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Latest News/ Information from SK58
Updated 25 February, 2019


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est. 1992

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News Archive

16/12/08 We've heard that Brian Loud at Oldcotes, who takes in injured birds has had x3 captive Swallows fly off. If anyone sees very unseasonable Swallows in Oldcotes or the surrounding area, can they let Brian know on 01909 732449

15/12/08 The group enjoyed it's now traditional Christmas Meal on Friday night. This year, as we did last year, 20+ members enjoyed the delights of the Zara's Indian restaurant in Tickhill. The Christmas Quiz was also drawn, this won by Tony & Jenny Drew, who won a selection of Birding DVD's generously provided by well known firm BirdGuides.

A meeting was also held on Saturday to kick start the groups video production projects. Given the expensive repairs of late, which the group has had to pay for, we thought we'd maximise the use of the equipment. Six group members met and decided to continue videoing the areas birds and habitats, as well as film the changes at NAPT. We also hope to enter a bid for more lottery money to purchase additional video equipment, as well as PA equipment for indoor meetings. We are also on the look out for a Fund Raising Officer, to tap into national/ local and private funding to help with group costs.

27/11/08 Time to celebrate as the SK58 Birders database of records cracked the 100,000 record today! Currently we have 102027 records entered!! with several more thousand still to be entered. The database was started in 1996, improving on the paper records system held between 1992 (when the group began) & 1996. So a BIG THANK YOU to all who have, and continue to submit records to SK58. They are an enormously valuable resource!!!

30/10/08 Allan & Susan Parker have had a clear-out and have kindly donated a lot of publications to the group. These are available to anyone, providing they make a donation to the group. Click here For Sale to take you to our For Sale page.

29/10/08 Following on from the successful improvements at NAPT, work has been given the go ahead to further contour and improve the wader scrape and reveal more shale, as well as level off areas, plus repair the banking in the NE corner. Work commenced on Tuesday for 3 days. Once the scrape dries out in the spring, we hope to dig out the scrape in the final phase to make slightly deeper, hold more water and therefore not dry up in the summer.

Phase 3 at NAPT photo © Geoff Facer.

25/09/08 Following the success of our quiz last year, drawn at our Christmas do in 2007, Allan & Susan Parker have produced a similar quiz with 21 carefully cropped pictures of birds, instead of where in the square as last year. Click on the link (below) to view/ download the quiz sheet. Entries cost £1 per sheet, and as per usual BirdGuides Ltd will donate a prize or two. Completed entries to Geoff Facer at the November meeting, on the night of the 2008 do on December 12th. Quiz of the Year 2008 Quiz of the Year 2008

18/09/08 It's been a while since we last applied to the National Lottery for funding, so thought we'd have another go following our successful bids in the past. Is there anything you'd like the group to bid for? If so let anyone of the group organisers know. At our Organisers Meeting suggestions included replacing our Video Camera with a newer HD 16:9 model. Favourites were materials for building nest boxes, a replacement laptop for our ancient one, for use with the data projector, and top of the list a PA system, for indoor meetings/ guest speakers, to include a radio mike, amp and speakers.

29/08/08 A recent copy of the Dinnington Guardian contained a piece about the group, and recent speaker and member Jan Jarrold, click here , or go to the Gallery Page and Press Clippings link.

22/08/08 In the current issue of Yorkshire Birding magazine, there is an account of the Woodchat Shrike, along Rackford Lane, N. Anston found by Dave Thornley on 5th May.

05/08/08 The hide at NAPT will now be open & wardened every Saturday morning between 08:00 and 11:00, until the end of September. Come along and find out more about local birds, the site and SK58.

29/07/08 The anti-climb paint has been applied to the roof/ gutters of the hide, to keep people from climbing on the hide. We have some paint but it's only preservative, we hope the Forestry Commission will swap this for flame retardant paint.

21/07/08 We had another meeting with the Forestry Commission to develop the nature reserve site even further. The main points for discussion included the following. Although money is tight, it was felt for not a significant outlay, the area could be improved for birds.

  • Renew the anti-climb paint on the hide (gone dry & ineffective)
  • Repaint the flame retardent paint on the hide (flaking off)
  • Dig out the south side of the scrape, so it holds water like the east side (couldn't get access last year due to wet weather).
  • Remove excess grass growth from around scrape
  • Scrape back undergrowth to expose more shale for nesting waders
  • Erection of viewing screens by hide, for when hide is locked
  • Remove vegetation from islands
  • Replace damaged/ missing no access signs around scrape

We've also put up temporary fencing by the hide to dissuade people from wandering around the scrape-this is wildlife only area. The new fencing means the scrape can still be viewed fully when the hide is locked.

We have also implemented a rota so the hide is open to all on Saturday mornings.

In the next edition of the excellent Yorkshire Birding magazine, will be an account of the Woodchat Shrike, which was found and observed by many on 5th May.

10/06/08 Following many emails and phone calls from within and beyond SK58 Birders, the Forestry Commission have now erected a gate to dissuade people from wandering in front of the hide, although currently this gate isn't attached to anything! People can still view from the platform, by standing beyond the gate and behind some temporary willow screening. The FC have promised viewing panels for people to watch from, without disturbing the birds. The major gap along the slope path has also been fenced off so people cannot wander down from the slope on to the scrape, as many had done, despite the numerous signs-some of which have now strangely disappeared. We are slowly getting there-the message seems to filter through that the scrape is for wildlife, you can ride your bike, walk your dog along the miles of paths, and other ponds without interfering with the nature reserve!

