© SK58 Birders 2020
website est. 1996
! NEW ! 17/11/2020 With the long winter nights ahead of us, I know, depressing isn't it. One thing we can do is look at developing the website, as it too dark to go birding after work. There is already a lot of information there, from site information to records and group information. Is there anything you'd like to see on the website or laid out differently? Do let our recorder know, your suggestion or idea maybe something we can incorporate as we develop the website over the winter. Don't be afraid, any suggestions welcome.
05/11/2020 Thurcroft Pit Top- Mick Clay visited recently and emailed the following. "They have also filled in more land to the north west and are putting up fencing on the south side, which could prevent access to the site of the existing pit top unless you turn left by the horse paddocks when you first enter the site from the road. They have also cut most of the grass down." The land is designated to be processed, so nothing to be done. Looks like we are losing another once great site.
02/11/2020 Following on from the governments national lockdown announcement, we've reluctantly cancelled our planned November walks. However at this time, subject to any changes to the month long lockdown, our December walks are still going a head. Keep up to date on our News & Events pages. If you have any questions or queries, then please contact any one of the group organisers.
27/10/2020 The organisers held a video meeting last week. We decided to review our indoor meetings later in the year, with the possibility of holding an online AGM in January. However, we have received positive feedback in relation to running our walks, so after a review, weve planned walks to the year end- subject to any changing Covid restrictions.
17/10/2020 As we submit group information to the "Birdwatchers Yearbook" (BYB), we are given a discount on the purchase price. Normally it's £19, and is a wealth of articles, reserves information,guides, groups, tables and logs, etc... in effect the 'Birders Bible. Its worth £19, but our contributors discount means as members we can purchase this useful tome for just £16 post free. If any member would like a copy, then let Andy Hirst know by the end of November and we'll send in a bulk order.
14/10/2020 Paul, our Chairperson, received an interesting letter from our local MP recently...
Letter of support from Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford
28/09/2020 Following a trip to Spurn last week, Geoff & Lyn Facer sent in a picture of the plaque, on the memorial bench in memory of the late "Big Phil" Ridsdale, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
Plaque in memory of Big Phil Ridsdale @ Spurn Observatory © Geoff & Lyn Facer
26/09/2020 Perhaps the most bizarre record we received! A Manx Shearwater picked up in Woodsetts in the early hours by a milkman on the 8th September- this coming to us via Twitter & Facebook. An amazing record of a Manx Shearwater sat in the middle of the road between Dinnington & Woodsetts, picked up by an early morning milkman at around 0200. We believe it was taken into care and to the Butterfly House at Anston, before being taken by the RSPCA in Merseyside. An amazing first for SK58.
Manx Shearwater @ in care per Gareth Picton & Alfie Bloor
So what will the 200th SK58 species be? Big question, as we stand on the brink of 200 species. Suggestions include Cattle Egret, Spoonbill and Cetti's Warbler, but there's always the unexpected(see above)!
29/08/2020 The regular monthly Monday walk around Langold Lake has changed from Monday 14th September to Tuesday 15th September.
21/08/2020 On Wednesday night the group organisers held a video conference call to discuss how we proceed with group activities until the year end and beyond. Given that all group activities had been cancelled from initial lockdown due to CV19 in March- through to September. It was discussed and agreed as follows:
18/08/2020 At the end of March we had to convey the tragic news that member Philip Ridsdale had passed away. To commemorate"Big Phil's" love of all things natural history and to celebrate his life, a memorial bench constructed by Spurn regulars, will be unveiled at his beloved, almost second home of Spurn, at the observatory. This will take place on Saturday 12th September at 1700. Anyone who knew Phil and wishes to go along will be very welcome.
28/07/2020 To say it's been a challenging year so far, is a bit of an understatement. As I write, we appear to be over the worst and dare I say, looking forward to an excellent, unhindered autumn migration given the majority of the spring migration was under lockdown. SK58 Birders aimed to be back up and running by the end of September, although current regulations still dictate no gatherings of greater than six people and social distancing, so a conversation in the near future needs to take place amongst the organisers, to decide if we shelve everything until the New Year and start subscriptions/ meetings from 1st January 2021. As soon as this discussion has taken place, we'll advise everyone via the website and the next newsletter.
If you care
to share your thoughts on the matter, then please do email email@example.com
and I'll disseminate any responses to the other organisers prior
to any meeting.
20/07/2020 We heard from Alfie Bloor that someone has been and removed the canes and covers from the trees planted at NAPT. This is quite disheartening, given the amount of effort it takes to plant them. We hope the trees themselves are fine and undamaged. I'm sure Alfie and others will be up there securing the canes and covers to protect the saplings from the increasing rabbit population.
Canes removed @ NAPT © Alfie Bloor
08/07/2020 There's a new video on YouTube showing the progression of work at Firbeck Hall- It's a major development! click here to view.
