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.
The following Mondays at 7.30pm
08 Sep 2014 “Bean Geese monitoring and tracking”, with Angus Maciver
Come and hear the fascinating story of how after 20 years of mystery, some of the secrets of Bean Geese have been revealed after the catching, ringing and subsequent fitting of geese with GPS tags. The results of their migration have given us a great insight into their wanderings from Scotland to their breeding grounds in Sweden.
06 Oct 2014 Jenny Sturgeon – Finding shags in winter: Locating individuals from multiple colonies
03 Nov 2014 Crystal Maw – The wildlife of Oronsay and Islay
01 Dec 2014 David Palmar – An excursion to Shetland
05 Jan 2015 Toby Wilson – House Sparrows in Glasgow: Where are they and what do they need?
02 Feb 2015 Ian Thomson – Shotguns & Short-toed Eagles: Birding on the island of Malta
02 Mar 2015 Paul Walton – Birds in the marine environment
06 Apr 2015 AGM & Members’ Night
0141 773 4329
0141 557 0791
About the branch
Treasurer and representative of the branch on SOC Council:
Liz Parsons, Toby Wilson, Alan Wood, Dawn Anderson, Fiona Morton, Sandra Hutchinson
Ex officio members:
Iain Gibson and Val Wilson
Clyde Islands recorder:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weekly Summary 24 – 30 August 2014
Sunday Seven Ruff, four Black-tailed Godwits, at least three Green Sandpipers and a Dunlin at RSPB Baron’s Haugh. A female/immature Mandarin Duck on the River Leven at Balloch. A family party of four Whinchats near Lochend Farm, Bridge of Weir. Monday An Osprey west over Dumbarton Rock at 1215 hrs. Still three female/immature Mandarin Ducks on the River Leven at Balloch. 85 Goldfinches and a Kingfisher at Dargavel Ponds, BAE Systems, Bishopton. Tuesday An Osprey flying over Aird Meadow, RSPB Lochwinnoch in the direction of Barr Loch where it was relocated fishing at 1500 hrs. A Green Woodpecker and at least three Stonechats at Lang Craigs, Kilpatrick Braes. A Whinchat at Ardmore. Two Tree Pipits over Glebe Farm, Kirk o’ Shotts near Salsburgh. Wednesday An Osprey west over Castle Semple Loch, again an Osprey west over at 1430 hrs. Three White Wagtails, 12 Knot, a Greenshank and 22 Dunlin at Ardmore North Bay. 42 Manx Shearwaters past Ironotter Point between 1415-1615 hrs, also 70 Sandwich Terns between there and Whiteforeland Point. Still one female/immature Mandarin Duck on River Leven at Balloch. 70 Goldfinches at Walkinshaw Gardens. Thursday A Little Egret at Newshot Island until 1530 hrs at least. An Osprey over RSPB Lochwinnoch nature centre in the direction of Barr Loch at 1545 hrs. 25 Goldeneye at Langbank. Five Arctic Terns at Drumadoon Point, Arran. A female Hen Harrier hunting at Leitchland, south side of Gourock (NS2275). A Little Egret at the timber ponds at Woodhall, Port Glasgow. Four Mandarin Ducks (three eclipse drakes) now in the channel in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch nature centre.
Local social media sites
Facebook: To access the Clyde Birds Facebook page, administered by SOC member John Molloy, click on the link on the homepage of the Clyde Birds website (www.clydebirds.org.uk) and sign in with your personal Facebook logins.
Clyde Tetrad Atlas 2007-14
CLYDE ATLAS UPDATE 6 JUNE 2014
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 http://blx1.bto.org/atlas/main/data-home.jsp?Refresh=true 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 email@example.com 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
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.