© SK58 Birders 2022
website est. 1996
!NEW ! 28th November Our Conservation Officer Mick Clay certainly hasn't let the grass grow under his feet. Having recently moved, a Kestrel has been inspecting a recently erected nest box in Mick's new garden.
26th November Following discussions and site meetings, the group are objecting to the solar farm planning application, proposed for Common Farm by Dinnington Marsh. Following negotiations, there will be no dedicated set a side areas for Lapwing & Skylark and no wader scrape, therefore the losses far outweigh the gains especially for red and amber listed species such as Grey Partridge.
2nd November As you may be aware we had to cancel our October indoor meeting at the last minute and as a result our future at the Loyal Trooper looked in jeopardy. We found out a pool league was set to use our room on Wednesdays for their home fixtures.
We were to hold an extraordinary meeting this evening to discuss our options and come up with a plan going forward. Yesterday our Chairman had a meeting with the Landlady and as a result of these discussions, and with the pool league people, we have secured the last Wednesday for the foreseeable future for our indoor meetings. The pool league has agreed to move their fixtures if they clash with our meetings.
The organisers would like to thank all those members who took the time to research and to contact us suggesting alternative venues and of resolutions to the situation.
Now would be
a good opportunity to remind folk about our indoor meetings. These
are held during the winter and spring months, from September through
to May. We have, as always, a diverse range of excellent speakers
on subjects ranging from local birding to foreign destinations and
other natural history subjects. We usually have a catch up with
local bird news and events, all this and the opportunity to have
a drink too. They are always a good night out, so if you aren't
already a regular attendee, why not consider popping along on the
last Wednesday of the month, except December (Christmas) and June,
July & Aug. Click here for our programme
28th October As some of you may be aware, we had to cancel our October indoor meeting at the very last minute as the Loyal Trooper hadn't put us in their diary. It transpired the future of SK58 at the Loyal Trooper is uncertain. An update below on a few matters:
12th October Below a menu for our proposed Christmas meal. We don't have anyone to organise this just yet- any volunteers?!, but menu choices need to be with the Loyal trooper by mid-November.
7th October Our leaflets are back from the printers and they look pretty good! Do you know anywhere where we might place some? We've had 500 printed, so plenty to leave in shops, libraries, community centres, businesses etc... in and around SK58? Please take some at the next indoor meeting if you think you know somewhere where they can be displayed or given out. It would be good to attract more members. We are always looking for new members to help record, preserve and protect the areas birds and habitats as well as help run the group. With more members we can do more. It also means we have greater funds to pay for speakers, which is an ever increasing cost.
23rd September Did you know SK58 Birders are 30 years old in December! To promote the group and to celebrate the fact, we're producing a leaflet to be strategically distributed around SK58. Once printed, if you can take some it would be a great help. We're also having some car stickers made. We'll give every member one, and then extra car stickers can be purchased. All helps spread the word.
13th September We've had a few suspected cases of Avian Flu within SK58 and questions on where to report it- this is what we found:
Reporting dead wild birds-You should call the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77) if you find:
one or more
dead bird of prey or owl
Avian influenza (bird flu) is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect any type of avian influenza in poultry or captive birds you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.
12th September It's been quite a good year for species within SK58, currently we've recorded 133 species. Quite a few folk do send in their records annually, which is greatly appreciated. However to keep the website fresh & up to date do please send in any records you note whilst out birding in SK58 to the recorder as soon as possible, as well as at the end of the month or year, that way we can keep the website up to date- Currently, very few members send in regular daily/ weekly records. You can do this via email, via our recording form or WhatsApp group- Many thanks.
13th August Our Conservation Officer Mick Clay, attended an on-site meeting with representatives of the Solar Farm project at Common Farm. Mick reported it was very positive. Mick made suggestions on how their plans could be more wildlife friendly, with wild flower/ seed areas for example. There are also a few major concessions for the group, which we can reveal later if and when they are included in the final master plan. But for now, it's looking quite positive.
