2023 Report of a long-term Survey of breeding birds on Magog Down Stapleford

Mike Foley and Bryan Davies, Cambridgeshire Bird Club


This is the twelfth annual report of this Survey to determine permanent gains or losses in the bird species breeding on Magog Down, using the revised field methods described in Appendix 1 of the 2012 Report. Twenty-eight species were probably breeding in 2023 which is one less than in 2022 due to the loss of Mistle Thrushes, a pair of which has until this year bred in Magog Wood.  A pair of Bullfinches was last recorded in 2021 and so appears to be a permanent loss from the Down.  Song Thrush, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting and Dunnock have continued to breed in small numbers.  Green Finches were not recorded in either survey this year but have regularly been seen in the Cabin part of the Car Park and probably breed nearby.  The Lesser Whitethroat was recorded in the May Survey but does not breed regularly on the Down.  Linnets which are on the red list are regularly seen on the Down and a few may breed there.

The nationally red listed skylark has continued to breed on the grassland in substantial numbers and other well represented birds are Blackbird, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Goldfinch, Robin, Blue Tit and Great Tit.

Field Visits

Two recording visits were made in 2023 (12/04 and 8/05) starting at 7.00 am.


Table 1. Number of Species and Birds recorded at each of the 13 locations on each of two visits, following the same transect as in previous years.

Excludes Wood Pigeons

Table 2. Species Probably Breeding on Magog Down in 2023

1 Number of birds recorded on first and second visits.

2 Number of locations where birds recorded.

3 Species of greatest conservation concern