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 - November 2019

Delayed by a week because of gales and rain, we met at Magog Down on the 9th. It was chilly but gloriously sunny and still. We found more Robins at various sites than on our October walk, and double the number in the same month last year.  They are never absent from the car park area, in which we also noted Greenfinches (at least 13 birds), Dunnocks, Goldfinches, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Linnets, Chaffinches and a Magpie. Pipe-like whistled calls from large hedgerow gave away the presence of two Bullfinches, seen only as furtive figures deep within the branch work. A Kestrel was hunting over North Down and a Lesser Black-backed Gull made a flyover. A single Great Tit was seen in Vestey Wood, and a few Blue Tits were here and there, and a ten-strong party of Long-tailed Tits flitted in line along perimeter hedge on the Stapleford side.

Mixed corvids (Rooks, Jackdaws and Carrion Crows) were feeding in the Sheep Paddocks, some just visible in the tallish grasses so smaller birds may also have been there but invisible from the footpaths.  We did however find plenty of “small” birds in the cereal stubble in the arable section nearby. Around 40 Meadow Pipits were flying constantly between the stubble and cultivated land adjacent to the Down, and at least 20 Skylarks were present, their underwings flashing brightly in the sunlight as they flew around.  We hope that both species find the area attractive for a prolonged winter stay, which is likely. A flock of Linnets about 15 strong flew out from the winter feed seed strip.

golden_plover_180A more unusual species to see in the general area is the Golden Plover (left), seen this time in the cultivated field next to the Down’s perimeter hedge.  Thirty-nine birds were asleep, and not easy to pick out in their winter plumage of buff backs and pale underbodies.

Twenty species (excluding the Golden Plovers) were noted during the walk, with the notable absence of winter thrushes which come here from the northern countries of Europe. Fieldfares usually start to arrive en masse later (around the end of October) than the Redwings but even so many birds of both species seem to be holding tight on the continent for a while longer, until temperatures drop more.

     Mike Foley

November 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