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 - October 2019

The month of October is a seasonal change for many birds.  Although we may believe that we still see the same individuals in our gardens as we did earlier, in fact there is a fair amount of movement, both locally and between countries. Some of this can go unnoticed, for instance a few of ourrobin Robins venture south and are replaced by continental birds needing to find a warmer place to spend their winter. Their plumage is subtly paler and they may be less tame, but these points are subtle. Dunnocks may be moving in from northern England to blend in with our own. On the other hand, it is obvious that Blackbird numbers swell around this time during an inward migration and Starling numbers increase hugely due to an influx from northern Europe and Russia. October is the prime month for the movement of these latter birds, which tend to arrive in batches when migrating conditions are good on the continental coast, and it is not uncommon to check the garden early morning to find many moreblackbird Blackbirds than were seen the day before. And numerous flocks of Starlings flying from the east on some mornings are very likely to have migrated overnight over the North Sea and are heading further inland.

Our bird walk on the 5th October was unfortunately too early in the month to see migration in action. Only two Blackbirds were seen and not a single Starling!  And there was no sign of migration by our winter thrushes – Redwing and Fieldfare – from the continent. We did however see or hear 20 bird species, perhaps not too many individuals in total but a decent list.  Half the number of species was found in the car park area:  Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Woodpigeon, Blue Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Blackbird and Goldfinch, and a Black-headed Gull flew over.  A Dunnock perched by the gateway to the North Down, A Great Tit and more Robins were active in Memorial Wood and a Feral Pigeon flew over.  We heard a Buzzard call from Little Trees Hill and a Jay flew out. A flock of around 15 small birds in the Paddocks caught our attention.  They were too distant to pick up any calls but most seemed to have the right plumage for Meadow Pipits, confirmed by telescope later on during dog walking.  Just a few Rooks and Jackdaws and a Carrion Crow were feeding in the Paddocks.  The musical calls of several Skylarks over the arable field section were welcome. A Lesser Black-backed Gull stood motionless in the fieldlesser_blackbacked_gull_180 (“loafing” is a good term for this behaviour where a bird seems content to do nothing at all). The rather splendid seed strip for winter feeding of seed-eating species seemed devoid of any birds today, and a second Jay flew alongside Memorial Wood. British Trust for Ornithology states that Jays are most noticeable in October as the birds are more visible while flying between oak trees and caching sites.  Our own sightings through the year would agree with this comment.

     Mike Foley

View the sightings for October, from 2013 to 2019

October 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