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 7th September 2019.

The next meeting is due on Saturday 7th September: meet in the car park at 8am; 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 2019 prev  :  next

Report of Stapleford Bird Club - July 2019

For various reasons this walk was held just one day short of July, so we can justifiably add it to the Trust’s long term records of birds on Magog Down. By now, there is no longer a sustained effort by most birds to sing out to attract mates and to defend territories, and so only seven species were still in song – BlackbirdBlackcap, Woodpigeon, Chiffchaff, Wren and Whitethroat. Of these the Blackcaps, heard in their usual haunts of the car park hedges and Little Trees Hill, were perhaps the most musical and long lasting. The single singing Blackbird was rather half-hearted, and the two Wrens – whilst blasting our ears – sang only once each in sudden outbursts. The singing Chiffchaffs were in Magog Wood and Little Trees Hill, both uttering just a few seconds worth of weak notes. As usual Skylarks were singing almost continually on North Down, and over the Trust’s Winter Wheat crop, but not in the adjacent pea crop seems not to have attracted many breeding birds at all. A male Yellowhammer perched on a hedge at Feoffee’s Field. At least 40 corvids were feeding in in the Sheep Paddocks, being mainly Rooks with a few Carrion Crows. Walking alongside the perimeter hedge we saw a second Yellowhammer, three to four Linnets, a family of Whitethroats and a singing Whitethroat close to Vestey Wood. Two Buzzards were in the air.

Other birds noted were (where we first found one), in the car park – a Green Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Magpie and Jackdaw; Magog Wood – Great Tit; and Little Trees Hill – Robin, Goldfinch, Long-tailed Tits (17 including several youngsters). 

This time of year may be too late for the erstwhile magnificent displays of Cowslips and Oxeye Daisies which occur but there were plenty of other plants on display. Hedge Bedstraw with its loose clusters of delicate white flowers; Common Broomrake, devoid of chlorophyll and so must parasitise other plants; marbledwhite_on_grknapweed_crop_250White Helleborine, a localised orchid which we found at its seed pod stage; Wild Marjoram, common along the edges of the down; and Clustered Bellflower. Several of the chalk grassland Marbled White butterflies were on the wing, and these should continue to be seen until the end of August. These black and white butterflies shows a marked preference for purple flowers such as Wild Marjoram, Field Scabious, thistles, and knapweeds (pictured here on Greater Knapweed), all of which we saw during the walk.  It is good that their numbers are gradually increasing.

      Mike Foley


View the sightings for July comparing 2019 with 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.

  • Blackbird.jpg
  • Blackcap female.jpg
  • Blackcap male.jpg
  • Blue tit.jpg
  • Bullfinch female.jpg
  • Bullfinch male.jpg
  • Chaffinch.jpg
  • Chiffchaff.jpg