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"View From The Pit Top"- Latest news from SK58 Birders
Updated 29 March, 2020


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est. 1992

website est. 1996


News Archive

29/03/2020 I was Informed late last night that Philip Ridsdale had died. I’d known Phil since he was a teenager. He was an SK58 Birder for many years & came on our weekend trips and all of my Gone Birding tours. A gentle lad, always good company and a pleasure to have along. Condolences to his family. Such a tragic loss of a young life.

Phil Ridsdale (4th in) SK58 25th Anniversary Tour to Suffolk @ rspb Minsmere © Andy Hirst

R.I.P. Phil.

17/03/2020 CORONA VIRUS- In response to, and in line with government guidelines we have taken the following steps:

  • Indoor Meetings- cancelled until September
  • Field Trips- cancelled until September
  • Hide Rota- (NAPT) cancelled until September
  • Subs- renewals cancelled until September
  • Tetrad Survey- still going ahead at this moment in time- to be reviewed in late March or Early April
  • Indoor & field meetings have been cancelled as this equates to gatherings and a potential spread of the disease, plus given the groups age range, would be an unnecessary risk. This also applies to the wardening the hide at NAPT.
  • Subscriptions are due in April. Given there will be no group events over the spring and summer so we're postponing the renewals until September. These will then run for a year and subs will fall due again in September 2021.
  • Tetrad Atlas Survey will go ahead at the moment unless we have some kind of lock down as we've seen on the continent. The survey takes place individually in mostly rural locations. A walk in the county for an hour may do more good than harm! We do still have 6 tetrads unallocated- A (Loscar Wood area), H (Butterfly House area), J (Slade Hooton area), K (Shireoaks/ Chesterfield Canal), Q (Gateford/ Sandy Lane) & W (South Carlton/ Wigthorpe area). If you have an hour to spare in late April/ May and again in June and can cover a tetrad do let the recorder know as we'd like 100% coverage.

14/03/2020 CORONA VIRUS- At this moment in time our meetings are going ahead as per the diary. If the situation alters in regard to public gatherings/ meetings, or there are developments at the Loyal Trooper then we will email members, post on the website as well as social media. Although we would advise members to exercise discretion- if they have any symptoms or have underlying health issues, then we urge them to refrain from attending any events.

09/03/2020 The groups Conservation Officer, Mick Clay, does a lot more than just make nest boxes. Recently we were copied into several emails from the RMBC Ecologist relating to several planning enquiries Mick had raised. Firstly there is the development along the A57, near Lindrick Kennels, by Birket Wood. Quite major excavations are taking place. Secondly Mick is closely monitoring the developments at Dinnington Marsh. A large area has been cleared, but it appears some of the conditions associated with the planning permission have not been met. We'll keep you posted. If you see any developments taking place then by all means contact RMBC Planning Department- Enforcement Team, or let the RMBC Ecologist know, also copy SK58 Birders in so we are aware and can make representations.

20/02/2020 The group are already looking forward to the spring, so much so we're organising our rota to warden the hide at NAPT, subject to there being water in the scrape. Currently the scrape is holding plenty of water, so this should attract some birds. So from 7th March the hide will be wardened by members of SK58 Birders, who will be on hand to talk about the reserve, the group and help with identification and point out what's around. The hide is open on Saturday mornings between 0800-1100.

Scrape & Hide @ NAPT © Andy Hirst

16/02/2020 For the past twenty five years, every two years SK58 Birders have carried out a survey of the entire SK58 square. The last survey was 2018, so this year is Tetrad Atlas Survey year. This is something every member can participate in. The 10km x 10km SK58 square is divided into 25 squares (Tetrads). These 2km x 2km squares are chosen by members to visit. These can be near where they live, or somewhere they've never visited before in the area.

On two, one hour visits to each tetrad, all the adult birds are recorded. These when compared with other tetrads and the results from previous years, give us definitive trends in population. This is the most important project the group undertakes as it covers all species and the entire SK58 square, not just the hot spots or more unusual species. If you wish to take part, let Andy Hirst know. The survey will be launched at the February meeting, with tetrads open to allocation. Ideally, for consistency, we'd like the same observers to cover the same tetrads and routes as they did in previous years, but ths is ideal, not essential.

15/02/2020 Have you heard of the website In a nutshell it's a mapping website and maps sites/ locations/ down to 3 square metres, but instead of giving it a complicated grid reference each square is given a unique set of three words. When these are typed in the website it takes you to a map of the exact spot. We've begun adding the three words links to the list of locations on our website- click here to try it. You can switch to satellite type map, or a choice of maps by clicking the link at the top of the map.

13/02/2020 Given the rather dire weather forecast for Sunday we have decided to cancel the planned "Letwell Loop" walk. It was thought prudent to postpone the walk until another time given the gales and rain forecast- not ideal conditions to be out looking for woodland birds & raptors. Watch this space however, as we will reschedule this walk at a later date.

10/02/2020 Following the AGM in January, it was agreed to increase annual subscription rates to SK58 Birders: £15 individual: £20 family: £10 concession: Free - under 18. The new rates will take effect from April, when subscriptions are due.

21/01/20 A reminder of the groups AGM on the 29th. Don't be put off, the AGM only takes twenty minutes, then we have Brian Chambers talking about a recent trip to Mongolia. Below the Agenda for the 2020 AGM.


The meeting to be held at "THE LOYAL TROOPER" Inn on Wednesday 29th January 2020. The meeting to commence at 19.30, with a minimum of 15 members present.

  • 2019 MINUTES - Proposed & seconded
  • SECRETARYS REPORT- Position Vacant in 2019
  • CONSERVATION OFFICER- Position Vacant in 2018
  • ELECTION OF OFFICERS All incumbents willing to stand for a further year
  • PROPOSED INCREASE IN SUBSCRIPTIONS TO £15 (individual), £20 (family) & £10 (concession)

06/01/20 In the run up to Christmas our Conservation Officer Mick Clay, and a band of volunteers have been busy planting many hundreds of trees. Many were planted at Axle Lane, but the majority at NAPT. Thanks to Mick and the vols for undertaking this at short notice.

Tree Planting @ NAPT © Andy Hirst

29/12/19 A further reminder to submit all your 2019 records to the recorder as soon as you can.

16/12/19 A reminder the January meeting is the groups Annual General Meeting. Currently all organisers are standing for reelection Current post & Incumbents. Although that's not to say we aren't looking for help. We do still have a vacancy for a secretary and Geoff Facer is looking for assistance with organising speakers for our indoor meetings. The AGM is brief and following this Brian Chambers will entertain us with a talk following a recent trip to Mongolia (unsure if Inner or Outer!).

15/12/19 On Saturday night 18 members enjoyed a three course meal at the groups Christmas meal at the Loyal Trooper. As well as the feasting were quizzes testing general knowledge and bird knowledge. A good time was had by all.

Members at the Christmas Meal @ The Loyal Trooper © Andy Hirst

10/12/19 Are you expecting a smart phone for Christmas? Did know SK58 Birders has it's own Bird News Service? We have a "WhatsApp" group dedicated to broadcasting immediate bird news to members. It works on either iPhone and Android phones. Simply search, download and install the free "Whats App" app from the store on your device- then let our Recorder have your mobile phone number. You'll be added to the group, and then you'll receive news and updates on SK58 Birds straight to your phone as well as being able to broadcast to other members, any good birds you find within the square.

A group dedicated to recording the bird life of a single 10km square between Sheffield, Rotherham & Worksop

content & design by Andy Hirst