Clyde Branch

© Ian Fulton

Taiga Bean Geese © Ian Fulton


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:

07 Sep 2015 –  ‘Birds and art’, with Chris Rose

Chris will be talking about his work both as an illustrator and an artist. He will describe the processes involved in producing his wildlife paintings and bird illustrations, including the recently completed Robins & Chats monograph, due out in the next few weeks. Original plates from the book will be on display, along with limited edition prints of his paintings.

Chris Rose is a wildlife artist who specialises in wildlife within the landscape. He is the secretary of the prestigious Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) and served for six years on the board of governors of the Federation of British Artists (FBA). In addition to exhibiting in the SWLA annual show, Chris has exhibited widely throughout the UK and has had several one-man exhibitions at the SOC’s Donald Watson Gallery, Waterston House, and at the Wildlife Art Gallery, Suffolk. In 2011 he held an exhibition at the Air Gallery in Dover Street, London, in collaboration with the RSPB in support of albatross conservation. He has had work shown in France, North America, Singapore and Japan. He has won several awards including the Arts Club Award, British Birds journal’s Bird Illustrator of the Year and was twice winner of Birdwatch magazine’s Wildlife Artist of the Year. He recently appeared on BBC’s Countryfile scuba-diving and drawing underwater for the Wildlife Trusts ‘Undersea Art Award.

05 Oct 2015 – Mark Newell – Seabird studies on the Isle of May: Spreading our wings after 40 years
02 Nov 2015 –  Glen Chilton – The Return of the Flowerpecker Zombies: Rediscovering extinct species
07 Dec 2015 –  Liz Parsons – Birdwatchers in industry
11 Jan 2016 –  Adam Samson – Black Grouse in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
01 Feb 2016 –  John Calladine – Breeding waders of the Uist machair: Land use and predators, past, present and future
07 Mar 2016 – Innes Sim – Ring Ouzel conservation
04 Apr 2016 –  AGM & Members’ Night


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:

Iain Gibson

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
Ruff, Ian Fulton.

Ruff, Ian Fulton.

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 16 – 22 August 2015  

Sunday 16 August
Three Ruff and four Common Sandpipers at Ring Point, RSPB Loch Lomond, also an Osprey over Crom Mhin.
Three Ruff, four Green Sandpipers, two Black-tailed Godwits and two Common Sandpipers at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, also an Otter and a Comma.
A juvenile Ruff at Carbarns Pool.
Seven Black-tailed Godwits and two Common Sandpipers at Newshot Island.
12 Greenshank at Finlaystone Point, also an Osprey fishing.
Two Black-tailed Godwits at Ardmore North Bay.
24 Turnstones in breeding plumage at Rhu Marina.
At least 90 Sandwich Terns on rocks at west side of Kames Bay, Millport, Great Cumbrae.

Monday 17 August
Two Little Ringed Plovers (an adult and a juvenile) and a Greenshank at Carstairs Junction Bridge.
A juvenile male Ruff at South Medwin Pools near Walston.
Three Ruff and two Green Sandpipers at RSPB Baron’s Haugh.
Three Mandarin Ducks (two drakes and a juvenile) on River Leven at Balloch.
A Jay on the grass verge of M77 off-ramp at Silverburn.
21 Black-tailed Godwits at Cleats Shore, Arran.
An Osprey at Loch Thom in the evening, flying in the direction of Gryfe Reservoirs.
Two Ring-necked Parakeets at Bishopbriggs Golf Course.

Green Sandpiper, Davie Abraham,

Green Sandpiper, Davie Abraham,

Tuesday 18 August
Three Little Ringed Plovers (an adult and two juveniles) and two Ruff (an adult and a juvenile) at Carstairs Junction Bridge.
Five Ruff and three Green Sandpipers at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, also two Ringed Plovers and a Common Sandpiper.
An Osprey catching a fish at Loch Thom.
Two Tree Pipits at Glebe Farm, Kirk o’ Shotts, Salsburgh.

Wednesday 19 August
A Little Egret, a Ruff and two Black-tailed Godwits in Ardmore North Bay.
A juvenile  Little Ringed Plover and a Green Sandpiper at BAE Systems, Bishopton, also a Dunlin.

Thursday 20 August
A Little Egret, a Ruff and two Black-tailed Godwits in Ardmore North Bay, also two Ospreys over in a southerly direction.
Six Ruff and a Black-tailed Godwit at Carbarns Pool early evening.
Two Tree Pipits at BAE Systems, Bishopton.

Mandarin Ducks,  Joe Timmins

Mandarin Ducks, Joe Timmins

Friday 21 August
A Little Ringed Plover at BAE Systems, Bishopton, also three Tree Pipits.
Ten juvenile Ruff at Carbarns Pool early evening.

Saturday 22 August
Two juvenile Little Ringed Plovers, 12 Ruff, four Green Sandpipers and a Black-tailed Godwit at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, also a juvenile Ringed Plover and two Water Rails at 1120 hrs.
Earlier ten Ruff at Carbarns Pool, before flying off in the direction of Baron’s Haugh at 0750 hrs.
An Osprey catching a fish at Frankfield Loch, Glasgow, then flying off north with it at 1245 hrs.
Two juvenile Ruff at Bridgend Farm Pool, KIrkintilloch at 1400 hrs.
At RSPB Loch Lomond/Loch Lomond NNR, four Ospreys off Ring Point, three Dunlin and five Common Sandpipers at Net Bay, three Jays in Pentagonal Wood and two Otters near the confluence of Endrick Water and Burn of Mar.
Six juvenile Mandarin Ducks on River Leven at Balloch; nearby, two drakes on Loch Lomond.
Still five Swifts at Battlefield, Glasgow.


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
Download the training course application form - PDF
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