Summary table of 2014 bird sightings

This table shows all the bird sightings by the Stapleford Bird Club on their monthly visits, by month.

pdf_logo_small Birds table 2014

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Appendices to 2013 Report of Long Term Survey of breeding birds

Here are the Appendices to the 2013 Report of a Long term survey of birds breeding on Magog Down. For the main report itself, click here.


Appendix 1. Number of breeding birds recorded at each location

Car Park and Picnic area
 4 Chaffinches, 1 Goldfinches, 3 Blackbirds, 1 Wren, 3 Greenfinches, 2 Yellowhammers, 2 Linnets, 2 Great tits, 2 Blue tits, 1 Robin, 2 Dunnocks, 1 Willow warbler, 1 Blackcap, 1 House sparrow.

Colln’s Wood – Roadside hedge – Garden hedges
3 Chaffinches, 1 Blackbird, 2 Great tits, 1 Wren, 1 Dunnock, 3 Magpies, 1 Whitethroat

Feoffees Field and hedge of Parish Pit
1 Blue tit, 1 Dunnock, 1 Magpie, 1Skylark, 2 Whitethroats

Feoffees new Hedges
1 Whitethroat

Clunch Pits on Little Tree Hill
3 Chaffinches, 2 Blackbirds, 1 Song thrush, 2 Great tits, 1 Blue tit, 1 Robin, 1 Wren, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Kestrel

Cleared Woodland and Magog Wood
1 Chaffinch, 3 Goldfinches, 2 Great tits, 3 Blue tits, 1 Robin, 1 Wren, 1 Song thrush, 1 Magpie, 1 Chiffchaff

2 Chaffinch, 2 Great tit, 3 Blue tit, 1 Song thrush, 1 Mistle thrush, 2 Robin, 1 Wren, 1 Magpie, Jay

South Downs
 Sheep Paddocks
3 Linnets, 2 Corn buntings, 2 Skylarks, 1 Green woodpeckers, 2 Carrion crows,
2 Magpies

Memorial Wood
2 Chaffinch, 1 Blackbird, 2 Robin, 2 Garden warblers, 1 Red-legged Partridge,
 2 Blackcaps, 1 Pheasant

4 Skylarks, 2 Reed buntings, 2 Magpies

Vestey and Mature Woods
1 Chaffinch, 1 Blackbird, 1 Great tit, 1 Blue tit, 2 Robins, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Magpies

Full Length of Western Hedge
1 Blackbirds, 2 Blue tits, 2 Yellowhammers, 1 Corn bunting, 7 Common Whitethroats, 1 Sedge Warbler

Villedomer Wood
1 Chaffinch, 2 Blackbirds, 1 Song thrush, 2 Blue tits, 1 Common Whitethroat,
1 Blackcap

North Down
22 Skylarks, 1 Mistle thrush, 1 Magpie, 2 Buzzards, 1 Hobby

Appendix 2. Bird Feeding Project at Magog Down 2013

In early February 2013 it was decided to start supplementary winter feeding of birds on Magog Down at a time when food natural availability is low. Four feeding sites were set up in the Car park area and three in Vestey Wood.
Table: Recorded species using supplementary feeding at Magog Down in 2013
Times recorded in February (13*) Times recorded in March (9*) Times recorded in April (5*) Max no. **
 Blackbird 10 8 4 12
 Song Thrush 2 1 0 1
 Bullfinch 1 0 0 1
 Chaffinch 12 7 4 24
 Goldfinch 1 1 1 1
 Greenfinch 10 3 2 6
 Yellowhammer 9 7 5 14
 Blue Tit 4 4 2 3
 Great Tit 4 3 0 2
 Goldcrest 1 0 0 1
 Dunnock 8 6 1 3
 Robin 6 7 2 2
 Jay 0 0 0 0
 Magpie 2 3 0 2
 Wood Pigeon 5 3 4 5
 Redwing 3 0 0 3
  * number of occasions that records were made in the month
** maximum number of birds recorded on any one occasion


Appendix 3. Some thoughts on the welfare of birds on Magog Down

Now that the second year of the bird survey is over, it is an opportune time to make suggestions for encouraging birds on the Downs.

