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 - April 2019

After welcoming three new members we stood for a while in the car park watching several birds in the far end hedge and alighting on the bird feeders. We were rewarded with a lovely looking male Reed Bunting and a pair of Yellowhammers, among the usual crowd of Magpie, Woodpigeon, Robin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Great Tit. Our first summer warbler of the year was a Blackcap uttering its fast-paced but musical song, somewhere within a canopy. This is a bird that tends not to be easily seen once bushes and trees are in full leaf and is more often heard. A second Reed Bunting was perched in the hedge adjoin the North Down and two Skylarks were singing over the area of grass uncut last year. A mixed gathering of Rooks and Jackdaws were probing for food in one area of short grass, and a Carrion Crow stood alone.

Magog Wood and the adjoining shelter belt held two Jays, more Blackcaps, a Blue Tit was singing and we heard the plaintive Chiffchaff song of the summer visitor of the same name. While still in the car park we could hear a very loud, fluty-melodic song in the distance, and we eventually tracked down the owner to Magog Wood – a Mistle Thrush singing from the tree tops. Wrens have started to sing loudly too, a trill or two at some point in the burst of song sets it apart from a song of the Dunnock.  Little Trees Hill had a tiny Goldcrest and several of the more common birds including a Long-tailed Tit and Blackbird. Two Green Woodpeckers were calling. A Buzzard flew over Villedomer Wood and more corvids were feeding in the Sheep Paddocks, where cowslips were patchily at the early flowering stage. Then, a large bird of prey slowly drifted low overhead and quartered the paddocks with agile wing movements and much tail twisting. It was a Red Kite, seen increasingly in South Cambs and is possibly breeding somewhere in our area.

Altogether 25 bird species were seen. This number is exactly the same as last month, despite some summer migrants having recently arrived. This is because some birds such as the Meadow Pipit which was resident during the winter have moved on, and there was little in the way of gull movements overhead. Our birding is certainly not focused on “twitching”, which is to chase rare birds already seen by others (often hundreds of miles distant), or to avidly accumulate the longest list of species possible. We do however have some satisfaction from finding a good number of birds each month, if only to know that the various habitats developing on the Down are attracting a range of birds both in winter and in the breeding season. But there is nothing wrong sometimes in unashamedly making a short dash down the road when a rare bird has been found by a colleague who rings you up at home to tell you. This happened in October 2017 when a birder rang me to say that he had just seen a Dartford Warbler near the top of North Down. I didn’t see it but the sighting has recently been accepted as Magog Down’s first record, and only the sixth record for Cambridgeshire. 

      Mike Foley

View the sightings for April 2019 as a table

April 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