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Book Review by Phil Lawson

 While out walking from Redmires along a footpath over the moors, I got talking to another birdwatcher on the subject of grouse. He asked me if I'd read Mark Avery's book 'Inglorious' about the conflict between birds of prey and grouse shooting. He mentioned how gamekeepers shoot brown hares because they carry a tick that could spread to grouse.

Although I was familiar with the problems of raptor persecution, I had not heard of this before. He recommended I read the book so I ordered it from the library. I picked it up on Wednesday lunchtime, thinking it could be a dull read. How wrong I was! I could not put it down and had read it by Friday teatime.

The book tells the story of the battles between bird lovers and grouse shooting over the past 40 years or so. It puts forward a strong case for banning driven grouse shooting as the only answer to improving the lot of upland birds of prey. The book refers to two cases on our patch of the successful prosecution of keepers. I was a witness in court alongside the RSPB and other members of our group for one of these cases. That was 15 years ago now and nothing has changed. I began to think just how many birds of prey have died in the Dark Peak during this time.

'Inglorious: Conflict in the Uplands' is a highly informative and compelling read. I recommend you all read it and then make up your own mind as to the best way forward.


'The Birds of Derbyshire'

This book contains 376 pages with 319 species accounts and breeding bird distribution maps.

To order your copy at £45 plus postage email or phone the publisher. See details here


'Breeding Birds of the Sheffield Area'

Read details of Sheffield Bird Study Group's critically acclaimed new Breeding Atlas here

Get your copy here or email membership@sbsg.org



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Our 2015 Annual Report - It's here!
Download our brand new 2015 annual ringing report here Also available are our archived reports here





Picture of the Week
The picture of the week welcomes contributions. Click on the link below to view the latest picture and previous pictures click here


Whooper Swan Rescue, April-May 2016

Back in April, I was contacted in my capacity as founder of Yorkshire Swan Rescue, regarding a flock of Whooper Swans at Middleton Moor in the Derbyshire Peak District. By the time I was informed of the situation at Middleton, considerable concern was mounting for the 15 or so Whooper Swans which had been on the site for some weeks on their attempt at migration.

Witnesses reported dead and dying swans at a lagoon used in a mining process for Fluorspa. One of the elements found within this lagoon is lead; a highly toxic metal which is fatal to birds if ingested.

Tragically, several dead birds were observed were upon my first visit with a further nine sick and lethargic swans remaining, all displaying the classic symptoms of lead poisoning read more...

Latest Updates

Main site - 18th Oct 2016 / Login - 18th Oct 2016

Ringing Totals and Recoveries - July's results available on Info page

New Group members - 7th Oct - See login for details of forthcoming AGM in November.

Latest ringing news - 18th Oct - A busy few days for the Group! In the last 10 days George has caught 100 Redwings and 10 Fieldfares. Over the weekend Steve's team's catch included 93 Redwings, 11 Goldcrests, 4 Bramblings, 7 Greenfinches and 7 Lesser Redpolls. Geoff was rained off today having caught 11 Redwings, 7 Lesser Redpolls and 3 Fieldfares. Elsewhere Eleanor and team caught 37 birds including 16 Redwings before being rained off. Yesterday Ray, David and team caught 96 birds including 15 Redwings, 13 Goldcrests, 28 Blue Tits and 4 Goldfinches. This week Chris caught 28 birds including 14 Tree Sparrows and 3 Goldfinches.

In the News (updated 18th Oct)
Our news section has links to items in the press or the wider ornithological community. Take a look at some current articles below, none of which is intended to represent the views of SBRG.

New Croatian 'maiden with the seagull' more here To be a species or not to be a species more here Effects of nest characteristics on the reproductive performance in Blue Tits and Great Tits more here

Other stories ... The State of Nature Report 2016 more here UK's most venomous spider found in Notts more here Pesticide manufacturers' own tests reveal serious harm to honeybees more here Our group chairman Ray Knock ringed a Nightingale in The Gambia in January and it's turned out to be the first sub-Saharan ringed Nightingale to be recaught in the UK. Read more here New Environment Secretary's countryside stance more here Should scientists take selfies? more here Does the Semper's Warbler still exist? more here Fascinating flight of frigatebirds more here Amazing animation of swift migration from Beijing to South Africa more here


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Ringing blogs and photography websites of our group members

David Atkinson

Mike Price

Dan Sidley

Peter Stoppard

Ashley Watson


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