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 Meetings & Field Trips

Next zoom meeting on Wednesday 12th May

(Zoom link will be sent in the May newsletter)

Dawn Balmer - Unravelling the Mysteries of Migration

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Dawn Balmer has been a keen birder since she was a child, and a trained bird ringer for over 20 years. She lives in Thetford, Norfolk, and enjoys local birding and other wildlife, with regular trips to the coast. She has special interests in migration and gull identification. Dawn has worked for the BTO since 1992 on a wide range of census, fieldwork, ringing and online bird recording projects.  She was the Atlas Coordinator for the Bird Atlas 2007–11 project and is now Head of Surveys. Dawn is Chair of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel and Secretary of the European Birds Census Council. In her spare time, she is on the British Ornithologists’ Union Records Committee, the Editorial Board of British Birds, a Director of British Birds and a Trustee of the Eric Hosking Charitable Trust.

Dawn will talk about tracking migrants and technology, drawing on exciting BTO research projects from Short-eared Owl, Lesser Black-backed Gull to Arctic Skuas.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bird Surveys on Stanage / North Lees Estate

The Ring Ouzels are back and we will be repeating the transect surveys done in 2016 under the guidance of Kim Leyland. Fortunately there are enough SBSG and BMC volunteers to cover these without a need for anymore this year .

Woodland Surveys on the estate are also covered by existing volunteers and three new recruits from the Hope Valley Bird Group will join us and also help with Pied Flycatcher and Redstart nestbox monitoring. 
Note that due to Larch tree infections a large amount of Stanage plantation will have to be taken out this year, but after the breeding season.

The Management plan for the next 5 years will include water vole , bat and reptile surveys. Hopefully we can engage other groups to look at Bumblebee and butterfly surveys on the hay meadows however Frances Horsford the Peak Park ecologist is keen to do some Curlew productivity work this year for which we do need help. If anyone could help out please email Frances on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and copy me in.

Thankyou  - Neil Porter.       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


SBSG Lockdown Birding

As lockdown continues, we’ve decided to introduce a couple of initiatives that will hopefully provide some positives (and some fun) for our members and beyond.

Garden Birding

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Many of us are spending more time than ever watching the birds in and from our homes and gardens. This is evident from the number of records from gardens across our area appearing on the recent sightings pages, with a good range of species already seen, but we want to see more! Please do submit your garden sightings to the website, and continue to do so when the breeding season gets under way. The aim is to see how many species we collectively see in and from gardens across our area, with updates to be provided via the Newsletter (feel free to send in your own contributions on this front): can we collectively see 50 species by the end of March? Will we manage 100 species over the year? And who will see the most species in and from their garden?

Birding During Local Exercise

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As you take your daily exercise under current lockdown rules, it’s a great chance to record what’s about in less visited areas close to home and help to build up a more complete picture of our local birdlife. Don’t forget to submit these records too, especially in relation to breeding activity, which is hugely under-recorded for most species. For those who want to add an extra dimension to this collaborative effort, keep a list of species you see within 3 km of home and send your ongoing highlights for inclusion in the Newsletter. You can find out what is within 3 km of home via a number of online resources, such as https://www.mapdevelopers.com/draw-circle-tool.php

(Don’t) get out and get lockdown recording!


Birds in the Sheffield Area 2018

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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


BOOK RELEASE

The Northumbrian Garden Parrot - Pete Brown

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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


Membership

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:

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