The prime areas are:
1.Western boundary hedge from Vestey Wood to the electricity pylon (whitethroats, yellowhammers)
2. Boundary hedges of Feoffees field (whitethroats and probably yellowhammers)
3. Clunch pits (tits, goldcrests, blackcaps and several others)
4. Car Park and Picnic area. (largest range of species including willow warblers)
5. North Down (skylarks)
These areas need particular attention to ensure management maintains or enhances their importance.

1 and 2 above. The whitethroats nest in the long herbage bordering the hedge and benefit from the long grass and brambles along the fence line. The hedge provides shelter, insects, singing sites and a launching platform for song flight.
   Yellowhammers nest in the hedge and sing from high points of the hedge. Small trees to provide singing perches would enhance these hedges

The hedge border needs be left uncut and as wide as is practical.  Only half the length of hedges should be trimmed in anyone year.

3. above.  The ivy on a number of the trees has already been cut but it would be very advantageous to leave us much ivy as possible, because it is one of the main reasons for the pits attracting so many birds. Ivy provides pollen and nectar for many insects, berries for birds to eat late into winter, shelter during winter and nest sites during the breeding season.  Ivy in the crown of trees needs to be removed to reduce the risk of wind blow but lower down in the canopy the benefits to wildlife are very substantial.
   It is noticeable, although not conclusive, that after freeing some of the trees of ivy, fewer birds have been recorded this year than in the 2012 survey.

4. above.  This area continues to attract the largest variety of birds, probably due to the wide variation in habitats and availability of seeds and insects. Rather than tight strimming of both the tops and the sides of  the banks between the car parks, it would be advantageous to leave the sides longer. This would ensure visibility between the car parks at the same time as encouraging more insect life on the sides. (Query – influence of bank strimming on flora).

General Points
Hedges; these are important habitats for a wide range of birds, small mammals and insects and provide wildlife corridors allowing species to spread. The ideal hedge for wildlife is thick and broad in the bottom and 2-3m high with occasional taller ‘singing posts’.  Tall herbage at the base of a hedge is an integral part of the habitat. Where feasible the full length of a hedge should not all be cut the same year so that there is always some mature habitat available. Late winter, when most of the berries have been eaten, is the best time for cutting.
   When hedges become overgrown, the base becomes open and the wildlife value declines. Laying and coppicing are the two options for renewal; laying produces a new hedge more quickly that coppicing and so is always the preferred option for conservation. The laying should be done in annual stages to avoid removing all the habitat in year one.

Young woods lack nesting holes so providing nesting boxes, which are squirrel and woodpecker proof, is likely to increase the tit population provided food is not the major limiting factor.  The herbage and scrub at the margin of woods is a good habitat for wildlife and a likely nesting site for some bird species provided it is wide enough. However invasive shrubs such as blackthorn need controlling. Glades within the woods, if large enough provide, valuable habitat for wildlife.
   Mature woods are a valuable habitat for birds and insects; a habitat which is greatly enhanced by ivy. In addition to giving cover in severe weather, ivy on trees provides nesting sites and the berries are a good source of food during winter. Ivy flowers are an important source of nectar for several insects.

Bryan Davies and Sue Bradley, October 2013

Birds on Magog Down

We publish the monthly reports of Stapleford Bird club here, plus other occasional bird-related articles; hot links in each report will take you to the RSPB information page for each bird spotted.

The gallery below shows a random six of the birds that have been seen on Magog Down.

  • Fieldfare.jpg
  • Mistle thrush.jpg
  • Chaffinch.jpg
  • Great tit.jpg
  • Dartford Warbler.jpg
  • Collared Dove.jpg