Birds on Magog Down

The variety and range of birds seen on Magog Down continues to flourish because of the woodlands planted during the early years and the continuing careful management of both meadows and wooded areas by our Rangers and other volunteers.  Bird surveys have been carried out at regular intervals and are continuing.  Over the years more than sixty species have been recorded.

The bird families have been classed into 4 Groups: Residents, Summer Migrants, Winter Migrants and Fly Overs.  Most of the Residents and Summer Migrants are probably breeding on the Down.

Birds commonly seen throughout the year:
  • Blackbird, Dunnock, Robin, Song Thrush, Skylark, Starling, Wren
  • Finches:  Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Linnet
  • Tits:  Blue Tit, Great Tit
  • Crow family: Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Jay, Magpie, Rook
  • Kestrel, Green Woodpecker, Wood Pigeon
Birds less commonly seen:
  • Bullfinch, Long-tailed Tit, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Hammer, Pied Wagtail, Corn Bunting


Summer Migrants (April to September):
  • Warblers:  Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat
  • Swallow, House Martin, Swift
Winter Migrants (October to March):
  • Fieldfare, Redwing
Birds often seen Flying over the Magog Down:
  • Gulls, Buzzard, Red Kite


Over recent years, Siskin and Turtle Dove have been removed from the commonly seen list and Corn Bunting is now less commonly seen.  Garden Warblers, Willow Warblers and Cuckoos are no longer classed as summer migrants seen on the Down.  The removal of the iconic Cuckoo and Turtle Dove serve to emphasise the ominous decline of various species throughout UK wildlife.

If you want to look at detailed information on the variety of birds seen on Magog Down as listed above, please go to the RSPB website as this contains detailed information and illustrations on each species.

Our bird surveys suggest there are about 30 different birds breeding on the Down and – at a time when agricultural bird populations are decreasing – we hope that we can buck the trend and at least maintain the present number if not increase it.  Introduction of 30 nest boxes in the woods, a large bird seed cover strip to provide food over winter, coupled with planting of hedges and small trees to provide singing perches in hedges are steps we have taken to improve the habitat for birds.

Skylark looking over North Down from the top of a post

Skylark (Alauda arvensis) on North Down

Following a suggestion by Bryan Davies and Robin Cox of Cambridgeshire Bird Club in February 2012, a long-term breeding survey of birds has been carried out at Magog Down on an annual basis.  Summaries of the 2019, 202020212022 and 2023 surveys are available.

Stapleford Bird Club has kept records since 2009 of birds seen at Magog Down.  A summary report covering 2009-2021 has been written and can be found here.


Stapleford Bird Club

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Stapleford Bird Club met at Magog Down on the first Saturday of every month and members spent an enjoyable two hours visiting various locations within the Down recording the birds.  Reports of these visits were usually published in Stapleford’s Parish magazine, The Messenger, and also on this website, with links to the RSPB pages describing the birds mentioned.

Membership of the bird club is very informal –– just turn up and enjoy the birding walk.  It is a healthy way of getting fresh air and exercise, and relaxing while learning about birds.

The group meet in the Magog Down Car Park at 8.00am from April to October and 8.30am from November to March.  The Bird Club welcomes new members of any age from beginners to life-time bird watchers. Sorry, no dogs.

It is hoped that these monthly meetings will restart shortly once a new leader is in post.  If you are interested in taking this on or want to know more about what is involved, please contact