Clyde branch

© Ian Fulton

Taiga Bean Geese © Ian Fulton


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.


Details of the 2014/2015 Winter talks programme will be added shortly


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

Treasurer and representative of the branch on SOC Council:

David Clugston

Committee members:

Liz Parsons, Toby Wilson, Alan Wood, Dawn Anderson, Fiona Morton, Sandra Hutchinson

Ex officio members:

Iain Gibson and Val Wilson

Clyde recorder:

Iain Gibson

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 30 June – 19 July 2014  

Monday Little Egret at Douglas Water Pool (Loudon Pond). Two Little Ringed Plovers with a Ringed Plover at Ring Point, RSPB Loch Lomond, before flying to the other side of the Endrick Water; nearby an Osprey hunting at Balmaha Bay. Tuesday Little Egret still on Douglas Water Pool (Loudon Pond) NS8636. The Red-breasted Goose of unknown origin still at Strathclyde Loch. Wednesday The Little Egret still at Douglas Water Pool (Loudon Pond) at 1300 hrs. Two Mandarin Ducks of unknown origin on the grass in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch nature centre. Thursday The Little Egret still at Douglas Water Pool (Loudon Pond). The Red-breasted Goose of unknown origin at Strathclyde Loch. An Osprey hovering over Aird Meadow RSPB Lochwinnoch early afternoon. Friday Little Egret on the shore at the Langbank side of West Ferry (opposite the Langbank roundabout) at 0745 hrs. A male Mandarin Duck at Aird Meadow, RSPB Lochwinnoch. Saturday Two Little Ringed Plovers (an adult and a juvenile) on the channel in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch nature centre at 0600 hrs, but not located later. The Little Egret still on Douglas Water Pool (Loudon Pond) in the afternoon. Sunday An adult Spotted Sandpiper with a Common Sandpiper on the River Clyde at RSPB Baron’s Haugh (click here for a photo, copyright Lang Stewart), initially at Easter Braes, but later on the shingle upstream of the Centenary Hide. The Little Egret still at Douglas Water Pool (Loudon Pond). Three Common Scoters on Strathclyde Loch in the afternoon, also the Red-breasted Goose still present. Two Common Terns flying over Aird Meadow, RSPB Lochwinnoch in the direction of Castle Semple Loch late morning. A Nuthatch at the feeders in a Mugdock village garden is the observer’s first sighting since 2008. Monday No sign of yesterday’s Spotted Sandpiper on th River Clyde at Baron’s Haugh, in spite of a thorough search of the area, but  a Green Sandpiper on the shingle upstream from the Centenary Hide early morning. Wednesday The adult Spotted Sandpiper relocated on the bend an the River Clyde at Carbarns opposite Merryton Pond at 2035 hrs. A Greenshank at Newshot Island at 1200 hrs. In South Lanarkshire, Nuthatches at Uddington, near Rigside and at Coalburn. Thursday The adult Spotted Sandpiper mobile on the River Clyde between Carbarns and Easter Braes. Friday The adult Spotted Sandpiper still mobile on the River Clyde ranging from Carbarns to as far downstream between the Phoenix and Centenary Hides at Baron’s Haugh. An Osprey fishing on Aird Meadow, RSPB Lochwinnoch. Saturday The adult Spotted Sandpiper, although elusive, again this evening on the River Clyde near the Centenary Hide, RSPB Baron’s Haugh, also two Green Sandpipers. Sunday The adult Spotted Sandpiper still on the River Clyde near the Centenary Hide, RSPB Baron’s Haugh. 40 Common Terns at the Bowling Oil Terminal breeding site. Monday Two Ospreys on top of a tree on Inchcailloch. A total of 311 Goosanders on Loch Lomond in two main flocks of 124 off Shore Wood and 180 in Balmaha Bay. Tuesday six Black-tailed Godwits and a Greenshank at Newshot Island at 1300 hrs. Four Black-tailed Godwits flying in from the north to the Black Cart Water below Rolls Royce, Inchinnan at 1140 hrs. Five Black-tailed Godwits at Carbarns Pool, but no sign of the Spotted Sandpiper in the area. A female Manadarin Duck coming to bread on the White Cart Water at the end of Sinclair Drive, Battlefield, Glasgow NS578611. Wednesday Two juvenile Little Ringed Plovers on Douglas Water Pool (Loudon Pond). The female Mandarin Duck still on the White Cart Water at Sinclair Drive, Battlefield, Glasgow NS578611. Thursday An Osprey at Dumbrock Loch at 1630 hrs. The female Mandarin Duck still on the White Cart Water at Sinclair Drive, Battlefield, Glasgow NS578611. Friday The female Mandarin Duck continues on the White Cart Water at the end of Sinclair Drive, Battlefield. A male Redstart in Boylestone Quarry, Barrhead. Saturday Five Little Ringed Plovers (four juveniles) at Douglas Water Pool (Loudon Pond), also two Dunlin this morning. A Green Sandpiper flushed from River Clyde near Carbarns NS767536 at 1845 hrs. A female Mandarin Duck with three full grown juveniles on the River Leven at Balloch. The female Mandarin Duck still on the White Cart Water at Sinclair Drive, Battlefield, Glasgow.


