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.


Local Field Trip

Saturday 10th Dec at 1.00pm

Poolsbrook CP/ Poolsbrook Marsh


Meet at 1pm in the car park OPPOSITE the visitors centre / cafe:

Nestled in the outskirts of Chesterfield, the Poolsbrook area has a remarkable diversity of species which regularly feature in the SBSG and DOS annual reports. The primary focus will be the small lake at Poolsbrook Country Park - this traditionally provides an area for gulls to congregate and 'wash off' after using the adjacent refuse tips, before they head off to roost at Ogston Reservoir, just outside the area. Amongst the regular species such as Black-headed, Common, Herring, Lesser and Great Black-backed Gulls, there is always a chance of picking out more unusual species such as Yellow-legged, Caspian, Glaucous and Iceland Gulls. If time permits, a circuit of nearby Poolsbrook Marsh should also be productive, with Water Rail, Willow Tit and wintering Chiffchaff often recorded from the reedbed / willow scrub, plus the possibility of Cetti's Warbler, which has wintered occasionally in recent years.

Indoor Meeting

Wednesday 14th Dec at 7.15pm

David Wood - Kenya Believe It?

Birds on Safari


David is Chair of SBSG, co-author (with Richard Hill) of Breeding Birds of the Sheffield Area and co-editor of the Group's Annual Report. Making a safari in Kenya was a lifetime ambition and in this talk David will share his experiences of the country and several of its iconic national parks, from savannah and bush to lakes and forests. The emphasis will be on the diverse and spectacular avifauna, as well as some of the challenges they face, while the region's diverse mammals will also feature.

Sheffield University - Hicks Building LT5

Friday 19th August - Sun 4th December

Francis Willughby (1635 - 1672) A Natural Historian And His Collections

Nottingham Lakeside Arts, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD


A number of events relating to the life and works of Francis Willughby can be found here

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Recent Sightings

Sheffield Parks and Countryside Service Survey

Sheffield City Council have a consultation open until next Wed (30th Nov) about parks, woodland and green space usage.
If you value the parks, green spaces, countryside and woodlands in Sheffield then please take some time to fill in the survey, the link 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.

Autumnwatch in Sheffield


Apologies this was advertised to be broadcast on BBC2 on Thursday 27th October, however went out at 9.50pm on Wednesday 26th October - Please look out for the BBC iplayer catch-up version. 

The Autumnwatch team including presentor David Lindo ("the Urban Birder") visited the River Don in September to look at Kingfishers, Grey Wagtails and a rare harvestman. Thanks go out to Pete Brown for attending and advising on the day, Paul Leonard for a back-up plan, Andy Deighton for information on the site itself and Pete Garrity / Dave Wood for liaising with the researchers and producer.

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. 

Sheffield Flood Protection Proposals

The Government has released a report into national flood resilience and has identified Sheffield as a trial city with great potential to be protected to the same level as London by 2021.

The Council is currently holding consultation meetings on their proposals to develop flood storage areas on several of Sheffield's rivers.

This may involve building high embankments, in excess of 1.1m, resulting in significant changes to the landscape in the proposed areas at Rivelin, Loxley, Upper Don, Porter and Sheaf. This would allow sluices to be closed when Sheffield is at risk of flooding and create storage areas. The Rivelin for example would be capable of holding up to 330,000m3 of water (equivalent to 130 Olympic swimming pools) until such time as the flood risk subsides. The impact on flora, fauna, access and industrial and archeological heritage could be significant. 

Further details and opportunity to complete a questionnaire can be seen at:



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.