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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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Siberian Chiffchaff




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 - 19th Jan 2017 / Login - 23rd Jan 2017

New! Annual Ringing Totals - Our 2016 ringing totals are just in! The Group ringed over 20,000 new birds in 2016. See Info page for download of totals and recent recoveries.

Brand New Website - We have a new website which is due for imminent launch. Watch this space for more!

Members - See login for important message from our Group Ringing Secretary

New! Latest ringing news - 23rd Jan - At the weekend Ray and team caught 83 birds including 5 Goldfinches, 2 Nuthatches, 2 Great spotted Woodpeckers and 2 redpolls; Eleanor and team caught 59 birds in a garden ringing session. These included 23 Blue Tits (oldest known birds ringed Dec 2013), Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Tree Sparrows; David A caught 20 birds including a Nuthatch and 2 Treecreepers. This week Chris has caught 50 birds including 15 Long-tailed Tits and a Marsh Tit. Geoff has caught 38 birds including 4 Bramblings, 2 Goldcrests and a Yellowhammer. Jack has caught 70 birds including 16 Siskins and a Marsh Tit ringed as an adult in June 2013. Early last week Geoff caught 76 birds including 57 Coal Tits.

New! In the News (updated 19th Jan)
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.

Hope is the thing with feathers ... more here Planning permission granted for new £5m Sherwood Forest visitor centre more here Artificial feathers save 6000 macaws more here UK Beached Bird Report 2016 more here Does the stress response predict ability of wild birds to adjust to short-term captivity? more here Complex reasons for decline of Egyptian vultures more here Do we have a future? Starlings say no more here

Other stories ... Sustained decline of Cyprus Warbler more here Breeding success with nest boxes for Roseate Terns more here How many kinds of birds are there and why does it matter? more here To be a species or not to be a species more here The State of Nature Report 2016 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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