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:

02 Nov 2015 – ‘The Return of the Flowerpecker Zombies: Rediscovering extinct species’, with Glen Chilton

In ‘The Return of the Flowerpecker Zombies’, Dr. Chilton will describe his globe-trotting adventures while searching for birds that were formally declared extinct, but were subsequently rediscovered.

Glen Chilton is an Emeritus Professor of Biology, dividing his time between primary research and university teaching. He is a specialist in ornithology and behavioural ecology, and is particularly interested in the song dialects of birds and conservation issues. Glen is the best-selling author of ‘The Curse of the Labrador Duck’ and ‘The Attack of the Killer Rhododendrons’. He has just completed a book on species that were declared extinct before being rediscovered. Glen and his wife Lisa moved from Canada to Australia seven years ago. They are spending 2015 on a research sabbatical at the University of Glasgow.

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:


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 27 September-3 October 2015 

Sunday 27 September
Little Egret on River Clyde at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, with five Ruff, four Green Sandpipers and a female Pintail on the haugh, also two Whooper Swans considered to be migrants (arriving yesterday).
Nearby a Ruff on River Clyde at Carbarns.
Two drake Mandarin Ducks on Aird Meadow, RSPB Lochwinnoch, and four Gadwall on Barr Loch.
Still at least one Sandwich Tern in Cardwell Bay, Gourock.
A Comma in a Marjorie Road, Renfrew conservatory.

Ruff, Davie Abraham

Ruff, Davie Abraham

Monday 28 September
A White Wagtail at South Cathkin Farm; nearby, a pair of Stonechats at Cathkin Marsh.
A drake Mandarin Duck on channel in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch nature centre, and a Gadwall on Barr Loch.
A Ring-necked Parakeet in a Speirs Road, Lochwinnoch garden.
Two Ravens SW over Hogganfield Loch at 1230 hrs, also a drake Gadwall there.
An Osprey at Loch Thom at 1000 hrs.
Passage of 450 Skylarks noted over Cleats Shore, Arran over several hours

Tuesday 29 September
Five Gadwall (three drakes) on Aird meadow, RSPB Lochwinnoch.

Wednesday 30 September
A Turtle Dove on the track to Cleats Shore, Arran.
Ten Slavonian Grebes and 35 Red-throated Divers off Ardmore Point.

Thursday 1 October
A Red Kite hunting over recently harvested barley field at Libberton near Carnwath.
Two Green Sandpipers and two Ruff at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, also a Common Sandpiper.

Friday 2 October
Still three Sandwich Terns, and 15 Goosanders, in Cardwell Bay, Gourock.

Saturday 3 October
No records


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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