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.



Friday 8th Dec at 6pm

"The Wonderful Mr Willughby"

Lecture by Professor Tim Birkhead


The University of Sheffield Library would like to invite members of the SBSG to attend a lecture by Professor Tim Birkhead: "The Wonderful Mr Willughby" to coincide with our new Exhibition in Western Bank Library on Friday 8th December from 6pm.  https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/li brary/lecture/inaugural

Professor Tim Birkhead has collaborated with eminent scholars from a range of disciplines to explore the scientific research of Francis Willughby (1635-1672), resulting in the book Virtuoso by Nature: the scientific worlds of Francis Willughby FRS (1635-1672) (Leiden: Brill, 2016), which is an edited volume of academic essays on Willughby’s many and varied interests. A second book, The Wonderful Mr. Willughby: the first true ornithologist will be published by Bloomsbury in early 2018.

In this lecture, Professor Birkhead will illustrate and celebrate Willughby’s endeavours in setting a standard for the way birds and natural history more generally should be studied.

Entry to the lecture is free and attendees can register via Eventbrite here


Indoor Meeting - Wednesday 13th Dec at 7.15pm 

Justin Carr - Digiscoping Birds


Justin started birding at the tender age of 12, a teacher at School sparked this passion with his love of everything Avian. His interest in Photography soon followed. Digiscoping for him started around 20 years ago even before it really had a name. His first Digiscoping camera was actually a video camera with the Druridge Curlew (still Slender billed in his opinion) being one of the first birds videoscoped. This soon evolved into still’s. Fast forward to present day, he now works freelance for Swarovski optic, and hosts workshops for them as well as attending Birdfair demonstrating Digiscoping



Sheffield University Hicks Building - LT5


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The November issue is out now. There was a slight error with the link to "Off the Beaten Track" article but this has now been corrected. If you have not received an updated version by email then please log on as a member and access the drop down menu under Publications called "Bulletins". You will find links to all the previous Newsletters and the amended November issue.


Good news for younger members.

Free membership is now available for persons under the age of 25.  The age limit was previously 22.  And it’s available regardless of whether you’re in full time education or not.  Existing members should by now have received revised membership certificates from Martin Hodgson, the Membership Secretary.  If you haven’t but you think you ought to have, or if you are a paying member who now qualifies for free membership, please contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mike Fenner


It’s with great sadness that we report the recent death of Mike Fenner, a stalwart of SBSG for over forty years.

It’s difficult to overstate his contribution to the group in that time through his various roles as a hard working committee member, an enthusiastic contributor to a host of local and national bird surveys, the organiser of the 1995-1996 Sheffield parks birds survey and author of that report, a writer for the annual “Birds in the Sheffield area” for many years as well as for the 2013 “Breeding Birds of the Sheffield Area”, the group’s field trip organiser for several years and not least, the SBSG chairman between 1993 and 1998.

And in all that Mike remained a quiet, self-effacing, helpful and determined individual with an engaging sense of humour and a great enthusiasm for birding. He will be greatly missed by many and our thoughts and sympathies go out to his friends and family.


Pete Brown

Submitting your records

If you have submitted records recently you may have noticed that the calendar facility, when adding the date to your record, is no longer available. This has occurred following a software update, though should not affect users too adversely providing that they add the date in the specified format as shown below.As before, when entering multiple records the date needs inputting only once.


The Birdwatcher’s Yearbook 2018

OFFER to SBSG Members

The 2018 Yearbook will be published at the end of October with a cover price of £19.50. 

By way of a thank you I would like to offer you an additional £1.50 discount if you would like to purchase a copy directly from Calluna Books. This will be £15.50 including 2nd class postage. To take advantage of this offer the book should be ordered and paid for by 30th September. In the first instance, to order a copy please contact me by email (link to web site below) and I will send an invoice with payment options.

Neil Gartshore (Publisher)
Calluna Books, Moor Edge, 2 Bere Road, Wareham, Dorset BH20 4DD
T: 01929 552 560

mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The National Trust and Grouse Shooting in the Peak District National Park.

In 2016, the National Trust revoked the license of the shooting tenant on the Hope Woodlands and Park Hall estates in the Peak District, much of which lies within the SBSG recording area.

While the Trust has recently advertised for tenders for a new shooting tenant on the estates, the Moorland Vision campaign has organised a petition calling for the National Trust to find a better way to manage these iconic landscapes for both people and biodiversity.
The petition currently has over 6,000 signatures, and has been supported by most of the local Wildlife groups, including the SBSG.

More information can be found here, and the petition can be found here.

Please consider supporting this important campaign.

Birds in the Sheffield Area, 2015 - Annual Report now available

Crag Martin Finalreduced

Birds of the Sheffield Area 2015

Editors: Richard Hill and David Wood

Birds in the Sheffield Area, 2015 was published in May 2017, with help of the major sponsors The National Trust, Foothills and Harrison Cameras. It has a total of 202 pages.

This edition is dedicated to the memory of Martin Garner 1964-2016

The cover of a Crag Martin was created by Paul Leonard, and the text is interleaved with full colour illustrations by Ben Green, Richard Dale, Paul Leonard and Ray Scally.

The colour photographs are courtesy of M.A. Broadland, A. Deighton, P. Garrity, C. Hallam, R. D. Hill, P. Jackson, D. Langston, M. N. Reeder, M. Sherwin, M. Smethurst, P. Stoppard, C. Tyler, R. Twigg, D. Wood and P & A Wilson.

Main Contents

  • A review of the birding year, 2015
  • Systematic List of records for the year 2015
  • Arrival and departure dates of migrant species in 2015
  • Crag Martin - New to the Sheffield Area
  • Black Stork - New to the Sheffield Area
  • Urban Breeding Lesser Black-backed Gulls in Chesterfield
  • Cetti's Warbler at Norbrigg's Flash - A New Breeding Species
  • A Survey of Breeding Swifts in Sheffield SK38 - 2014-15

The cost is £6 if collected, or £8 to include postage and packing. It's free to qualifying members.

Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of this, or any other of our annual reports, please email Martin Hodgson for further details.

Help Sheffield University and SBSG support the Sheffield Peregrines

With your help we can provide more opportunities for people to learn more about these amazing birds as well as carry out important research. You can support the Sheffield Peregrines Project by donating through the Virgin Money Giving page.

Click on this link to learn more about the plans for the project and to donate:



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!

You will now require a University Staff Car Parking Permit to park in any of their car parks. Therefore there is no visitor parking in University car parks. The University do have the Q Park on Durham Road now open and there are special evening and weekend rates in place that can be found online here.