See also...

If you are interested in birds, you may also like to read what's on our Birds on Magog Down page.

Bird Club - come and join us!

If you have never given birdwatching a try do come along on the first Saturday of the month (meeting in the car park at 8am from April to October; slightly later at 8.30 am from November to March).

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

We welcome new members of any age from beginners to life-time bird watchers. Sorry, no dogs

skylark_garth_cropped_250Photo: Skylark (Alauda arvensis) © Garth Peacock 2015

Long-term Survey of Breeding Birds

In February 2012, Bryan Davies and Robin Cox of Cambridgeshire Bird Club proposed a long term breeding bird survey on Magog Down.

Full reports of the first six years of this survey can be found here:

2017 Report

2016 Report

2015 Report

2014 Report

2013 Report

2012 Report

Bird Club first Saturday meetings under review

The monthly meetings of the Stapleford Bird Club have not taken place since March 2020, because of the Covid-19 epidemic. The walk leader has continued to visit most months, and his reports can be read under our News section.  He hopes to be able to take a group round again before too much longer.

Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Bird reports 2017 prev  :  next

Report of Stapleford Bird Club - December 2017

Eleven members met in the car park on Saturday 2nd December at 8.30 am. It was cold and cloudy but thankfully windless.  Within the car park and the picnic area we saw or heard as many as 12 species, a promising start to the walk.  For visitors who come mainly to ramble, it is worth checking the car park and picnic area for birds before setting out – we found the following in just a few minutes: Magpie, goldfinchGoldfinch (pictured, left), Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Woodpigeon, Great Tit, Blue Tit, and Kestrel.  During the winter months, we can also find:  Goldcrest, Dunnock, Song Thrush, Pied Wagtail, Buzzard, Linnet, Long-tailed Tit, Skylark, Bullfinch, Carrion Crow and Jackdaw.  Flocks of “winter thrushes” (Redwing and Fieldfare) often fly over, the Redwings needing to be distinguished from the small parties of Starlings that fly low, as they are of similar size.  Small numbers of three species of gull occasionally drift by, and more rarely a Grey Heron or Cormorant passes over.  Altogether these add up to 29 species!

Further up the Down, three Starling flocks flew over, and we heard the high-pitched call of the tiny Goldcrest in Magog Wood, which we easily located as it flitted from branch to branch seeking food.  kestrel_male_180Both Feoffee’s Fields and the Sheep Paddocks held all three species of corvids (Rook, Carrion Crow and Jackdaw – no doubt feeding on soil invertebrates) and some flocks of winter thrushes settled in Feoffee’s.  A second Kestrel (pictured, right) was seen, only yards away from the path, watching us from a perch, and a Green Woodpecker was yaffling loudly from Villedomer Wood.  Two Dunnocks fed on the path on the way to Vestey Wood.

No more new species were encountered until our return path by Memorial Wood where we heard a Bullfinch.  Unusually, it was calling quite bullfinch_female_180loudly as it flew from tree to tree, and eventually we glimpsed the bird, a female (pictured; the males have a dark red chest, not this yellow).  A few notes of a singing Mistle Thrush rang briefly in the trees next to the dual carriageway, and a party of about six Long-tailed Tits bounced through the wood.  Relatively few species were seen this time as “flyovers”, just one adult Lesser-blacked Gull and a Black-headed Gull.  In total we encountered 24 bird species within the Down area. (For a comparison with previous December sightings, see this table.)

    Mike Foley

The next walk is on Saturday 6th January starting in the car park at 8.30am

Anyone interested to see how Mike Foley records these notes for his monthly write-up, his annotated map and bird species list from December 2017 can be seen here.


Birds on Magog Down

We publish the monthly reports of Stapleford Bird club here, plus other occasional bird-related articles; hot links in each report will take you to the RSPB information page for each bird spotted.

The gallery below shows a random six of the birds that have been seen on Magog Down.

  • Skylark.jpg
  • buzzard in flight.jpg
  • Chaffinch.jpg
  • Starling.jpg
  • Mistle thrush.jpg
  • Long tailed tit.jpg