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Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 1st May 2010

The morning of Saturday, May 1st was bright with light winds. Fourteen birders gathered in the Magog Down car park and immediately started recording several species including yellowhammer (four), chaffinch (fifteen), goldfinch (eight) as well as three black-headed gullsoverflying. We also had an interesting view of a kestrel (two) hovering directly overhead.

Turning left through the gate, we heard a willow warbler (five) singing in Youth Wood at a point close to where a ground nest was seen last year. Crows (three) quartered the North Down searching for food.

Entering Magog Wood, a chiffchaff (three) was heard and at the far end of the wood, a blackcap (six) sang from deep cover. On the cables close to the electricity sub-station, we saw our first corn bunting (three).

Moving south past the arable land, some whitethroat (three) were criss-crossing the path ahead of us, as well as rising up out of the hedge only to drop back down immediately, whilst singing their rather scratchy song. Swallows (five) skimmed the adjacent wheat field, followed closely by swifts (four) who came past us at high speed and little more than head height.

On the return leg, we recorded some additional species including wren (one), robin (eight), green woodpecker (two) and linnet (two). On the grazing land, despite the absence of sheep, there were good numbers of jackdaw (seven) and rook (20+).

At the end of an interesting two hours, we had recorded 26 species. Numbers in brackets are the totals seen on the whole walk.