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Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 3rd April 2010

Our first walk commencing at the new summer time of 8am found 11 of us leaving the Magog Down car park as the first of many skylarks were singing overhead, and we were treated to our first ever Canada goose overflying us. Blackbirds, chaffinches, a yellowhammer and greenfinches all serenaded us as we walked up the north down to Magog Wood. Here we heard our first migrant chiffchaff calling. Wren and robins also made themselves evident, and we were treated to the sight of a green woodpecker on one of the trunks at the edge of the bowl barrow.

A solitary corn bunting appeared as if on cue on the hedge top along from the electricity substation – promoting itself with its "jangly" call. Soon after, a solitary lesser black-backed gull overflew us – the only gull of the morning. A pair of linnets and a pair of yellowhammers preceded us along the hedge bordering the open arable field and, as we turned by Vestey Wood, we all heard the "mewing" of a nearby buzzard. Shortly afterwards we were rewarded with our second migrant arrival – a singing blackcap. It was accompanied by a male chiffchaff. Great tits and blue tits were evident in the corner adjacent to the main road, but apart from a solitary long-tailed tit we saw little else on our way back to the southern side of Magog Wood. We did hear another blackcap singing, however, and saw a small flock (10) of jackdaws at the top of the sheep pasture.

In all we noted 25 species, and we enjoyed a lovely walk to achieve these records. Hopefully on our next visit, on Saturday 1st May, we will welcome the return of willow warblers and whitethroats.