Welcome to the SBSG website

Sheffield Bird Study Group was formed in December 1972 as a forum for birdwatchers in and around the city with an active interest in ornithology. The group's recording area, covering twelve 10km squares with the city roughly in the middle, is hugely diverse, stretching north to the outskirts of Barnsley, south to Chesterfield, east to the lowlands beyond Rotherham and Bolsover, and west to the highest tops of the Peak District National Park.

We aim to promote an interest in birds in the community, provide something of interest to all levels of birder, co-ordinate fieldwork and recording in the area, and work with and complement the work of like-minded local and national organisations for the benefit of birds. SBSG is registered charity No 510857. click here for more.

Indoor Meeting

Wednesday 8th Feb at 7.15pm, Sheffield University - Hicks Building LT5 

Matthew Capper -

RSPB Old Moor Reserve


In February we welcome back long time member Matthew Capper to talk about the RSPB's chain of reserves in the Dearne Valley, just up the road near Barnsley. A former secretary of the SBSG, Matthew has been rather inactive for a number of years since joining the staff of the RSPB in 2006. Many of you may remember him for leading the annual raptor walk in the Upper Derwent.

Since 2009 he has been site manager of the Dearne Valley reserves, based at RSPB Old Moor. His talk will focus on Old Moor and the other reserves, covering their history, wildlife and future plans.


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Recent Sightings

Parking for Indoor Meetings

Please note the following in terms of the change in parking outside of the Hicks Building -

We have had contact from the University - they have apologised about not informing us of the change in parking policy for Zone B. This ought to allow appeals to be made to the third party provider and hopefully get any charges which were received at the January meeting rescinded. Please contact the SBSG secretary for details This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please note that this doesn't include tickets for on street parking, which are courtesy of Sheffield City Council!


As the 2016/17 winter is shaping up nicely as the best 'Waxwing winter' for some years, here is a link to an article by Dave Wood documenting the 2010/2011 influx in our area, with some useful information on ageing and sexing.

It can be found here.

Migration Article - Sheffield Telegraph

An article including the recent Waxwing influx and the Middleton Moor Starling roost can be found here

Membership News

Membership secretary, Martin Hodgson, will be available at the December meeting to receive subscriptions for 2017.  The membership fees remain as before - £14 for an individual and £16 for a couple/family.  If you can’t attend the meeting, you can still renew early by printing off and completing the form here, or by completing and submitting the online form here.

Parliamentary Debate on Driven Grouse Shooting

Many of you will have an interest in (and signed) the petition to end driven grouse shooting, which is to be debated in parliament in the coming days and weeks.  On Tuesday 18 October at 2.15pm, MPs will hear from Mark Avery, the petition creator, and representatives from the RSPB, the Moorland Association and the Countryside Alliance.

The session can be watched on Parliament TV:http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Guide

The petition will then be debated in parliament on 31st October, which will also be available to watch via Parliament TV.

The government's initial response to the petition, before any evidence has been heard, can be read at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125003 .  It is to be hoped that this is not an indication that they have already reached their conclusions and that they will hear the evidence - and make their decisions - without predisposition to an outcome that is already decided. 

SBSG made a submission to the evidence to be heard, drawing on the detailed survey work undertaken for the Breeding Atlas.  The key points put forward were that: driven grouse shooting results in very low levels - or the complete absence - of birds of prey in ideal habitat, contrasting with population trends away from these areas; and that areas managed for driven grouse shooting have not seen increases in populations of upland breeding waders, numbers of which have fallen in recent decades. 



Birds in the Sheffield Area, 2014 - Annual Report now available

Editors: Richard Hill and David Wood 


Birds in the Sheffield Area, 2014 was published in February 2016, with help of the major sponsors The National Trust, Foothills and Harrison Cameras.

The cover of a Nightjar was created by Paul Leonard, and the text is interleaved with illustrations by Ben Green, Richard Dale, Paul Leonard and Ray Scally. The photographs are courtesy of A. Deighton, P. Garrity, R.D. Hill, A. Jones, M.N. Reeder, D. Simmonite, M. Smethurst and D. Wood.


Main Contents

  • A review of the birding year, 2014
  • Systematic List of records for the year 2014
  • Arrival and departure dates of migrant species in 2014
  • Glossy Ibis - New to the Sheffield Area

  • 'Siberian' Lesser Whitethroat at Nether Edge
  • Breeding Success for Hen Harriers
  • The cost is £6 if collected, or £8 to include postage and packing. It's free for qualifying members.
  • Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of this, or any other of our annual reports, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details.

What to look out for in November and December

Find the article by Ron Blagden here

Ring Ouzel Surveys 2016

For the updated Eastern Moors Survey visit here

For the Burbage Moors Study visit here

Breeding Birds of the Sheffield Area

Atlas cover smaller for HomeWhat? You haven't got a copy of the Breeding Atlas yet?

Here's what the reviews said

David Ballance, writing in Ibis "a scholarly work....analyses of species are thorough and painstaking, placing the results firmly in a national context, ingenious maps designed to show both distribution and change.

Mark Cocker, "For anyone interested in birds in the Sheffield area the book is an absolute must".

Click here for more reviews and to find out how to get yours.