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Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 1st December 2012

The Magog Down was covered in hoar frost and it was very cold and cloudy when seven bird watchers met at 8.30 am on Saturday 1 December. The car park area was unusually quiet and we saw only two blackbirds, a magpie and robin. Walking up North Down alongside
Youth Wood we saw or heard 4 blackbirds, two robins, 2 crows on the ground and a further 3 flying over. A kestrel was hovering above the Down.

We heard a robin at the top end of Memorial Wood just as we entered Magog Wood. In Magog Wood we saw a goldcrest flitting near some fir trees, a blackbird, and heard a magpie in the Old Shelter Belt. Unfortunately, as we reached the top of the hill it got very gloomy and started to rain; from then on the light was very poor and it was difficult to see small birds clearly, but we heard a blue tit and great tit.
In the Feoffees Field we saw 2 crows on the ground but otherwise all was quiet, as was Villedomer Wood and the hedgerow down to Vestey Wood apart from a wren flitting along the bottom of the hedge and possibly a dunnock. Two pairs of crows flew over and in the arable field beyond the South Down were a large number of pigeons among the oil seed rape. Some dog walkers had seen a flock of gulls but they had moved on before we passed by. In Vestey Wood we heard a robin and blackbird. Returning up between the A1307 and Memorial Wood we saw 2 blackbirds and 2 crows and a pheasant in the field across the road. In the sheep field a crow was sitting on a fence and 2 magpies flew in the distance.
Passing between the A1307 and Youth Wood en route to the car park we saw 2 more blackbirds, a robin and two jays which had just flown over from Wandlebury. On a tree in the car park a dozen or more birds arose from a tree – mainly green finches, but also a chaffinch. Finally we heard a robin and great tit.
Alas, it was not one of our better birdwatching days. Apart from seeing very few birds we also didn’t hear many. In all we counted 15 species. However, we know that 2013 will be better and we look forward to the next birdwatching session on Saturday 5 January at 8.30 am. Meanwhile, Happy Christmas to you all and I hope you will enjoy watching the birds
coming into your garden.
Sue Bradley