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 2019 prev  :  next

Report of Stapleford Bird Club - February 2019

Inclement weather on the first two Saturdays of the month delayed the walk such that the group meeting had to be cancelled.  We did not want to miss a month’s records so a walk went ahead on the 11th, just myself being present. In near-cloudless and calm conditions (breezier later) some of the small birds in the car park were in song – Robin, Dunnock, Great Tit, Chaffinch, and Goldfinch. Other birds seen included a gloriously coloured male Brambling, Blue Tit, Bullfinch Blackbird, Fieldfare, and Woodpigeon.  In the past two weeks, the Trust's Male BramblingRangers have noted an amazing 17 species in just one hedge – the other birds seen by them but which were not seen on this walk were Carrion Crow, Song Thrush, Redwing, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Wren and a male Brambling (see photo, right). The Brambling record is the first official sighting on Magog Down; it is a finch with a plumage more striking that that of our Chaffinch and thousands overwinter in the UK, to return to Fennoscandia in the Spring to breed.  

A further sign that Spring is on its way were singing Skylarks on North Down, two were fluttering high over presumed territories on the mown areas, and the third over an area of a mix of standing grasses. Listening to their song and watching them rise up against a blue sky was a delight.  Robins were in song though none were yet at full throttle. A Black-headed Gull flew over, and a Kestrel hunting over North Down suddenly swooped into the tall grasses to emerge with a vole-sized animal. A Buzzard came into view, passing low over the Down. A few minutes earlier and it would have encountered the Kestrel with its breakfast and I wonder if there would have been a tussle between the two and if the Buzzard could wrench the prize from its rightful owner, or force it to drop it?

Five Meadow Pipits were feeding in Feoffee’s Fields, otherwise that area was quiet. Eight species revealed themselves within Little Trees Hill, including six Magpies, a group of dainty Long-tailed Tits, a Redwing and two Pheasants.  Alongside 16 Starlings, a large flock of nearly 100 Fieldfares was busily feeding in the Paddocks, their large size, upright posture and a jerky forward steps helping to identify them. On the arable fields, two Skylarks were singing over the wheat crop, and 20 Linnets, two Yellowhammers and a Chaffinch were feeding in the conservation winter bird feed strip.  Just one Rook was seen in the fields, outnumbered by the Carrion Crows and Jackdaws.

During the week of this walk, over 1000 farmers in the UK will have taken part in the annual Big Farmland Bird Count and will have recorded around 121 species across over 380,000 hectares of land. Its main aim is to help identify the farmland birds that are flourishing due to good conservation methods and ones in need of most support. We can contribute to this study by sending in our own records. 

Altogether 25 bird species were seen.

     Mike Foley

View the sightings for February as a table

February 2019

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 selection of the birds that have been seen on Magog Down.

  • Blackbird.jpg
  • Blackcap female.jpg
  • Blackcap male.jpg
  • Blue tit.jpg
  • Bullfinch female.jpg
  • Bullfinch male.jpg
  • Chaffinch.jpg
  • Chiffchaff.jpg