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Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 6th July 2013

On Saturday 6 July eight birdwatchers met on the Magog Down at 8 am on a warm, sunny morning. It was difficult to identify birds by sight due to the leaves on the trees and the long grass but, fortunately, a number of the group are very good at identifying bird song. In the car park we heard a blackbird, three chaffinches, three goldfinches and skylarks. A number of little birds flitted across, too swiftly for us to identify but, possibly, it was the goldfinches going back and forth.

The North Down was full of the song of skylarks but the grass was too long to see if there were any birds on the ground. In Youth Wood we heard a jay, blackbird and chaffinch and in the Old Shelter Belt we heard two chaffinches and two magpies. Flying over the North Down was a corvid (crow?) and a seagull. Between the Old Shelter Belt and Little Trees Hill, which is covered in wild flowers, we heard two corn buntings and possibly a greenfinch. At least four skylarks were singing loudly on the down. In the clunch pit a chaffinch, greenfinch, blackcap, robin, wren and wood pigeon were heard and a song thrush and chaffinch at the top end of Colin’s Wood. In the hedge on Jane’s Piece we saw and heard a whitethroat and in the Feoffees Field a solitary crow or rook. At the bottom end of the clunch pit we heard another wren and a jay in the distance. In Villedomer Wood we heard a chaffinch and in the field opposite two corn buntings. The electricity wires and hedge beneath were empty, possibly because the watering system was in action right by the hedge, but I have seen a corn bunting several times recently on the wires. On the path from the posts down to Vestey Wood we saw or heard 10 whitethroats. It was a hive of activity with the birds flying between the hedge and the fence and into the oilseed rape field. We also saw possibly a yellowhammer with food in its beak, the sun was so bright it was not easy to identify it.

In Vestey Wood we heard a chaffinch, wren, great tit, chiff chaff, blackbird and blackcap but nothing going back uphill along the A1307. Again the traffic was too noisy. On the South Down we saw a row of rooks sitting on fence posts and a magpie. At the top end of the path we heard a blue tit and one member thought they heard a brief mew from a buzzard in the direction of Wandlebury but no-one saw it! Returning to the car park alongside the picnic area we saw a male and female blackbird, a crow, jay and magpie. In all we identified 21 species.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday 3 August at 8 am in the car park and it looks as if the forecast will be for good weather, so do turn up! 

                                                   Sue Bradley