Sorby Record

2020 edition

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The Sorby Record is the journal of the Sorby Natural History Society, based in Sheffield. The ‘2020’ edition (published in July 2022 and available here for just £5) is devoted entirely to papers written by myself, Dave Gosney, based largely on surveys I carried out in the Sheffield area during 2016-21 but mostly during the Covid lockdown year of 2021. This special edition has been sub-titled ‘The State of Sheffield’s Birds’

Dave Gosney writes:

‘‘The travel restrictions during the Covid years of 2020 and 2021 meant I was unable to go abroad to do the research for more of my Finding Birds books, so instead I did my birding locally. I undertook to make 1-hour counts in different tetrads in the Sheffield area. Some tetrads were studied every month, some were counted in summer and in winter and some were counted in April, May and June. These results were added to similar counts I’d done elsewhere in the area in 2016 and 2017.

“I was fascinated by what I found or, more accurately, by what I didn’t find, since these counts highlighted how many species in the Sheffield area had either gone completely or had become unexpectedly difficult to find. These papers describe those findings by making comparisons with previous surveys including similar 1-hour counts in 1988-90 and 2008-11 and standard tetrad atlas distribution surveys in 1975-80 and 2003-08.

“Why was I failing to find so many species? Was it just me? Was it because I often spent only one hour in each tetrad? I was given access to the Sheffield Bird Study Group archive and found that, by and large, all the other birders in Sheffield had recently been seeing these species far less often, if at all. In almost all cases, they really have gone or at least become as scarce as I had found. Why? What’s happened?

“This volume also includes an introductory paper which suggests some of the reasons for these declines and losses. Some of them are typical of national trends but some are also ‘self-inflicted’ by land management policies in the Sheffield area.

How many of these species losses are you noticing too? ”

Sample pages

There’s a page in my blog (here) which lists the papers in this volume and provides a sample of the information that is included in each.

Summary maps

For an overall picture of what is happening to each species I also produced abundance maps which have just (October 2022) been published in the next (‘2021’) volume of the Sorby Record. There’s a sample of these maps here. And this volume can also be purchased for just £5 from here.

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Sorby Record 2020 edition

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