Ayrshire branch

Stonechat © Tony Scott

Stonechat © Tony Scott


Evening talks programme


Monkton Community Church & Pioneer Cafe, Main Street, KA9 2RN (click here to view a map of the venue and surrounding area).


The following Tuesday evenings. 7pm for a 7.30pm start:

14 Feb 2017  
Innes Sim – Ring Ouzel conservation

In this talk Innes reviews the general ecology of Ring Ouzels, and discusses why conservationists are concerned about the status of this species. He’ll go on to look at the key stages in the life cycle, and discuss if we know enough about the species to create productive breeding-season habitat. Innes will then examine evidence for a recent recovery in breeding numbers in some areas, and talk about some initial work looking at migration routes and wintering areas. Finally, he’ll discuss how new technology is likely to revolutionise our understanding of the migration ecology of this species.

Innes has been a birder from the age of 12, and pursued his interest in ornithology at Aberdeen University, where he graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology. He then went on to work for RSPB and BTO on contracts of varying length, before joining RSPB’s conservation science department in 1998. Since then he has worked on a variety of projects, including national Black Grouse and Hen Harrier surveys, Red Kite surveys in Spain, repeat upland bird surveys, and the ecology of Buzzards in Shropshire. Since 1998, he has worked on understanding factors influencing the decline of Ring Ouzels in the UK, and went back to Aberdeen University to study for his PhD, where he graduated in July 2013. He continues to carry out scientific research on upland birds for RSPB Scotland.

14 Mar 2017
John Savory – The Carrifran Wildwood story and colonisation by woodland birds there

11 Apr 2017
AGM & Iain Malzer – Bearded Tits on the Tay Reedbeds.


Anne Dick

01292 541981


Branch outings:

For at least twelve years now, the branch has organised their field trips jointly with RSPB Central Ayrshire Local Group and outdoor leader Jim Thomson. There are two coach trips organised annually- one in winter and one in late spring. Members attending our monthly outings will have the benefit of an experienced observer who will be on hand to help with some of the trickier aspects of field identification.

21/01/17         Maidens and Culzean
Meet at 10.30 hrs at Maidens car park (toilets).  Whole day birding trip until c. 15.30. Cafe at Culzean or bring a picnic lunch.

18/02/17         Greenan and Doonfoot
Meet at 10.00 hrs at Greenan Castle car park. Trip lasts until 12.00 hrs.

18/03/17         Ken Dee RSPB Reserve
Meet at New Galloway High Street (toilets) at 10.30 hrs. On to Ken Dee Reserve for around 11.00 Whole day birding trip until c. 16.00 please bring a picnic lunch.

22/04/17         Dumfries House
Meet at 10.00 hrs at Dumfries House car park. Whole day birding trip until c. 15.30. cafe on site or bring a picnic lunch.

May 17           Northern Ireland – weekend trip by coach – Details TBA
Meet at 07.30 hrs at Dodd’s garage


For outings and to arrange car share contact Jim Thomson 01292 571889 (*note new number) or Anne Dick 01292 541981. For coach trips please contact Tony Scott on 01292 281085 or email da.scott@tiscali.co.uk .


About the branch

Branch committee


Anne Dick, Rowanmyle House, Tarbolton, Mauchline, KA5 5LU, Tel 01292 541981

Chair and representative of the branch on SOC Council:

David Rackham

Vice-chair/minutes secretary:

Pat Gibbs


Ian Clark

Committee members:

John Rogers and as below:

Environmental Advisor:

Roger Hissett

Newsletter Editor (The Stonechat)/ Trips organiser:

Tony Scott

Indoor meetings organiser:

Position vacant

Outdoor meetings organiser:

Jim Thomson

Hon chair/President:

Norman Lawrie

Ayrshire recorder:

Fraser Simpson

Assistant Ayrshire recorder:

Angus Hogg


Useful information:

The Stonechat

Click here to download the latest issue (Autumn 2016) of the branches’ newsletter, The Stonechat, which is produced three times a year. If you would like to be added to the electronic mailing list please contact Tony Scott.

Birdwatching in Ayrshire

SOC Ayrshire branch sponsors a local website, www.ayrshire-birding.org.uk, which contains a wealth of information about birdwatching in Ayrshire as well as information on the branch. There is also a Yahoo Group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ayrshirebirding/info called Ayrshire Bird News which shares news of both common and rare birds. This forum also welcomes discussion on the identification of birds in Ayrshire and other relevant birding issues plus other pertinent wildlife, conservation issues and events.

Bird recording in this area

Visit the Ayrshire recording area page for details of the latest bird report, back issues, species considered locally and for Local Recorder contact information.

‘Ayrshire Birders Abroad’

These most popular holidays have taken SOC and RSPB members, as well as interested local birders, to a wide variety of places both in Europe and further afield. Please get in touch with Tony Scott as above, if you would like to receive notifications of these trips.

Young Birders CTA

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Download the training course application form - PDF
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