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"View From The Pit Top"- Latest news from SK58 Birders
Updated 5 June, 2024


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est. 1992

website est. 1996



News Archive

4th June Over at Shireoaks, the "Friends of Woodlands & Coachwood Green" are having a wildlife open day- see details for orig pic

3rd May "Big Sit 2024" Every few years we hold a Big Sit. In a nutshell group members take over the hide at North Anston Pit Top (Dinnington Community Woodland) and record all the species of bird they see or hear from the hide between dawn & dusk. Its quite amazing just how many species can be recorded by just looking & listening from a single location. The record is an incredible 56 species.

Andy Hirst "Big Sit" 2005 (less grey hair then) @ NAPT click for orig pic

We are running the event again this year on Saturday 1st June, when Andy Hirst will spend the day at the hide, armed with flask and sandwiches to see him through the long day! To help boost group funds you can sponsor Andy (Sponsor form at the May Indoor meeting,or pledge by email). Anything over 45 species will be a bonus. Feel free to pop along on the day to see how we are getting on- cake would be welcome! Please consider sponsoring Andy to help boost group funds to help offset the soaring costs of running a successful group like SK58 Birders.

22nd April Tetrad Atlas Survey 2024 By now, all participants should be contemplating their first survey visits. Ideally late April/ early May for first visits, with second visits no sooner than 3 weeks after the first, ideally in late May into mid-June. IF FOR ANY REASON YOU CANNOT COMPLETE YOUR SURVEYS, PLEASE LET US KNOW! So they can be assigned, PLEASE JUST DON'T DO THEM. We aim to achieve 100% coverage so we can accurately monitor the areas birds.

21st April More from the archive. These taken from North Anston Pit Top in July 1993, when it was still a spoil heap for Dinnington colliery.

Dinnington Sewage Works July 1993 @ NAPT © Andy Hirstclick for orig pic

Cramfit July 1993 @ NAPT © Andy Hirstclick for orig pic

19th April A much awaited addition to the SK58 list and long overdue, were two Avocet at Hodsock yesterday morning, found by Bill Buchanan. Several SK58 birders managed to connect with these including the recorder who had to endure an hour and half drive from Bakewell at 1700, to get there for around 1900. Image on our latest page- a record shot as it was going dark, grey and raining! Update- still present this morning.

13th April At the March indoor meeting, we were entertained to a talk on Sherwood Forest. For the organisers of the group it was heartening to see such a good turnout- there were over 30 members in attendance, which meant the meeting had a great vibe with lots of chatting and interaction. Lets hope we can keep this going. Don't forget our ongoing offer- any member who brings along a new person, they can sign up for a year for free (they'll still need to pay the £1 meeting entrance fee). So lets all try and bring along a potential new member and keep the vibe going and show just what a great group SK58 Birders are, with terrific indoor meetings and fab local & regional field trips!

30th March All the tetrads have now been allocated in the SK58 Tetrad Atlas Survey 2024! Well done all! But if you want to get involved, I'm sure those who've taken tetrads wouldn't mind some company, especially if you want to learn the ropes. Have a chat with outr recorder if you want to be involved.

13th March A sterling effort so far by members in relation to the Tetrad Atlas Survey. As of today 17 out of the 25 tetrads have been allocated. We hope to allocate the remaining tetrads at the March indoor meeting. If you've undertaken the survey before, it would be grand if you can take part again and cover the same tetrads as before.

6th March There have been developments at NAPT (Dinnington Community Woodland). The site was a stronghold for breeding Lapwing, but in recent times the area around the wader scrape had become overgrown and unsuitable. Thanks to input by SK58 Birders and Mick Clay in particular, the whole area has been ploughed over and now looks great for Lapwing.

Ploughed Area for Lapwing @ NAPT © Mick Clayclick for orig pic

Ploughed Area for Lapwing @ NAPT © Mick Clayclick for orig pic

5th March We've had a key returned to us for the hide at NAPT, which means we have a spare key, giving access to the locked hide at NAPT. If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity, have a chat with our Recorder. To be a key holder just requires wardening the hide on a Saturday morning 0800-1100, between March & October on a rota, which usually equates to duties less than once a month. Of course it also means you have access to the hide 24/7 for your own birding. With water levels currently high at NAPT, it's envisaged we'll start up a rota soon. Duties aren't onerous:

Open hide between 0800-1100
Duties occur 1 Saturday in 5
Provide an interpretive service to any visitors
Record visitor numbers; members/ non members

20th February A reminder subs are now due for 2024. See Richard Platts, our new Membership Secretary, and put him to work ;-)

14th February We've a couple signed up for the Year List Competition already. Why not give it go, its not too late. Try and see as many species as possible within SK58 within the year. Adds another dynamic to local birding, and makes you look for all the species, common as well as the more elusive! Sign up today!

31st January Last night was our AGM. A few changes and an initiative. After 20+ years Lyn Facer is stepping down as Membership Secretary. We welcomed and voted in Richard Platts as new Membership Secretary. Our thanks to Lyn for all the years of service and to Richard for taking on the role. You've some boots to fill!

We are also launching an initiative to boost membership. Our Treasurer, Farrell, gave a short presentation stating "SK58 Birders are an endangered species, with only 57 left in the wild!!" He's not wrong. See slides below.

26th January 2024 is a Tetrad Atlas Year, so just a heads up that from February, we'll be looking for volunteers to take on one or more of the 2km x2km squares that make up SK58. Ideally we aim for the same folk to cover the same squares they did previously for consistency. We'll launch this years survey at the February indoor meeting. For new members, the survey is run every two years, whereby on two, one hour visits, you record all the adult birds within your 2km x 2km square, by walking a predetermined route, taking in varying habitats.

2nd January Just a reminder to all, to submit your 2023 records as soon as possible so we can put the 2023 records to bed. Also a reminder that subscriptions are due at the January meeting.

Some of us were out on New Years Day and we had a really good day. It prompted us to reinstate our Year List competition. Its great fun and provides a focus for local birding/ recording. If anyone wants to take part, simply let the recorder know and at the end of each month send your tally for the year so far. Its just a bit of friendly fun and the winner receives a glossy certificate at the end of the year.

19th December Is a smart phone on your Christmas list? 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.

12th December Wishing members, organisers and visitors to the website, "A Very Happy Christmas! & Very Best Birding Wishes for 2024".

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

content & design by Andy Hirst