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 - 12th February

Keith Clarkson - The Caribbean


Keith’s talk looks at a trip he made to Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent and Trinidad in December 2018 with 'Birding the Islands’

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Keith Clarkson

I am a passionate birder and conservationist.  I was brought up in Sheffield with the Peak District as my playground. Here I got into birding and ringing at an early age, becoming an active member of the Sheffield Bird Study Group. At Sheffield University I received a PhD on the behavioural ecology of the Magpie, and was lucky enough to work on seabirds with Prof. Tim Birkhead in the Canadian Arctic. I dabbled with Yellow-billed magpies in California and Zebra Finches in Australia before settling down to spend many years working for Sheffield City Museum and the Peak District National Park. 

Later I achieved my lifelong ambition, of joining the RSPB. A variety of posts followed and prior to my retirement in 2017 I was the Senior (old) Site Manager, responsible for the RSPB’s Bempton Cliffs and Coquet Island nature reserves - my dream job! 

Throughout, I have been passionate about bird migration and have spent a lifetime studying visible migration both through the Southern Pennines and now on the East Coast of Yorkshire.

I am a trustee of the Garganey Trust, an active member of the RSPB, BTO and both Flamborough and Filey Bird Observatories and I lead tours of Iceland for Naturetrek and have branched into a possible new venture in the Caribbean,  but I keep my feet on the ground by following The Owls - Sheffield Wednesday! 

2019 was a year to remember. I was awarded the Professor Robert Boucher Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of Sheffield, I received an MBE for services to wildlife conservation from The Queen and, found my first Fea’s-type Petrel at my beloved Hunmanby Gap!


Sheffield University - The Diamond  - Lecture Theatre LT2 and the meeting will commence at 7.15pm

The SBSG 2020 Calendar is now available. Remaining copies will be available at the  January meeting - It features some of the best images taken by members from the area in 2019 - A3 in size, it is available at a bargain price of £5. There are only 18 copies left so first come first served.

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Birds of the Sheffield Area 2017 

The 2017 edition of our annual report has now been published and has been distributed to everyone who was a paying member in 2018.  Under 25 members will have received a PDF version.  Non-members can obtain a copy by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Price £6 plus £2 p&p. 

2017 Report


2019 Ring Ouzel survey report

The results of the 2019 Eastern Moors and Burbage Ring Ouzel survey season can be found here, with thanks to Kim Leyland.


Meet Richard Hill our new SBSG Chairman 

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Richard has identified key objectives that he hopes we can achieve -

  • streamline the running of the Group;
  • increase our membership, particularly among young people through education and engagement;
  • form closer links with local & regional groups;
  • expand our recording effort through new technology.

Read Richard's full chair's statement here


Cost-free fundraising for SBSG when you shop online

For details of how to raise money for SBSG, whenever you shop onlne, please see here for details.


Colour-ringed Willow Tits 

During May 7 juvenile Willow Tits were ringed at Totley. Observers are asked to report all sightings of these colour-ringed birds. Each bird has a unique combination with a yellow ring over another coloured ring that is either blue, yellow, red, orange, black, light green or white, as shown in the example below.

CR Willow Tit WEB


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: