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

Treasurer and representative of the branch on SOC Council:

David Clugston

Committee members:

Liz Parsons, Toby Wilson, Alan Wood, 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 19 – 25 April 2015 

Ring Ouzel, Davie Abraham

Ring Ouzel, Davie Abraham

Sunday 19 April
The pair of Garganey again showing very well in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre; nearby, a singing Sedge Warbler at Castle Semple Loch.
A Black-tailed Godwit at Cardross Bay  and a pair of Pintail at Milton Island.
A pair of Pintail on Gartloch Pool; nearby, a singing Grasshopper Warbler at Craigend.
A Merlin chasing Meadow Pipits at Lochcraig Reservoir, near Newton Mearns.
Three Swifts at Strathclyde Loch. Sam Langford
A Pied Flycatcher in mixed woodland at the edge of Lenzie Golf Course NS658706.
A small flock of ten Brambling in song high up in larch near Carrot Farm, Eaglesham, also six Crossbills over and a female Redstart.
A Green Woodpecker calling at Cashel, east Loch Lomond.

Monday 20 April
Four Little Ringed Plovers on the Endrick Water.
A pair of Garganey again showing well on the pond infront of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre, also two Otters at the Dubbs Water; nearby, a Nuthatch In Garthland Wood.
Three White Wagtails at the Crom Mhin, also three Ospreys at the Endrick Mouth  and another at Wards Pond.
Two singing Pied Flycatchers and a singing Wood Warbler at Ross Wood, east Loch Lomond where Tree Pipits are now abundant.
Single Redstarts reported from  Balmaha, Ross Wood, on a post near Neilston Pad and one flying NW from Muirshiel Country Park at 1556 hrs; also four in song yesterday on Inchcailloch.
A singing Whitethroat at RSPB Baron’s Haugh.
A Tree Sparrow briefly in a Croftamie garden.
A Stock Dove returning to a Hillfoot Drive, Bearsden garden.

Tuesday 21 April
A pair of Garganey again showing well on the channel in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre, also two singing Grasshopper Warblers at the south end of Barr Loch.
A pair of Nuthatches at nest in Pollok Country Park.
A Nuthatch in song at Milton of Buchanan NS441904.
A Nuthatch calling at Gartfairn Wood near Low Mains NS437888.
A Nuthatch in Mugdock Wood.
Two male Whinchats at Craigallian Loch, also a Cuckoo.
A male Pied Flycatcher at Ross Wood, east Loch Lomond.
A Cuckoo calling at the Stockie Muir lek site.
Two Cranes NW over Auchmountain Road/Knocknairs Hill, Port Glasgow NS3074 at 1810 hrs.

Wednesday 22 April
A pair of Garganey still showing well in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre.
Six White Wagtails and two Sandwich Terns at Ardmore South Bay.
On Inchcaiiloch, a Nuthatch in song at Port Bawn, two Nuthatches at the north pier and an excellent six singing Redstarts, also an Osprey.
A Whitethroat in song at Cathkin Braes, also a Grasshopper Warbler reeling at Windlaw Marsh.
Two reeling Grasshopper Warblers at Dykehead Wood Reserve, Hamilton NS6854.
A singing Sedge Warbler at Balgray Reservoir.
A Nuthatch singing in Garscube Esate, before flying off in the direction of Dawsholm Park.
Three singing Wood Warblers at Sallochy, east Loch Lomond; nearby, three roding Woodcocks at Cashel.
Remarkably after yesterday’s record, two Cranes SW over Dougarie, Arran between 1240-55 hrs.

Whitethroat, Jimmy Maxwell

Whitethroat, Jimmy Maxwell

Thursday 23 April
Ten  Whimbrel at West Ferry at 1930 hrs.
A pair of Garganey still showing well in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre.
Three Jays near Craigallian Loch.
Five Sandwich Terns at Ardencaple, Rhu.
A Woodcock at Ross Park, Rossdhu, west Loch Lomond.
Two singing Whitethroats at Dams to Darnley LNR, Glasgow.
Redstarts and Cuckoos now widespread.
Unusually a drake Eider on Forth and Clyde Canal at Cadder, also two reeling Grasshopper Warblers near Possil Loch.
An Osprey successfully fishing at Craigallian Loch.

Friday 24 April
A pair of Garganey still showing well in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre, also a Swift at Aird Meadow; nearby, 28 White Wagtails at Castle Semple Loch.
Two drake Mandarin Ducks on the River Leven at Jamestown.
A pair of Nuthatches excavating a hole at Port Bawn, Inchcailloch.
A singing Whitethroat at Ardmore Point.
An Osprey over Compensation Reservoir, near Greenock Cut Visitor Centre.

Immature Golden Eagle, Scott Maxwell

Immature Golden Eagle, Scott Maxwell

Saturday 25 April
An immature Golden Eagle over Forkings of Raith at 0945 hrs, then over Hill of Stake, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park at 1100 hrs before heading into Brisbane Glen, Ayrshire at 1115 hrs.
Five Whimbrel at West Ferry at 1730 hrs.
A pair of Garganey still showing well in front of RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Centre,also Osprey flying over Aird Meadow in the direction of Barr Loch; nearby, a Nuthatch at Garthland Wood.
An Osprey at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, AE also a singing Whitethroat.
A Nuthatch in song near Balloch Castle, Balloch Castle Country Park, also two Wood Warblers in song.
A Wood Warbler in song in Linn Park.
A pair of Ring Ouzels at Culter Waterhead, also a pair of Whinchats and a single male in the glen, but only one male Stonechat.


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 ( and sign in with your personal Facebook logins.


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)

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