07/07/2020 Camera/ Laptop Bag For Sale- Jan and Dan Jarrold have a Lowepro Bag for sale
a hardly used Lowepro Tropolis 1200 17" Laptop/Camera
Equipment Shoulder Bag Case, dimensions 17" Wide, 13"
High + handle so overall 15.5", 6.5" Deep. Please email
Den & Jan directly if interested and for prices: firstname.lastname@example.org
19/05/2020 Following the receipt, review and acceptance, Common Scoter was added to the official SK58 list. This takes the tally to 198. I wonder what what the 200th species will be and when? Maybe a sweepstake to raise funds for the group?
12/05/2020 During the current CV19 pandemic, many of you have been birding locally whilst exercising daily, which is really great. As a result, we've been receiving loads of records, which is terrific. It looks like being one of the best springs for many, many years. Well done, keep it up!!
With the increased number of records, the work involved in updating the database and website has also increased substantially. It can take one- three hours a day to translate/ correct/ grammatically correct the records we receive. It would be immensely helpful if you could take a look at Latest page on the website and see the 'house style'. If you could follow this style and the few pointers below; this will help speed up the inputting & processing at my end.
write in sentences- helps to copy and paste records to the web.
This all may
seem picky and minor detail corrections, and we're definitely not
moaning at anyone. At the end of the day we'd rather receive records
in any format, than not receive them, but to convert the emails
and notes we receive into the text you see on the web into the house
style can take quite bit of time, particularly when we receive so
many records a day, sometimes approaching a hundred, especially
at weekends. Many thanks for your continued support and do please
keep going out birding and sending in your records.
04/05/2020 We received some terrible news, the regularly nesting pair of Mute Swan at Turnerwood on the Chesterfield Canal, had been shot just before the weekend, as they sat incubating eggs. The female was shot dead and the male severely injured. Below, details taken from Facebook, posted by a resident at Turnerwood.
"1 May at 14:24 It is with great sadness that I have got to write this post but last night someone has shot and killed Hillary our resident swan at Turnerwood and they also shot her mate Stocky who at this moment is poorly. He has been taken to the Swan and Wildlife Rescue to see if he can be saved. There was also three dead male Mallards that had been shot as well. I am truly heartbroken there are some seriously disturbed people about that would do such a shocking thing to these beautiful swans ???? if anyone has any information please PM me police have been informed."
Update: "Would like to update everyone; Stocky has had a good rest and has now managed to stand and have something to eat. The reward as to who shot and killed his soul mate Hillary has now gone up to£3500. Please do the decent thing and msg me with information who did this heartbreaking thing to this beautiful pair of swans not forgetting the four Mallards ??"
Stocky, the male Mute Swan, recovering after being shot (image via Facebook)
28/04/2020 Have you heard of the website https://what3words.com/? 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 completed 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.
18/04/2020 The SK58 Birders website has been up and running for 24 years now, although the face of it may have changed, a lot of the content hasn't. There's a News page and of course there's the Latest page with all the current bird news. But there's a whole archive of news and information, some of it going back to when the website began back in 1996. Below some pages you may not know about, but worth a look.
17/04/2020 Just because we're in lockdown, it doesn't mean you have to miss out on bird news and the latest developments within SK58. We have several active members who are out most days and sending in their records, so do keep checking the website as it's updated most days. We also have an SK58 Bird News Service, so if you have a smart phone, iPhone or Android, we can add you to the group, so you receive instant bird news within SK58. Just download the WhatsApp app, and pass your mobile number to our recorder so he can add you.
12/04/2020 We've taken the difficult decision to postpone this years Tetrad Atlas Survey. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in line with the ongoing lockdown protocol it wouldn't be safe or practical to commence the survey this year. Although many of you can cover the Tetrads as part of your permitted daily exercise, the more outlying Tetrads would involve non-essential car trips. So rather than have random, hit and miss coverage, it seems more logical to postpone until 2021. This in line with British Trust for Ornithology, who have also cancelled their surveys this year. My thanks to all those who have agreed to cover one or more of the 25 Tetrads, I hope you'll be able to cover them in 2021. I'm sure we'll come back bigger, better & stronger next year- Stay safe one and all.
10/04/2020 Unfortunately the trees several group members planted recently have suffered slightly. Someone has removed and dumped all the plastic tree protectors & supporting canes, so reports Alfie Bloor. Hopefully they can be replaced before the Rabbits nibble the saplings.
Tree Protectors & Canes uprooted @ NAPT © Alfie Bloor
09/04/2020 Just a reminder that any records submitted, should come from permitted exercise or from your garden.
29/03/2020 I was Informed late last night that Philip Ridsdale had died. Id 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
17/03/2020 CORONA VIRUS- In response to, and in line with government guidelines we have taken the following steps:
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 https://what3words.com/? 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.
AGENDA OF THE SK58 BIRDERS 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.
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