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"View From The Pit Top"- Latest news from SK58 Birders
Updated 27 June, 2020

 

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© SK58 Birders 2020

est. 1992

website est. 1996

 

News Archive

! NEW ! 26/06/2020 Marsh Harrier becomes the 130th species recorded in the square this year- confirming what an excellent spring and summer we've had so far. It's open to conjecture whether this is down to more members birding locally because of the Covid 19 restrictions. More eyes locally means more birds are being picked up, or has it been a much better spring? If the former, it makes you think what gets missed with less local effort? The CV19 pandemic has generated much debate about climate change and carbon footprints in general. With greatly reduced traffic on the ground and in the skies above, the overall quality of air and carbon levels have risen and fallen respectively. There's certainly been debate on the ethics of long distance birding, whether it be in the UK (Twitching) or overseas. Certainly from an SK58 point of view, the local restrictions to local journeys has paid dividends and the "patch birding" that many have undertaken for decades, could be the new norm. Certainly the rewards of local birding are far greater than a twitch with a much lower carbon footprint.

Telescope Kit For Sale- Jan and Dan Jarrold have a scope set up for sale.

 

  • All equipment in top condition stored in a cool dry drawer and hardly used.
  • Cullmann 2703 Clamp Magic- as shown on the box, don't have a carrier for it though.
  • Olivon T-80 Telescope- Fog & Waterproof, comes in a black shoulder carrier bag.
  • Olivon TR-159M-11 Tripod- comes in a black shoulder carrier bag.
  • Have also got a Digital Camera Holder inc. 42mm ring- still in it's plastic bag & box to go with the 'scope.

    Please email Den & Jan directly if interested and for prices: janandden.jarrold@care4free.net

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.

* Please write in sentences- helps to copy and paste records to the web.
* Please capitalise bird names and places- so Great Tit not great tit, Langold Lake not langold lake.
* Please don't abbreviate bird names or places- we've only have to re-write them in full.
* Please check hyphens- some names are and some aren't hyphened- Great Crested Grebe, not Great-crested Grebe, also the name after a hyphen is lower case e.g. Lesser Black-backed Gull, not Lesser Black-Backed Gull. To check the spelling/ hyphenation, all bird names recorded in SK58 can be found on the Species List page.
* Please send emails in a single paragraphs for each day- when emailing, just write in a single paragraph for each days records, don't try to format text, it all gets lost in translation when added to the website and can cause errors in formatting on the web.
* Please include counts or estimates- 'Some' or 'many' isn't something I can log in a database. Can these counts go at the front of the record, e.g. 7 Tufted Duck, not Tufted Duck 7.

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.

  • Bird News Archive- an archive of the Latest News page going back to 2001
  • News Archive- an archive of all the news items going back to 2001
  • Species List- a list of all the birds recorded since the groups inception
  • Species Per Year- going back to 1996
  • Rare Bird Descriptions- an archive of the descriptions accepted of rarities within SK58
  • Records & Species Per Year- a list of the number of species and number of records received since 1996
  • Gallery- an archive of varying images, from our successful photo competition winners, to trip reports and press clippings
  • Plus lots more! so why not delve into the website and discover a few hidden gems, you may find out something about the local area, the group, or birds you didn't now before. Happy browsing!

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. 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 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.

  • APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
  • 2019 MINUTES - Proposed & seconded
  • CHAIRMAN'S REPORT
  • SECRETARYS REPORT- Position Vacant in 2019
  • TREASURERS REPORT
  • SPEAKER'S ORGANISER
  • MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY
  • CONSERVATION OFFICER- Position Vacant in 2018
  • RECORDER'S REPORT
  • ELECTION OF OFFICERS All incumbents willing to stand for a further year
  • NOMINATIONS RECEIVED
  • PROPOSED INCREASE IN SUBSCRIPTIONS TO £15 (individual), £20 (family) & £10 (concession)
  • ANY OTHER BUSINESS

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