Bird Reports 2013 prev  :  next

Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 1st June 2013

The Bird Club met in the car park on Saturday 1 June on yet another chilly, grey and breezy morning. Gloves and scarves were still needed initially! The Magog Down looked particularly beautiful with its hedgerows covered in may blossom and that wonderful fresh spring green colour.

In the car park skylarks and chaffinches were singing loudly and we also heard or saw blackbirds, a dunnock, greenfinch, robin, magpie, goldfinch and willow warbler. On the verge of the entrance road to the car park we saw two linnets.

Moving up the North Down we heard again the willow warbler, several skylarks, a green woodpecker, blackcap and rook. In the Old Shelter Belt we heard a jackdaw, wren and blue tit. Looking over the South Down, on a fence post we saw a corn bunting and on the wire adjacent to it were two linnets. Returning to the North Down, in the clunch pit on Little Trees Hill we heard a blackbird, blackcap, chaffinch and magpie. Moving down to the Feoffees Field 30 plus corvids, mainly rooks, flew up noisily from the grass, disturbed by something, and flew off towards the South Down. In the hedge adjacent to the Feoffees Field we had a clear view of a whitethroat while above were two skylarks and a corn bunting was heard faintly.

Walking downhill alongside Villedomer Wood, in the oil seed rape field opposite, we heard a very interesting song which we identified as a sedge warbler. It was the first time that the current members of the bird club had heard one here. We also heard a whitethroat, blackbird and jackdaw. At the power lines we heard another whitethroat and skylark singing. In the oil seed rape field below the South Down we had a good view of a reed bunting perched on top of the rape (two have been seen there) and in the hedgerow opposite we saw four whitethroats. Unfortunately we didn’t hear any yellowhammers although they have been seen here recently.

In Vestey Wood we heard two chiffchaffs, one at either end of the wood, also blackbird, long tailed tit, blackcap and chaffinch. Walking back up the hill alongside the A1307 the traffic seemed particularly noisy and it was difficult to hear any birds. However, we heard a robin and blackcap and saw a goldfinch. Returning to the South Down we found a large quantity of corvids, mainly rooks, at least a dozen of which were perching on various fence posts, but most were in the long grass and it was difficult to count them. At the top of the hill we heard a wren but all was quiet on the way back down to the car park alongside the A1307.

In all we heard or saw 22 species of birds plus wood pigeons but just as I was driving out I saw a kestrel hovering above the road. Also seen recently, but not during our walk, have been two buzzards.

Our next visit will be on Saturday 6 July at 8 am in the car park but if you have a spare hour or two beforehand do go up to the Down where the ox eye daisies are coming into flower. It is a magnificent sight.

                                 Sue Bradley