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Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 7th February 2009

The February bird walk had been postponed owing to the severe weather so only a small group of five gathered on Valentine’s Day. One member arriving early had already spotted greenfinch (4), goldfinch (2), redwing, magpie and chaffinch (6) in the car park, in fact the sound track for this walk was of male chaffinch singing.

We had only moved about 50 yards past Youth Wood when a pair of goldcrest came very close, feeding in the long grass. As we passed Magog Wood, we looked half right to catch the unusual sight of three green woodpeckers together, moving along the edge of Colin’s Wood. In bright sunlight, the red patch on their heads and the yellow-green of their backs was clearly visible. We had a few sightings of great tit (7), noting its many different calls. It was also good to see and hear skylark (3).

Our next notable sighting was a small flock of fieldfare (10) in the top of one of the very tall trees in Vestey Wood. These and the redwing will soon be returning to their Scandinavian and Russian breeding grounds. Our last tick of the day was a dunnock, giving a total of 19 species.

Woodpigeon shooting at three points on, or very close to, the Trust land probably reduced our tally. I wonder if it has any effect on the huge numbers of that species!!

Our next walk is on Saturday, March 7th. All are welcome.

Stop Press – one of our members has photographed numbers of tree sparrows in her garden on the edge of the village. Whilst very common locally, this species is fairly rare: e.g we’ve never recorded them on the Bird Walk.