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Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 7th August 2010

Our August walk started as usual in the Magog Down car park on 7th August 2010. In addition to the usual "local" species of blackbird, goldfinch and chaffinch we were pleased to add 3 young French students to our tally of 13 birders!! We were also pleased to welcome a couple of irregular visitors - taking into account absentees from our "regulars" – a full turnout could find us with more birders than species – so keep on coming!!

A fairly uneventful walk up the side of the down was lifted by the sight and calling as they flew, of two bullfinches. Magog Wood only produced a chaffinch, calling magpie and a blackbird, but again our spirits were lifted as on the stubble adjacent to Jane`s Piece we noted 7 mistle thrushes feeding near to 4 magpies.

The track along Villedômer Wood and the arable land produced very little that was identifiable although we did see 3 overflying lesser black-backed gulls and 2 black-headed. However as we looked back towards the Magog Wood we noted that circling in close proximity to each other were 3 kestrels. (I tried to claim there was another perched on the nearby aerial but was overruled!!) From Vestey Wood emerged a single starling, which had probably been feeding on cherries until we disturbed it.

Ignoring woodpigeons, the most prolific bird we saw was long-tailed tits; two separate groups (one of 20) at the edge of Vestey Wood, and the other (10+) at the top end of Memorial Wood. Along from Vestey wood 2 yellowhammers were spotted and another on the hedging by Jane`s Piece. This area also produced 4 swallows. The hedging by the Parish Pit produced a female blackcap, and chiffchaff (2) were noted on the south side of Magog Wood. Jackdaws were absent and we only recorded a solitary rook and 4 crows.

Twenty species only were recorded.