Revised Fieldwork Methods, 2012 Report of a long term survey of breeding birds on Magog Down, Stapleford

In the project proposal (29/02/2012) we wrote that territories would be mapped for each of the birds recorded during site visits, but in practice it was found that this was too time consuming and could not be achieved effectively in the old woodlands. Instead we used the methods adopted for the BTO Breeding Bird Survey by which all the birds seen or heard were recorded on a pre-arranged route through 14 locations covering all the main habitats. The early morning visits were completed in about 2 hours on 7 occasions (23/03, 29/03, 19/04, 01/05, 08/05, 29/05, 10/06). For each location, lists of birds recorded were prepared for each visit and the largest number of a species recorded on any one visit was identified. Provided they were recorded in suitable habitats these birds were assumed to be breeding. Sometimes it was possible to identify breeding pairs, but often this was not possible, so that the estimated number of birds is likely to underestimate the actual number breeding. Provided the estimates are reached by the same method every year, comparisons between years will be meaningful.

For the 2013 Survey we will make 6 visits – 2 in March, 2 in April, and two in May. Because substantial changes have been made to the methods, the numbers of birds recorded during 2013 will be standardised at 100, not the numbers recorded in 2012.

The route taken will be the same as in 2012, starting in the Picnic area through the Car Park – down the off lead dog field  into Collins Wood along the path alongside the Babraham Road – up the path through Collins Wood next to the boundary fence to the end of the wood – down the steps and along the boundary path overlooking Feoffees field – through the padlocked gate along the closed path past the 3 clunch pits with the two western sheep paddocks to the south – through the second padlocked gate and along the path between Magog Wood and the two eastern sheep paddocks – along the path between Memorial Wood and the arable area to – the path between the new Vestey Wood and the old shelter belt – up the path between the western boundary hedge and arable area – Villedômer Wood- along the southern edge of North Down to end of Magog Wood –along the edge of Youth Wood  down to Car Park.