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).


The following Thursdays at 7.30pm.

05 Feb 2015        “Shotguns & Short-toed Eagles: Birding on the island of Malta”, with Ian Thomson, Head of Investigations, RSPB Scotland

Malta is a well-known, very popular holiday destination, with a fascinating cultural and historical background. However, it is also notorious for the killings of protected birds, particularly during migration periods. Can it be a holiday destination for birders in a similar way to other Mediterranean islands? This talk discusses the island’s history, politics, birdlife and the problem of illegal hunting as well as taking a look to the future….

Originally from Aberdeen, Ian has an honours degree in Ecology from Edinburgh University. Following this he worked on a variety of contracts, including with the then Nature Conservancy Council for Scotland and RSPB among others, before becoming warden at Aberlady Bay in East Lothian, a position he enjoyed for almost 15 years. Ian joined the RSPB Scotland Investigations team in 2006, and has been head of that unit for three years. He is a fanatical birder and a keen wildlife photographer. Ian has been a member of the SOC since the late 1970’s, including a spell as chair of the Lothian Branch and is the current SOC Vice President.


05 Mar 2015        “Our birds in Africa”, with Will Cresswell, Professor of Biology, St Andrews University

One third of European birds winter in Africa and many of these species are declining: what is happening to them in Africa? Where do they go, what habitats do they use and why are they declining when everything we know about them suggests they are pre-adapted to changing conditions? Will will describe how we are answering these questions with field studies in Africa and by tagging and following birds on migration. 

Will Cresswell has been birding for the last 35 years. Early birding was in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk watching stone curlews, hobbies and disappearing red-backed shrikes. Will attended Cambridge University to gain a zoology degree and then Edinburgh University for his PhD on the hunting behaviour of raptors and the escape behaviour of their prey. He has carried out ornithological research based at Glasgow, Oxford and now St Andrews University for the last 25 years. He moved to St Andrews University in 2003 where he is Professor of Biology. He has been researching what determines the density and distribution of Palearctic migrants in West Africa since 1994. Will has 3 lists – his world list, his Crail list and his garden list; 2,257; 213 and 125 respectively, but all are work in progress.


Neil Bielby

01786 823 830


Branch outings


Neil Bielby

(No outings planned.)


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:

Philip May, Ken Wilkinson

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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