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

Coronavirus Update

Dear Members,

Well believe it or not, it is now 76 long days since the Prime Minister belatedly announced the unprecedented sacrifice required by the British public in order to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.  Whatever your views on the timing and politics of the recent lockdown, there is no doubt that the last few months have been a challenging experience. For some of our members, this has been particularly tough – both physically and mentally. 

One thing we can all agree on though, is how the magic of the natural world, in whatever form it takes, has provided a welcome respite from the grim reality of the situation we have all found ourselves in.  For many of us with an ornithological slant this may have taken a number of different forms – from a well-earned garden tick gleaned from the many hours spent staring out of an upstairs window (an overdue Red Kite and an unexpected Mandarin in my case), to a surprise discovery during some permitted exercise, or perhaps simply enjoying the many avian visitors to your garden or bird table.  Either way, I’d like to thank you for continuing to submit your records to the Group’s database throughout this difficult time – to paraphrase a famous birding quote ‘What’s submitted is history, what’s left unrecorded is mystery’ 

One obvious consequence of Covid-19 has been the necessary suspension of both our indoor meeting programme and popular local field trips.  Whilst at the time, this was done with a heavy heart, the potential spread of the virus from large gatherings has now been clearly established and the safety of both you and your family will remain our primary concern when reviewing our forthcoming events.  With this in mind, and in the anticipation of further disruption until the year-end, the SBSG Committee has made the decision to provide a continuation of your membership during 2021 for no additional charge.  This includes those who have not yet paid for your 2020 membership. Since the lockdown, we have been proactive in securing the services of any cancelled speakers for the corresponding dates next year and this will continue where possible, should any of the remaining indoor meetings suffer the same fate. Please keep updated by viewing the Group’s website at sbsg.org or looking out for our forthcoming e-newsletters.

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Cotton-grass contemplation – Blacka Moor | Richard Hill

“I find much satisfaction in the thought that this splendid piece of natural open countryside, which affords views of moorland scenery unsurpassed in grandeur by any other spot in the neighbourhood of Sheffield, will be kept in its present state, being protected from the encroachment of builders and remaining accessible to all to provide recreation and enjoyment for the benefit of succeeding generations of local people.” J. G. Graves (1866 – 1945)

During this enforced hiatus, the SBSG Committee has continued to keep in touch remotely behind the scenes in planning for the Group’s future.  With record membership numbers and a strong level of financial security, there is much to be hopeful about, even if it may not seem like it right now.  More details on some of the exciting future projects we have planned will be provided in the near future. 

In the meantime, please continue to take care, stay safe, keep birding and stay alert (for a local Rose-coloured Starling, if nothing else – there’s got to be one out there somewhere!). 

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Lest we forget….Rose-coloured Starling Pastor roseus – Curbar – May 2009 | J Lester

With best birding wishes,

Richard Hill


Sheffield Bird Study Group – 7 June 2020

















BTO Garden Birdwatch now free to join


For more information see here.

Phil Ridsdale


We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic loss of SBSG member Phil Ridsdale.

Phil was a long-standing and well respected member of the group, and was also involved with Sorby Breck Ringing Group, SK58 birders, and Spurn Bird Observatory.

Our thoughts go out to Phil’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust - Request for help

As part of the SLLP project, we are doing some work with Yorkshire Water at Brooks Bank farmland just to the east of Midhope Reservoir, one of the projects is to re-wet the field located at the corner where Gill Royd Land meets Mortimer Road (SK234985) to make it more suitable for waders. 

A request for birders in that area that would be willing to do a semi-regular check for waders in that field. It would be very useful to be able to look at numbers before the works take place and compare them to numbers afterwards. 

Please contact Julie Riley.

Julie Riley

Community Ecologist - Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership

Wildscapes/Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust
37 Stafford Road, Sheffield S2 2SF
Tel: 0114 303 5123

Stanage  and North Lees

A public consultation is currently running to  gather views on the future management of the North Lees estate and Stanage Edge and is open now until about February 27th. The Stanage Forum with SBSG input will of course  make a formal response to an options appraisal that is far too limited in scope. However local residents and the climbing community are keen to make their views known on an individual basis.

For those birders and lovers of nature  who care about Stanage it would also be great if you could have a look at the public consultation link and respond. The link is here

The climbers (BMC) have all met and discussed the proposals and their response is available on the following link here


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: