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Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 2nd July 2011

There were ten of us at the start of the monthly walk on 2 July 2011. The car park gave us blackbirds, goldfinches and a chaffinch. A pleasant morning for a stroll, on which the temperature steadily rose as we walked round.

Our usual path round the corner of Youth Wood had not been cut so we followed the more beaten trail up the slope and over to Magog Wood. Several skylarks entertained us over the North Downs but the usual ground feeding corvids were noticeably absent.

We soon heard blackcaps, wren, robin and a chiffchaff singing along the wood, and spotted a dunnock along Jane`s Piece but alas the hedging by the parish pit was again bereft of any bird life. This used to host several yellowhammers basking in the morning sun. We did find one on the wires along by the arable field where we had good views of two corn bunting on the top of the rapeseed plants. Two or three whitethroat preceded us along the hedge, as some 20/30 swifts silently swooped overhead, disappearing as quickly as they came. At the corner by Vestey Wood we saw a family 12+ long-tailed tits and in the wood heard another blackcap, collared dove and chiffchaffs.

The sheep grazing on the south down gave us rooks and jackdaws, and on one of the posts stood a mistle thrush, which flew off as we approached.

The walk back to the car park was very quiet, but on our return there a bullfinch was identified by two of our members. A lovely morning stroll which produced only 21 species, but during which several butterflies caused excitement for some of us.