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Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 6th March 2010

Ten birders assembled in the Magog Trust car park on March 6th. It was an overcast morning with a cold NE breeze. Our first record was a blackbird (three), closely followed by a chaffinch (four). As we walked into the North Down, we had a number of skylarks (six). At least one of these was very high, a dot against the now breaking cloud, pouring out its liquid song.

Passing Magog Wood, a distant green woodpecker yaffled. Later one was seen. As we walked past the arable land going South, there were few birds apart from an occasional robin (seven). Vestey Wood provided great tit (five), more chaffinch and song thrush. One new member has excellent hearing and good knowledge of bird song.

On the return leg, we had red-legged partridge (two) and fieldfare (four). The absence of sheep usually results in a lack of Corvids, only crow (three) and jackdaw (five) were seen. Of course, we also recorded the ever present magpie (six). In addition, the almost total absence of gulls was noted. Overflying black-headed gull (two) was the only species seen. This is in total contrast to last winter, when flocks of several hundred, containing three or four species, rested on the arable land.

Arriving back at the car park, we added some new birds to our list – jay, dunnock and a rarely seen bullfinch. We recorded 20 species in total.