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 - September 2019

Gathering at the car park at 8.00am on the 7th, we first stood and listened for birds, to hear only the restrained songs of two Robins, and the whirring of wings of a low flying flock of Racing Pigeons heading north.  Blackcaps passing through on migration were feeding in the end hedge (our favoured watch point), alongside Goldfinches and Greenfinches that occasionally rose in small flocks before settling again. Blue Tits and Great Tits flitted to and fro. An unobtrusive Dunnock was seen, three Starlings flew over and a hovering Kestrel was hunting. Usually we expect this falcon to seek small animals such as voles but we have in the past seen one catch a bird perched on a bush, caught after a typically rapid plunge. Passing tall stands of Wild Parsnip and Prickly Sow Thistle in the corner of North Down, the hedgerows and woods were rather quiet with only a Chaffinch noted, until we reached Little Trees Hill where he hit our second concentration of small birds which included Long-tailed Tit, calling Chiffchaff and Blackbird, Woodpigeon and Magpie.

We scanned Feoffee’s Fields for farmland species. We didn’t see any perched on fence posts or bush tops but it turned out we had missed one bird which our lingering photographer snapped. wheatear_180Taken at long distance it was blurred but we could pick out features that eliminated common birds and pointed strongly to it being a Northern Wheatear! The Club has not recorded one before but based only on the photograph we cannot be certain it is that species so its identity remains “presumptive”. 

At the Sheep Paddocks a single Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over (though there were over 2000 gulls in adjacent fields the next week when a local farmer was cultivating), and the usually mixed corvid flock of Rooks, Jackdaws and Carrion Crows was feeding in the fields.  Towards Vestey Wood we found a Rose briar in the hedge with peculiar red, round, hairy growths – ‘Robin’s pin cushion’, caused by the feeding of larvae of a tiny gall wasp.  A Green Woodpecker disturbed along the Vestey Wood path brought the total of confirmed bird species to 21.

      Mike Foley

Below: photo of "Robin's pin cushion" tweeted by Robert Macfarlanepincushion_on_rose_453

View the sightings for September, from 2013 to 2019

September 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