20/05/08 At 18:00 on the 16th May Mick Clay & Andy Hirst undertook a 24hr sponsored bird race within SK58 to record as many species as possible within the 24 hour period, to raise group funds. The weather was far from ideal, it was grey, overcast, cool with drizzle for much of the night. Starting at Dinnington Marsh we quickly picked off the common birds, within an hour the list was up to 29 species. On to NAPT and Reed Warbler & Turtle Dove were added, and by 20:00 were up to 41 species. These included Redshank with young, Snipe and Little Owl at Common Road. As it began to get dark a Barn Owl site failed to produce said owl, but a hunting Long-eared Owl made up for this, with a further bird seen by the road at an unexpected site within the square. By 21:00 we had crept to 45 species. The weather deteriorated and meant we dipped on Woodcock! Resigned to the rain we packed in at 22:30 on 47 species.

The 17th was dry, but in the dark of 04:30 we couldn't tell if it was cloudy. A Barn Owl was quickly ticked off and then off to Kings Wood for a somewhat subdued dawn chorus in the misty grey morning. Hawfinch was easily 'ticked' and the hour and half spent wandering around was partially worthwhile. By 06:00 we were up to 55 species. Having cleaned up on most of the common passerines the tick rate began to fall. By 07:00 we had reached 61 species, by way of Roche Abbey and the NW corner of SK58, including Marsh Tit, Buzzard & Grey Wagtail. Moving to the lower half of SK58 we ticked Corn Bunting and Tree Sparrow at Loscar and a walk along the Chesterfield Canal at Turnerwood added Mute Swan & Garden Warbler. 10:00 and 72 species. Along the eastern edge of SK58 we concentrated on the bodies of water picking up wildfowl, as these were not time dependent unlike the passerines which are more active in the morning. By 12:00 we had visited Carlton Lake, Brown Bailey's & Langold Lake and climbed to 81 species. Clearly the record of 92 species was not to be broken, the cool grey (although improving, but cold) weather and complete lack of any passage meant we would struggle for species. A visit to Firbeck in search of Little Grebe failed to produce any but at 14:00 a f Honey Buzzard drifted NE over us, definitely the bird of the race and species no 83. At 14:18 we finally ticked Sparrowhawk over Kings Wood. Attempting to pick off individual species now we headed for Thurcroft pit Top for Ringed Plover, which we failed on, but did have a pair of Shelduck, which were equally as good. A final visit to Brown Bailey's at 16:30 produced our final species, a Pochard, species number 86. The remaining hour was spent at NAPT, hoping for a passage bird. So completely knackered, having walked miles to almost every site of note within SK58, Mick & Andy packed in, went home for a soak in the bath and a hot meal. Reflecting-we missed out on some stuff which was easily seen 5 years ago when the record was set. Little Grebe-all shot out along the Chesterfield Canal, Woodcock-weather nobbled us there. Spotted Flycatcher-not in yet? Lesser Spotted Woodpecker-just about disappeared from SK58, Quail-maybe not in yet? Kingfisher-certainly reduced in number since 2003. Whinchat-none on passage, now very scarce. Grasshopper Warbler-where are they now? Roll on 2009-hopefully more teams will take part, as it's really good fun and you do see some good birds, and we raise money for the group, probably about £100 this year-go on give it a go.

28/04/08 Just a reminder that subs are due this month. Please see Lyn Facer to renew. Note new rates, see "Join Us" page. We've amended the date of the Sponsored Birdwatch. It was a 24 hour period between 9th-11th May, it's now a week later-16th-18th. Do please sponsor one of the team members. All funds go towards the ever increasing costs of running our very successful group. Guest speakers are becoming more expensive, in respect of rising fuel costs. The group also take out hefty insurance to cover our equipment, and public liability for our events.

20/03/08 Sponsored Birdwatch We've resurrected the annual bird race, to help raise group funds. Over a single 24 hour period between Friday 9th & Sunday 11th May, teams of up to 4 birders will find as many species as they can within the square. Why not form your own team, join a team, or at least sponsor a team member. See Mick or Andy for details.

17/03/08 The organisers are running a photographic competition this year. The competition is open to all current SK58 members. There will be several categories, including best bird & landscape photo's within SK58, best bird & landscape photo outside SK58, and an overall winner. Tetrad Atlas Survey 2008 Photo Competition.

25/02/08 This year is Tetrad Atlas Survey year-in a nutshell SK58 is divided into 2km x 2km squares (Tetrads) and on 2x 1 hour visits we record all the adult birds. Click here for the Tetrad Atlas page. If you took part in 2006 we'd be grateful if you could cover the same squares again this year, for consistent coverage. After recording the areas birds, this is the most important thing the group does. This is our eighth complete survey of the square, and has produced some very interesting data, as highlighted by ex chairman Rob Hardcastle, at his talk last summer.

28/01/08 Following the heavy rains, the NW bank of NAPT scrape had breached. Mick Clay, Den Jarrold & Andy Hirst, over the weekend and armed with spades, laid a pipe to control the excess water, and filled in the channel, repairing the bank.

23/01/08 NAPT has really filled up following very heavy rainfall. So much so, that it's broken through the bank on the NW corner, which will need remedial work this weekend. Thanks to Brian Chambers for the images.

NAPT 23/01/0823/01/08




NAPT 19/11/07 19/11/07




NAPT 31/10/07 30/10/07

05/01/08 The January meeting is the AGM for SK58-we propose to increase subs (see 'Join us' page for rates), and vote on new volunteers to assist with publicity. Any help with any aspect of running the group is always welcome. Any nominations for the Organisers Committee to Mick Clay before the AGM. At this point in time all current incumbents are standing for re-election.

31/12/07 HAPPY NEW YEAR!! to all!!

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

content & design by Andy Hirst