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Report from Stapleford Bird Club
 - 4th February 2012

Six hardy birders gathered in the Magog Trust car park on February 4th for one of our coldest bird walks ever at -6 deg C.

Before we set off, the only bird heard or seen was a Blackbird and it proved to be a ‘Blackbird’ morning with upwards of fifteen being recorded.

On the walk up to Little Trees hill, a Magpie was our only tick. At this point, we had not seen a single Wood Pigeon!! We were dismayed to see that the hedgerow running west from Little Trees Hill had been grubbed out. This habitat has often given us Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer or Corn Bunting. At this point, three Long Tailed Tits moved restlessly through the trees.

Villedomer Wood yielded Chaffinch and Rook. At the southern end of our walk by Vestey Wood, it was still very quiet with a couple of Chaffinch and a Blue Tit. Moving north again, we were driving a flock of 30+ Redwing ahead of us in the hedgerow. Splendid views of this winter thrush were to be had as they showed their chestnut red flanks and pale cream eyestripes. The flock also included a few Fieldfare. As we were unable to follow our usual return route across the south side of  the remains of  Magog Wood, we continued along the path between Youth Wood and the A1307. Here, two new records were added to the day’s tally, Bullfinch and Dunnock. In all,  we noted 13 species, which may be partly due to the low temperature.

Our next walk will be on Saturday, March 4th, meeting in the Trust car park at 8.30am. Why not join us?


Editorial Note from the Magog Trust Chairman
It must be pointed out that the hedge running west from Little Trees Hill has not been grubbed out. It has been coppiced and gapped up to improve hedge density and so give long-term improved habitat for birds and wildlife. See also our article on Coppicing.