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.

Wednesday January 12th  - 7.15pm

SBSG - Zoom Meeting (the Zoom link will be sent with the January Newsletter)

David Wood

David wood red

My Thai Birding: Bangkok and Beyond

Thailand is a well-known holiday destination, famed for its beaches, buddhas and the friendliness of the locals. However, with a range of habitats, good infrastructure and over a thousand species of birds it is also an excellent birding destination. This talk will explore several areas within striking distance of Bangkok and consider the position of country’s avifauna within wider national culture.

David Wood has been a member of the SBSG Committee for over 20 years and was Chair of the Group from 2006-18. He coordinated the 2003-08 breeding survey and co-edited (with Richard Hill) the subsequent Breeding Birds of the Sheffield Area, as well as co-editing the Group’s annual report from 1999-2003 and 2013-17.

Giant Hornbill flight

Indoor Meeting & Field Trip details for 2022 

These have just been confirmed and can be found here. There's lots to look forward to including a 50th Anniversary finale. We will also be re-convening back in the Sheffield University Diamond building and look forward to speaking face to face again, meeting members old and new!


Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust 

Blacka Moor Volunteer Work Days and Merry Christmas

Dear All,

I hope you are well. Thank you to everyone that came to help at the last couple of workdays and braved the rain, helping tidy up after the high winds. I just wanted to let you know that the next monthly volunteer work days on Blacka Moor are on Saturday 8th ( second Saturday in January to avoid New Year ) and Thursday 20th January. Both the days are due to scrub control on cowsick bog. If you would like to join us please book your space, using using the link below.  


I have attached a volunteer form ( If you haven't already filled in a volunteer form and aren't already on our system) Or you can fill a form out on the day. As usual please remember to bring lunch, a drink and wear warm waterproof outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear. It's getting nippy out there now. If you have your own work gloves that you could bring along that would be great too. We will bring tools and spare gloves.


As always, if you spot any interesting wildlife and fancy popping on our Nature Counts webpage that would be fantastic.  https://www.wildsheffield.com/wildlife/wildlife-conservation/more-data-for-nature/sightings/   Or feel free to forward any photo's through to me. We hope you have a lovely Christmas and New Year and enjoy the festivities,  fingers crossed for a more settled year next year. Thanks again for your continued interest and support, we really appreciate it. If you would like anymore information please let me know.

Thanks, Hannah Wittram ( Community Wildlife Ranger )









**Avian Influenza/Bird Flu**

Please be on the lookout for signs of sick and ill birds, particularly wildfowl and water birds. A major bird flu outbreak is occuring across Europe with the UK significantly affected.

Bird Flu

Last week 5 dead Canada Geese were reported at Hillsborough Park and Bird Flu must be suspected.  Please report all suspected incidences.  More info, including how to report dead or sick birds, can be found in our article here.

Ring Ouzel Monitoring Report 2021

Kim Leyland’s annual round up of the Ring Ouzel Monitoring and Nest Protection on the Eastern Moors and Stanage North Lees estates can be read here.

Ring Ouzel 2203 1

SBSG would like to once again express our appreciation for this vital long term monitoring project. 

For 2021 the headlines are that numbers of pairs in the monitored area was down, but productivity was up – a mixed bag.

SBSG is grateful for the Eastern Moors Partnership’s continued funding of this project and to the coalition of monitors who are drawn from the local birding and climbing communities including SBSG members, BMC members, RSPB volunteers, the Stanage Forum and PDNPA Ranger Mark Anderson.  Here’s to a more successful Ouzelling in 2022.

Compulsory Tree Felling at Stanage Plantation

Due to the presence of the highly infectious plant disease Phytophthora ramorum, felling and extraction operations will be undertaken at Stanage Plantation between early January 2022 and the end of March 2022.

Please see here for further information.

Mike Archer receives recognition from the BTO

Congratulations to long-standing member Mike Archer, who has received the BTO's Jubilee Medal for his many and varied contributions to British ornithology. Full story available here

 Mike archer

A blast from the past

For those of you looking to while away the long winter nights, a copy of the 1985 publication Birds of the Sheffield Area by the late Messrs. Hornbuckle and Herringshaw has just been uploaded to the site. Available to members, it can be found via the "publications" tab under the annual reports section.  


