Clyde Branch

© Ian Fulton

Taiga Bean Geese © Ian Fulton


Appeal for volunteers to help count Slavonian Grebe and Red-throated Diver on the Clyde Estuary

The status of many birds on the Clyde estuary has changed since the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) began as the Birds of Estuaries Enquiry (BoEE) in 1969. One group of birds which has increased significantly is divers and grebes.

Both Red-throated Diver and Slavonian Grebe now occur in nationally important numbers on the Inner Firth of Clyde. The Clyde is currently estimated to be the fourth most important site for Red-throated Diver in the UK (BTO/RSPB/JNCC WeBS Report 2012-13) and the area holds around 7% of the UK winter population of Slavonian Grebe making the Clyde estuary one of the top two sites in the UK for wintering Slavonian Grebes.

To maintain the known conservation status of the Clyde estuary for Slavonian Grebe and Red-throated Diver, it is vital that we obtain at least one relatively complete count each winter. This is an appeal to SOC members and others to take advantage of a good day between now and early April to attempt to count these two species.

Please click here for more information and guidance on the ideal conditions to carry out your count and for a suggested survey route.


Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) on the Clyde Estuary

The national WeBS is organised by the BTO, and in Scotland coordinated by the SOC. In the Clyde area we have had excellent coverage for many years, but recently there has been a marked decline due to a shortage of volunteer counters. The most important site urgently in need of new counters is the Clyde Estuary, which requires a team of at least 12 regular volunteers and several reserve counters. The Clyde Branch has been coordinating monthly bird counts of the estuary for the past 45 years, with a break only in 1978 due to shortage of volunteers in that year. Two of our current team of volunteers have been counting throughout that entire period!  If you are interested in joining the team either as a regular or stand-in volunteer, please contact the Clyde area organiser, John Clark on John can provide helpful guidance on how best to survey individual sectors, and the count methodology. He can also arrange for you to shadow an existing counter to gain experience. We are also looking for additional volunteers to take on a number of freshwater sites. Adopting a regular patch can be an enjoyable and very rewarding experience, as well as making an important ‘citizen science’ contribution to the conservation of our local wild bird populations.

For more information on the Wetland Bird Survey see


The Clyde branch of the SOC holds a varied range of informal talks and presentations on a monthly basis from September – April. Meetings take place in the Graham Kerr Building at the University of Glasgow – students are always very welcome to attend!

Evening talks programme


Zoology Department, Graham Kerr Building, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ (click here to view a map of the venue and surrounding area).


The following Mondays at 7.30pm:

Details of next season’s branch programme will be added in due course. 


Ian Fulton

0141 773 4329


Branch outings

None planned.


Bernie Zonfrillo

0141 557 0791


About the branch

Branch committee


Ian Fulton



Vice Chairperson:

Bernie Zonfrillo


David Clugston

Representative of the branch on SOC Council:


Committee members:

Liz Parsons, Toby Wilson, Alan Wood, Fiona Morton, Sandra Hutchinson and David Palmar

Ex officio members:

Iain Gibson and Val Wilson

Clyde recorder:

Iain Gibson

Clyde Assistant recorder:

Val Wilson

Clyde Islands recorder:

Bernie Zonfrillo

Argyll recorder:

Jim Dickson


Useful information

Clyde SOC Grapevine

SOC branches communicate recent bird sightings to members by various means, and in Clyde this is through an email circulated daily to subscribing members.  It also incorporates the Clyde Islands SOC Recording Area.  We are pleased to provide weekly summaries here.  Any SOC member wishing to receive the Clyde Grapevine on a daily basis should contact Assistant Clyde Recorder Val Wilson on

Weekly Summary 10 – 16 May 2015    

Sunday 10 May
The two drake Garganey still showing well from RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre (apparently present yesterday but not reported to the Grapevine), also a Black-tailed Godwit in full breeding plumage.
A Great Skua observed from the ferry at Brodick Bay, Arran.

Monday 11 May
The two drake Garganey joined by a female in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre.
An Osprey fishing along the east side of Loch Thom at 1335 hrs.
A Nuthatch in a Croftamie garden (observer’s first sighting there), also a Tree Sparrow.

Tuesday 12 May
Only the two drake Garganey  in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre; nearby, still three White Wagtails at Castle Semple Loch.
A Nuthatch in a Gartocharn garden.
A Tree Sparrow on the feeders in a Mugdock village garden was observer’s first sighting there; nearby, at least two pairs of House Sparrows which had not been observed in the village for years.

Garden Warbler, Jimmy Maxwell

Garden Warbler, Jimmy Maxwell

Wednesday 13 May
The two drake Garganey off and on in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre.
A remarkable seven Cuckoos at Murshiel Country Park, with five together, four of which calling, at the Mine Gate.
A Spotted Flycatcher at Linn Park. 
A Jay in woodland to the south of Woodend Loch, near Coatbridge.
A Jay nesting at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, also three singing Garden Warblers.
An Osprey flying from the Firth of Clyde over Leitchland heading towards Loch Thom at 1430 hrs.

Thursday 14 May
Seven Dotterel at the summit of Tinto.
Now a drake Green-winged Teal has joined the two drake Garganey, with the female Garganey off and on, in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre, also a drake Gadwall.
Two Black-tailed Godwits at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, also a Spotted Flycatcher.
Eight Shoveler (six males) at Bridgend Farm Pool, near Kirkintilloch, also still five Pink-footed Geese.
A Spotted Flycatcher at Darnley Mill Country Park.
A Spotted Flycatcher briefly in a Glasgow Road, Milngavie garden.

Friday 15 May
The two drake Garganey and a Black-tailed Godwit in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre with four Whimbrel SE over Aird Meadow at 1300 hrs, but, no sign of the Green-winged Teal, also a Spotted Flycatcher along Aird Meadow trail.
A Osprey low over a Mugdock village garden, flying in the direction of Mugdock Reservoir at 1440 hrs.
An extremely mobile Nuthatch in song near the Burrell, Pollok Country Park NS553623.

Green-winged Teal, Terry Cawdworth

Green-winged Teal, Terry Cawdworth

Saturday 16 May
The two drake Garganey and a Black-tailed Godwit off and on in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre; nearby still one White Wagtail left at Castle Semple Loch.
A Tree Sparrow in a Leathen Place, Linburn, Erskine garden.
Two Stock Doves back in a Hillfoot Drive, Bearsden garden.


Minutes from the 2015 Clyde Branch AGM

Click here to download a copy of the minutes from the recent Clyde Branch AGM.


A Guide to Bird Watching in the Clyde Area

This publication is now sold out, however a reference copy is available in the George Waterston Library at SOC HQ.


Bird recording in this area

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


Other information

Clyde Bird Report Highlights 2004

Clyde – bird species list 1999

Clyde – bird species list 1998

Clyde – review of the year 1999

Clyde – review of the year 1998

Clyde Bird News No. 1 (Dec 2001)

Clyde Eider Newsletter No. 1 (Aug 2001)

Clyde Eider Newsletter No. 2 (Jan 2002)

Clyde Eider Newsletter No. 3 (Aug 2002)

Clyde Eider Newsletter No. 4 (Aug 2003)

Clyde Eider Newsletter No. 5 (Aug 2004)

Young Birders CTA

Download the young Birder Application form - Word Doc
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