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 - August 2019

The morning of the 3rd August was particularly good for birdwatching as it was overcast yet bright and there was no wind. August is the quietest month with nesting largely over but today we saw or heard 23 bird species which was a good number. The car park area held Magpie, singing Robin, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Dunnock, Woodpigeon, Green Woodpecker, and a Bullfinch. An adult male Reed Bunting was also spotted in a hedge. We strolled up the North Down next to Memorial Wood and found two more Bullfinches and another Magpie and Robin. Two partridges flew up from the grass but evaded identification. We were struck by the large number of spider cobwebs adorning the grass and flower stems though we didn’t find any insects caught in them – perhaps it was too early in the day.  Among the many plants adjacent to the footpath, some now seeding, Agrimony plants with spikes of yellow flowers and Woolly Thistle just coming into flower caught our eye.

Magog Wood was quiet with just a Robin singing until we approached the far end when we heard a soft yet urgent call being repeated from the bushes. After searching we found the bird – a Chiffchaff carrying a large grub in its beak. A second bird joined it and we realised they were wanting to feed their youngsters so we moved on quickly. A Chiffchaff was singing at this spot as early as April and we think that they were feeding a second brood. Colin’s Bank had a wealth of flowers which we briefly checked for (but didn’t find) Horseshoe Vetch on which the Chalkhill Blue butterfly, which has a declining distribution, lays its eggs. The Rangers tell us that the vetch is present which is good news, and next year we will look closer for both the plant and the butterfly. We did see a Brown Argus butterfly, often associated on chalkland with Common Rock-rose which is plentiful here. Peering into the tree canopy at Little Trees Hill with binoculars was fruitful and the birds there included Carrion Crow, Blackcap, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Green Woodpecker and a Wren which sang briefly. A Goldcrest was in full view and the lack of any head crest showed it was a juvenile. The Feoffee’s Fields hedgerows had a Whitethroat and a family of Linnets. The Sheep Paddocks had a mixed flock of corvids, mostly Rooks with a few Carrion Crows and Jackdaws. Many of the birds were resting and using the fence post tops as perches, all in a line.

     Mike Foley 

August 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