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Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 2nd Febuary 2013

Seven bird watchers met on the Magog Down on a cold, clear, sunny morning. In the car park we recorded half a dozen blackbirds, a greenfinch, dunnock, two robins, two wood pigeons, great tit, blue tit, crow, two magpies, a gull, chaffinches and two squirrels.

Walking up the side of Youth Wood we heard two skylarks and saw a crow and blackbird. The Magog Wood and Old Shelter Belt were very quiet but as we emerged we saw approximately 50 fieldfares flying towards the south down from behind the Old Shelter Belt. The wind was perishing on top of the hill so we didn’t linger, moving swiftly around the top of the clunch pit where we heard great tits and a blackbird.

The Feoffees fields contained only two crows but as we walked down the path past the arable fields we watched a large group of birds flying back and forth, silhouetted against the sun, until they came down to land on a field in the distance towards Stapleford. One member of the group, with a very keen ear for bird sounds, thought that they were golden plovers.

As we proceeded down to Vestey Wood we heard more skylarks singing above the arable fields, saw a chaffinch, blackbird and two great tits in the hedgerow and a fieldfare flying past. Along Vestey Wood we saw a blackbird, blue tit, great tit and a jay. Walking back up the hill we saw a flock of 50+ fieldfares on the south down (probably the flock we had seen earlier) and a jackdaw. The hedge adjacent to the A1307 was quiet but as we returned to the car park we saw a robin and two greenfinches.

In all we recorded 16 species but I saw a further six species a few days later: three yellowhammers, two redwings and a goldcrest in the car park, a buzzard in the Feoffees fields, a kestrel in a tree on the south side of the clunch pit and a green woodpecker flying past it.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday 2 March at 8.30 am when we hope for a warmer morning!         

                                             Sue Bradley