Access to Rother Valley Country Park

It seems that the powers that be have finally seen sense and made car parking charges at RVCP more reasonable. Rather than the extortionate fee of £6 (regardless of how long you spent there) a more pragmatic charge of £1 per hour (up to £6) is now levied. ANPR cameras are now fitted at the main access and pay stations are located at several locations in the park, though I opted for the contactless option at the exit barrier.  During my visit I was able to check the Main Lake and walk a circuit of the reserve for just £2. Though the reserve is very much in need of some TLC it still holds potential and is well worth a couple of quid of anyone's money on a cold winter's day.  Of course there is still free, on foot, access to be had via Barber's Lane (Killamarsh), Rother Valley Way (Sothall) and via the entrance to Pit-house West at Beighton. Why not give it a go, you never know what you might stumble on. Further details here.

RSPB Bird Crime Report 2020

The full report can be found here. 

Screenshot 2021 10 30 at 18.20.44

Christmas is on the way !!!

Support the SBSG through EASY-FUNDRAISING and SMILE
For full details click here 

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Membership News

Membership fees for 2022 will be payable from 1 January 2022 by all members apart from Under 25s and members who joined since 31 August 2021.  The fee is being held at £14 for single membership and £16 for joint/household.  Membership Secretary Martin Hodgson will be happy to receive payments at any time beginning 1 December.  Payment is best made by bank transfer and by completing the online form here.  Details of other methods of payment can be found on the same form.

Dark Peak wader surveying in 2022

 Screenshot 2021 10 29 at 18.24.48

Birds in the Sheffield Area 2018

BSA2018 final

Editor: Richard Hill 

Birds in the Sheffield Area 2018 was published in December 2020 with help of the major sponsors The National Trust, Foothills and Sheffield Photographic Centre 

The cover of an Audouin's Gull at Norfolk Bridge was created by Paul Leonard and the text is interleaved with colour illustrations by Ben Green, Richard Dale and Paul Leonard. The colour photographs are courtesy of  C. Brelsford, A. Deighton, P. Garrity, R.D. Hill, M.N. Reeder, and M. Smethurst. It has a total of 195 pages. 

This edition is dedicated to the memory of Jon Hornbuckle - 1943 - 2018. 

Main Contents:

  • A review of the birding year, 2018
  • Systematic List of records for the year 2018
  • Arrival and departure dates of migrant species in 2018
  • Audouin's Gull at Norfolk Bridge - New for the Sheffield Area
  • Herring Gulls in Urban Chesterfield - A New Breeding Species
  • A Study of Breeding Sand Martins on the Lower Don 2018
  • Obituary - Jon Hornbuckle 1943 - 2018
  • A colour map of the SBSG recording area

The cost is £7 if collected, or £9.50 to include postage and packing. The report is free to 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.

If you shop online, don’t forget to support SBSG at no extra cost by channelling through easyfundraising or Smile Amazon - Here's how to do it


The Northumbrian Garden Parrot - Pete Brown


Pete has been a birder in the Sheffield area for over 40 years and an active and involved member of the SBSG for much of that time. The Northumbrian Garden Parrot draws considerably from that experience but reflects also on his affection for bird watching in his native North East as well as further afield. There is both serious content particularly in the field of conservation issues locally and nationally as well as a lighter look at birding and birders. The narrative ranges from efforts to combat raptor persecution in the Peak District to referencing the Monty Python dead parrot sketch, Fawlty Towers and the Muppet Show’s Swedish chef in his birding encounters. 

There are many references to Sheffield Bird Study Group and indeed around 20 members of the group past and present merit appreciative mentions in the text. Frequently  the narrative returns to Pete’s local Millhouses Park and Ecclesall Woods patch. And as befits his affection for the patch all profits from the sale of The Northumbrian Garden Parrot will go towards efforts by The Friends of Millhouses Park to raise the £25,000 needed to provide a new kiddies climbing frame in the Park. 

Pete is selling the book for £10 a copy ( a bargain at 350 pages he claims). If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy, Pete, in his new career as a door to door book seller, is happy to deliver anywhere in the SBSG area.  

You can contact Pete by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or text/call on 07789 441294


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.

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: