Central Scotland

Central Scotland branch



Evening talks programme

Meetings talk place in Bridge of Allan, on the doorstep of the University of Stirling and students are always very welcome to attend!


The Allan Centre, Fountain Road, Bridge of Allan, FK9 4AT (click here to view a map of the venue and surrounding area).


On the following Thursdays at 7.30pm: 

03 Nov 2016        
Ian Poxton – Merlins in the Lammermuir Hills 1984-2014: How birds and fieldworkers get by on heavily-keepered grouse moors!

Our Merlin study in the Lammermuir Hills began in 1984 and apart from 2001 (Foot and Mouth Disease year) continued until 2014. At the beginning of 2015 it came to an abrupt and unexpected end due to withdrawal of cooperation by some of the landowners and their gamekeepers as a result of a perceived criticism of some of their (illegal?) practices. The moorland management practices were becoming so intense and damaging to upland biodiversity, together with a continuing decline in breeding Merlins, that we had no alternative but to end our study. The results of the 30-year project will be presented in a general manner, with just a little scientific treatment. The conclusions will present a bleak outlook for our uplands that are currently subjected to intense management for driven grouse shooting unless some major changes are made…”

Ian is Professor Emeritus of Microbial Infection and Immunity at the University of Edinburgh. He has been an active amateur ornithologist/worldwide birder for over 40 years, as well as a ringer and member of the Lothian & Borders branch of the Scottish Raptor Study Group and Lothian Ringing Group, specialising in Merlins and more recently, Hen Harriers. Ian previously carried out a long-term study of ring ouzels in SE Scotland and continues to get involved in ringing seabirds on islands in Firth of Forth, together with general ringing of passerines.

01 Dec 2016
Amy Challis – Monitoring Scottish raptors

05 Jan 2017
To be announced

02 Feb 2017
Claire Smith – Auk ringing on the Shiant Islands

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


Neil Bielby

01786 823 830


Branch outings

Sun 27 Nov 2016        
Kinneil and Skinflats for waders, wildfowl and gulls with BTO’s Ben Darvill. Meet at Asda in Grangemouth at 10am. Email ben.darvill@bto.org for further information and to confirm attendance

Sat 4 Feb 2017             
Linlithgow Loch and Blackness,  including duck and wader ID. A perfect introduction for beginners and a nice range of species for all abilities

Sat 6 May 2017
Dollar Glen with NTS Ranger Callum McNeill-Ritchie. Come and explore the hidden delights of Dollar Glen with woodland birds singing and plants coming to life


Eilidh McNab (Tel: 07738851560 or email eilidh.mcnab@gmail.com)



About the branch

Branch committee

Secretary and Treasurer

Neil Bielby, 56 Ochiltree, Dunblane, FK15 0DF, 01786 823 830

Chair and representative of the branch on SOC Council:

Roger Gooch, 01259 742326


John Crook

Committee member:

Ken Wilkinson, Eilidh McNab

Upper Forth recorder:

Chris Pendlebury


Useful information:

Birdwatching in the area

Click here for a guide to Birdwatching the Upper Forth

Local social media sites

Facebook: www.facebook.com/UpperForthBirds
Twitter: @UpperForthBirds

The Birds of Clackmannanshire

For the first time ever, the birdlife of Clackmannanshire has been systematically recorded to produce an ornithological atlas for the County. Click here to read more about it.

Bird recording

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

Young Birders CTA

Download the young Birder Application form - Word Doc
Download the training course application form - PDF
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