2nd August We've heard the planning application for the Solar farm at Common Farm has been submitted. Once processed it should be on the RMBC planning website.
1st August Following a further appeal for a Speakers Organiser to take over from Geoff Facer, we can announce that Michael & Janet Gray have taken on the mantle. So our thanks from all the group organisers. This means we'll continue to have guest speakers at the indoor meetings. Of course Geoff and the rest of the organisers will be on hand to offer help, support and advice.
As a group we are always looking for helpers and volunteers to keep the group moving forward. If you have any spare time and want to get involved, then do please contact any of the group organisers.
23rd July This past week saw unprecedented temperatures arrive in the UK, with a max. of 40 degrees Celsius in many parts of the UK, including SK58. The ongoing arid conditions and lack of rain fall meant the area was bone dry and susceptible to a wildfire. Several fires did break out, the largest covering a swathe of cereal crops stretching from the outskirts of Dinnington/ Throapham to Firbeck.
The monetary cost can only be measured against the impact on wildlife, as the fire touched prime habitats including hedgerows and woodlands such as Long Thwaite Wood & Kings Wood.
There were of course many other smaller fires including at NAPT (Dinnington Community Woodland). Thankfully this was brought under control by locals and didn't affect the nature reserve, just a bank of leggy Gorse and a hedgerow (planted by SK58 Birders).
Non of these fires started on their own, speculating on the main fire around Long Thwaite Wood; a discarded cigarette end or glass bottle? At NAPT a discarded disposable BBQ, and glass bottles were found at the scene.
Of course the Emergency services performed heroically, but were spread thinly, and rightly so focussing where there was a threat to life and property. It was indeed locals who extinguished the NAPT fire. I wonder how many were parents of the youths who had discarded the BBQ and the umpteen bottles at the picnic site?
1st July With regard to the proposed Solar farm within the square, our Conservation Officer is setting up a meeting to discuss all the issues, from creating habitats, to mitigation for the loss of habitat for certain species. Watch this space!
15th June We've just found out the superb farmland around Common Farm, butting up to Dinnington Marsh, will have a planning application submitted to house ground based solar panels, this a significant sized development! This takes out another area of farmland with industrialisation encroaching even further into the green belt. This area is a haven for wildlife.
Common Farm- site plan of of proposed solar farm - Banks Renewables
The companies own map shows Common Farm as a green agricultural area surrounded by housing & industry; Rotherham to the N & NW,Thurcroft to the N, Laughton & Dinnington to the E, Aughton to the W and Todwick to the S. Will there be any green areas left??. The group has been watching this area for decades, so have thousands of records to prove what an excellent area this is for wildlife. https://www.banksgroup.co.uk/projects/renewables/common-farm-solar/
6th June Despite the very cold and delayed spring due to the unfavourable winds from the N & E, summer migrants are all in, albeit in what appears to be in greatly reduced numbers. There appears to be very few hirundines & Swift around and many warblers are around in lower numbers, such as Willow Warbler & Whitethroat. Having said that the number of species recorded so far this year within SK58 is a very respectable 124 species. Birds seem to be well in, just in lower numbers. Lets hope this is just a one off year and not the start of a drastic downward spiral.
22nd May A few updates to catch up on:
21st May If you haven't renewed your SK58 membership (due in January), the April newsletter was the last one you'll receive. You can of course still renew, it's not too late. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
23rd April Our Conservation Officer, Mick Clay, has been busy yet again! In conjunction with Bob Bellis, the Tropical Butterfly House at Anston and the TCV (The Conservation Volunteers), we've erected a pole mounted owl box at NAPT. Hopefully it wont be long before we hear the 'hissing' of owlets! The poles kindly supplied by the Tropical Butterfly House
He's also been helping Tarmac erect "ground nesting breeding birds" warning signs at Harry Croft's Quarry.
Birders walk at Langold Lake.
10th April The landscape at NAPT has changed markedly over recent years, this involves the loss of quite a bit of habitat. The trees where our first Yellow-browed Warbler occurred have gone, but the new site owners have planted a new row of trees. Hopefully in a few yeas we'll be listening out for the distinctive call of a YBW!
