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Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 4th September 2010

Saturday 4th September 2010 started with a lovely morning; ideal for walking the down land and noting all the birds. Sad to report that the dozen birders had difficulty in exceeding their own number of species!! This must have been one of the quietest morning visits.

As we left the car park there was a flurry of activity on the far side of the picnic area, with chaffinches and blue tits and a warbler, which subsequent research has shown to be a willow warbler. In the pines a coal tit was seen - this probably a first for our group. Youth Wood and Magog Wood produced very little except chaffinch and magpie. Woodpigeons were feeding on the fallow field adjacent to Jane`s Piece, and the next field held 20+ crows - similarly ground feeding. At this field edge, flitting about in the stubble were 15 to 20, of what we eventually decided were linnets. The trouble was they had not learned to sit still to be identified. Half a dozen swallows were noted flying westwards, and a few lesser black-backed gulls also overflew us.

The sheep pasture was supporting jackdaws and crows and great and blue tits were noted in Vestey Wood. A solitary great spotted woodpecker was seen flying over us - heading away from the down!! A total of only 14 species were recorded, but perhaps Saturday 2nd October will be more rewarding.

Perhaps some readers who visited the Organisations Fair, and took part in our bird identity quiz might be challenged to come and walk round with us. They will be made welcome.