After a period of several weeks with little or no singing by most species, we were pleased to hear two of the Robins singing – it is normal for them to resume singing in late summer after their moult has finished. Males and some females will aggressively try to maintain territories throughout the winter, and song is one important way to defend them though it is softer and more melancholic at this time of year.

A Green Woodpecker was calling in Memorial Wood. At Little Trees Hill, we heard more Magpies, a singing Blackbird, Robin and Woodpigeons. Chaffinches and a Goldfinch were seen. A small warbler busily feeding in the bushes was either a chiffchaffChiffchaff (shown left) willow_warbleror a Willow Warbler (see right) but views were brief and it refused to call. When it isn’t obvious which of these two species the bird belongs to it can still be called a “willow-chiff” so the record isn’t lost, though on this occasion the greenish-brown hues of the plumage pointed to a Chiffchaff. A large brown bird sitting in a tree was a Buzzard – normally we only see them soaring or hunting over the Down.   Feoffee’s Fields held a few Linnets and Goldfinches. Within the Trust land, about 70 Rooks, two Carrion Crows and two Jackdaws were searching for grubs in the part of the large field which has now been cultivated after the Oilseed Rape crop. Unsurprisingly there were none in the part still with barley harvest stubble and as yet uncultivated. A Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over but did not land. Vestey Wood seemed quiet and added only a single, calling Great Tit to our list.

The Club is involved in the latest BTO survey which focuses on the incidence of Tawny Owls. Individual club members are surveying three designated 2x2 km squares in the area, out of 2500 for the UK in total.  The first visit of the three autumn visits to Magog Down to listen for owl calls was made by a group of club members and Trust volunteers (including our blind member who was in her element) and our results will be revealed in our next report.

Altogether, we recorded 15 species. We needn’t be too concerned that fewer birds were seen this time. Many small birds are moulting now, and are trying hard to remain inconspicuous. A lingering search of the hedges and bushes would have revealed more of the species we expect to find there.

     Mike Foley

View the sightings for September comparing all years from 2013 to 2018 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.

  • Bullfinch male.jpg
  • Goldfinch.jpg
  • Garden Warbler.jpg
  • Great tit.jpg
  • Cormorant flying.jpg
  • Jackdaw.jpg
  • Fieldfare.jpg
  • Whitethroat male.jpg