SOC Clyde Branch AGM – April 2014

Click here to view the Minutes of this meeting.

Clyde Tetrad Atlas 2007-14


We are making this appeal in the hope that more Clyde Branch SOC members will volunteer to cover at least a single tetrad in the final season of this valuable project. Many thanks to those who have taken part so far.  This is not a survey requiring great expertise - only basic identification skills are required, and we would hope that the project gives greater purpose and enjoyment to local birdwatching.

The Clyde SOC, with invaluable support from BTO, is now halfway through the final breeding season of the Project.  Over seven years, 734 observers have gathered in excess of 300,000 records, an average of almost 7,000 records per 10-kilometre square, a tremendous achievement.  We are well on our way to holding enough data to produce a comprehensive avifauna, Birds of the Clyde Area, including atlas maps for breeding and winter distribution of all species.

However we are struggling to achieve full coverage for the breeding season.  It is almost always the case with such surveys that a small number of observers carries out a high percentage of the fieldwork, but currently we have fewer than ten Clyde SOC members contributing over 95% of the effort.  This is simply not sufficient to achieve adequate coverage in the time left to us.  So we are making this URGENT APPEAL for all members to contribute during the two months remaining of this final breeding season. In reality we have only five weeks to make the most of it, as recordable bird activity diminishes significantly after the first week in July, particularly in woodland.

Even if every member took on only one tetrad it could make a significant difference. (A ‘tetrad’ is a 2km x 2km square on the national grid as shown on OS maps, with each 10-kilometre square dividing into 25 tetrads.)  Some may even find that records from around their own home could make a difference!  An experienced birdwatcher can achieve reasonable coverage of an average tetrad in a single visit lasting two hours, whilst those who are new to the game may require longer, or perhaps two visits of a similar duration. However there is no time limit. Our most active and experienced atlas fieldworkers are currently completing four or five tetrads a day.  The objective is to visit as many habitat types as possible within the tetrad (by foot, car or bike), noting all bird species and attempting to record behaviour indicative of breeding.  The BTO Atlas website at is where to find the methodology and to contribute results for the local atlas.  You will require to log in or register to use the BTO website, a simple procedure.  Note that Timed Tetrad Visits are not required for the Clyde Atlas, only Roving Records, which simplifies the fieldwork.

If you would like to help, local organiser Alan Wood will be happy to answer any questions, and can provide maps and up-to-date information about a tetrad urgently in need of attention near your home or local patch.  Please contact Alan on or by phone on 07799 433407.  For anyone who would like to volunteer to cover remote tetrads in South Lanarkshire or northern parts of Loch Lomondside, more than 50 miles from their home, a vehicle allowance of 30p per mile is available, courtesy of an SOC Endowment Fund Grant.  Alan Wood can provide you with a claim form if you volunteer to help in this way.

Some other Clyde tetrads can be found using these links to neighbouring
BTO regions:

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
Download the training course application form - PDF
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