10th April There is a little water remaining in the scrape at NAPT, so for the time being we will warden the hide at NAPT on Saturday mornings between 0800-1100, although if there's less water we will cancel these hide openings.
8th April Our Conservation Officer, Mick Clay, has been busy again, this time drilling out Willow Tit nest boxes. Willow Tits have undergone a massive decline locally and nationally. Hopefully this will help those remaining birds.
25th March With a higher than usual level of water in the scrape at NAPT, we'll be looking to warden the hide on Saturday mornings between 0800-1100. This has been on hold due to a combination of Covid and low water levels. Those who hold keys to the hide, I'll be putting together a hide duty rota.
24th March As mentioned previously, 2022 is Tetrad Atlas year. Quite a few tetrads have been allocated, but we still have a few left. We hope to allocate these at the March indoor meeting. If you want to to choose a tetrad, let out our recorder know ASAP.
15th March Our Conservation Officer, Mick Clay has been busy constructing Barn Owl boxes.
2nd March 2022 is Tetrad Atlas Survey year. We allocated about half of the 25 tetrads at the January indoor meeting, so still plenty to choose from. If you did a tetrad(s) in previous years, and want to take part again this year, can you let Andy Hirst know, so we can allocate you you the same squares as you had last time, for consistency in recording.
16th February At the AGM in January, Farrell Kent took over as Treasurer from Jan Jarrold. Farrell has been a member for a number of years and runs his own successful business, so well used to high finance, not that he'll need that with SK58. We welcome him as one of the group organisers, knowing the groups finances are still in safe hands.
Farrell advised that income from subscriptions has been quite low- can we remind folk that subscriptions now run from January to December. So were due on 1st Jan 2022. If you haven't renewed already, or wish to join, please contact Lyn Facer, our Membership Officer.
Also a reminder, following the cancellation of the Tetrad Atlas Survey for the past two years, it looks like 2022 will be fine for it to go ahead. Andy Hirst will go through the survey goals and guidelines at the February indoor meeting and allocate tetrads (2km x 2km squares) at the next few meetings. The survey begins in April. Ideally we'd like the same folk to cover the same squares as previous surveys for consistency, but not vital. If you want to get involved in this simple survey then get in touch with our Recorder; Andy Hirst.
26th January At the AGM, with falling attendance at indoor meetings, it was proposed and agreed to reduce the quorum of 15 to 10, the number of members required at the AGM. The minutes of the AGM will be circulated with the February newsletter.
17th January We've just updated the website with the latest records, so far this year we're up to 73 species, which isn't bad!
5th January Just a reminder that subscriptions to SK58 are now due. Because of Covid we decided not to take subs as we were not running any indoor meetings. However we have now started indoor meetings again and subs are due as of 1st January. You can contact our Membership Secretary here or by email: email@example.com or pay at the next indoor meeting.
4th January A very Happy New Year! Just a few notes which won't wait until the Jan Newsletter at the end of the month.
20th December A reminder the January meeting is our AGM. Please don't be put off by this, the formalities only take 20 minutes! At the time of writing all the current officers are willing to stand for 2022, BUT Geoff Facer would like to step down as Speakers Organiser, so we are seeking a replacement for him. Also Jan Jarrold is also wishing to step down, as Treasurer at the end of 2022. So we are quite desperate to seek replacements for these pivotal roles within the group. Any nominations for ANY post within the group (see contacts), to the chairman a week before the AGM (the night of the organisers meeting- 19/01/2022). An agenda and notes for the AGM will be sent out with the January Newsletter.
15th December Despite the current climate of Covid, 14 members attended the SK58 Annual Christmas meal, the first since 2019. Everyone enjoyed the evening along with an excellent meal, plus quizzes provided Geoff Facer and Paul Tennyson.
A group focused on recording the bird life of a single 10km square between Sheffield, Rotherham & Worksop
content & design by Andy Hirst