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Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 5th June 2010

We were pleased to welcome several fresh birders, who joined us for our June walk around Magog Down. As usual, the car park proved to be a good starting point, with jay, chaffinch, blackbird, greenfinch, goldfinch, linnet, and, of course, the chorus of skylarks to give us an encouraging start. We were all pleased to welcome the return of the willow warbler in the corner of Youth Wood, and similarly the chiffchaff at the start of Magog Wood.

Jane's Piece was quiet, but the sight of the chalkland wild flowers was so breathtaking that we nearly forgot our bird-spotting mission and were rewarded with a corn bunting along the hedgerow and the shrill call and quick sighting of a wren at the corner of Little Trees Hill. Although Villedômer Wood was quiet, one of our young watchers spotted a chaffinch which was soon joined by another. Generally the hedgerow all the way to the bottom was quiet with only one pair of whitethroat being spotted, and two more corn buntings on the pylon wires.

Vestey Wood and the old woodland adjacent did provide good sightings of chiffchaffs and willow warblers, and we saw a family of blue tits moving through, and two blackcaps were heard singing. Three swallows overflew us as we walked alongside Memorial Wood, and the South Down seemed to be alive with grazing rooks and a few jackdaws.

A couple of house martins appeared as walked round Colin's Wood, and on our return to the car park we found we had recorded 25 species.