2021 Report of a long-term Survey of breeding birds on Magog Down Stapleford

Mike Foley and Bryan Davies, Cambridgeshire Bird Club


This is the tenth report of this long-term survey using the revised field methods described in Appendix 1 of the 2012 Report.  The purpose of the survey is to identify any permanent gains or losses in the species breeding on the Down.  About 32 species probably bred in 2021 compared with 31 in 2020.  The long-term average is about 30 confirming that no major change in the number of species breeding has occurred during the first decade of this survey.  The largest recent change is in the number of Chaffinches which have strongly declined on the Down and nationally, probably due to disease.  Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer and Mistle Thrush continue to breed in only very small numbers but skylarks continue to prosper and clearly benefit from the grassland management.

Field Visits

Two recording visits were made (15 April and 13 May) each of about two hours following the same transect as in previous years.


Table 1. Number of species and birds recorded at each of 13 locations on two visits

1 Excluding Wood Pigeons

Table 2. Species probably breeding on Magog Down in 2021

1 Number of birds recorded on the first and second surveys.

2 Number of locations where species recorded

3 Species of greatest conservation concern