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 4th May 2019.

The next meeting is due on Saturday 4th May: meet in the car park at 8am (note the earlier time for the 'Summer' season); we walk for about 2 hours. If the forecast is bad, it may be delayed to the following week - follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.  All welcome, sorry no dogs.

Bird reports 2018 prev  :  next

Report of Stapleford Bird Club - November 2018

First, an apology to fellow club members and anyone who wanted to join us on the day.  The walk had already been delayed by a week but as the forecast for Saturday the 10th was blustery conditions with the chance of heavy showers, I cancelled the walk.  Unfortunately it turned out to be a fine morning!   In lieu of the walk, I followed the usual route on the 9th at about the same time of day to record the birdlife so we would have records to report.  

Two bird feeders have now been set up at the far end of the car park and were being visited by a Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird and Chaffinch.  A Carrion Crow was feeding on the ground.  Other birds in the area were a Jay, three singing Robins, a small charm of Goldfinches, and a Greenfinch.  More Robins were singing in the bushes in Memorial Wood and a Black-headed Gull flew over North Down.   Magog Wood and Little Trees Hill were quiet, though if I had lingered some small birds would eventually have shown themselves.  The sheep are still grazing in the Sheep Paddocks and corvids were busily feeding among them – 35 Jackdaws, 15 Carrion Crows and 3 Rooks.  Jackdaws were standing on the backs of several sheep though I couldn’t see any insects being picked off.  In some parts of the country it is suggested that Jackdaws pick out ticks on the sheep.  This seems unlikely on the Down as the entomologist who has surveyed the area reckons ticks are (thankfully) at low numbers.  Two Magpies perched on the fence posts, and two Meadow Pipits rose from the grass, uttering their distinctive flight call.  A single Long-tailed Tit was calling from Villedomer Wood.  A 1st winter Common Gull and an adult Herring Gull was feeding in the cereal field, over which three Skylarks were located first by their call.  A glimpse of a tiny bird foraging in the perimeter hedge suggested something other than a Wren, and after a while it showed well – a Goldcrest with a bright yellow crown stripe.  Forty Starlings in a tight flock set down briefly in the same hedge-line – these have been in the area for several weeks.  Several flocks of one of our two “winter thrushes”, the Fieldfare, passed over, probably still on migration.  Various small birds were seen in Vestey Wood and the old wood, including a Song Thrush, and a Pheasant which flew out of the old wood in front of me without warning caused a brief flutter of the heart.  A Jay was feeding in the barley stubble part of the field, and 40 Rooks were feeding in the part with recently emerged winter wheat.

It was pure luck that two of the counties’ larger birds of prey decided to hunt over the Sheep Paddocks at the same time.  A Buzzard which had flown over from Wandlebury then hung in the wind as it turned its head searching for food.  Then a magnificent Red Kite flew down the tree-line and it too “hovered” at one spot, its wings outspread and nearly motionless while it deftly twisted its deeply forked brownish-red tail to maintain its position.  It was probably this bird that was also present the next day too.

Altogether 25 bird species were noted.

        Mike Foley


November 2019

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.

  • Cuckoo juvenile.jpg
  • Chaffinch.jpg
  • Pheasant.jpg
  • Green woodpecker.jpg
  • Yellowhammer.jpg
  • Pied wagtail.jpg
  • Golden Plover.jpg
  • Magpie.jpg