Bird Reports 2009 prev

Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 3rd January 2009

Nine birders braved the chill of minus 4 deg C on Saturday Jan 3rd for the first bird walk of 2009. Unusually the car park yielded just one tick, a magpie. Youth Wood gave us only one more sighting, a blue tit. It appeared that most birds were still roosting, maybe to avoid the severe cold. A number of black-headed gulls (6) drifted slowly overhead. Here and there was the odd woodpigeon puffed up to keep warm. As we passed by Memorial Wood, a small flock of fieldfare (12) flew across our path heading toward the car park.

Jane’s Piece and the adjacent set-aside land and hedge were silent, as was Villedomer Wood. Our luck changed as we came up to the arable land. The young oilseed rape was alive with fieldfare, probably 100+ over the whole area. Amongst them were a few redwing (7) and in one large flock 100+ woodpigeon. To our right, hunkered down amongst the rape, we spotted 50+ golden plover, their backs a fine weave pattern of ochre yellow and black. Vesty Wood produced the first of two green woodpeckers on the walk. The section by the A1307 is usually quiet, though we had robin and mistle thrush on this occasion. The feeding troughs for the sheep were surrounded by scavenging jackdaw (30) and a similar number of woodpigeon.

The pasture south of Little Trees hill was the feeding ground for redwing (25), starlings (12+) and some more fieldfare. In contrast to the outward leg, the set-aside land by Jane’s Piece was now alive with more redwing, fieldfare, meadow pipits (4) and goldfinch (2).

At the finish, we had seen 23 species – not bad for a cold winter walk.