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Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 7th May 2011

Another bright dry morning found eleven bird watchers assembled in the car park on Saturday 7th May 2011 hoping to beat the previous months tally of species. As usual the car park itself produced activity from chaffinches, blackbird, goldfinches and the nearby calling of a willow warbler.

We followed our usual route along the edge of a quiet Youth Wood. The regular skylarks called to us from over the North Down, and as we approached Magog Wood we caught the song of a blackcap. Apart from the odd pigeon this wood was still, and only a robin and a chaffinch called to us. The down did provide a few jackdaws and rooks, but Little Trees Hill was non productive until we reached its corner by Jane`s Piece. More jackdaws and rooks were present on the adjacent fenced field.

The hedgerow beyond Villedômer Wood yielded several whitethroat, a yellowhammer, great tits and a corn bunting; and the arable field gave us a brief sighting of a pair of linnet. We caught the call of a green woodpecker and at the edge of Vestey Wood had good views of a willow warbler singing, but not a glimpse of a singing blackcap. Here also a long-tailed tit was spotted and a chiffchaff calling was noted, whilst swallows darting around the tree tops.

As we walked up the track towards Memorial Wood, we saw our first swifts (2), a mistle thrush perched at the top of a tree, and right on cue a kestrel hovered near the edge of the wood.

We achieved 22 species in all which included the overflying of 2 Canada geese! However some of us may have thought that our greatest achievement was that our small group was joined by two local couples of watchers.