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 Dec 2015 –  “Birdwatchers in industry”, with Liz Parsons and Alan Wood

This is a joint talk by Alan Wood and Liz Parsons, both members of Clyde SOC and working as ornithologists in a variety of situations. The talk will cover work in the Bishopton Royal Ordnance Factory and at windfarms. Liz and Alan will also discuss the importance of SOC members’ records in helping to protect birds during industrial developments.

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

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 15- 21 November 2015

Sunday 15 November
Four Jack Snipe with at least 80 Snipe at Windlaw Marsh, Carmunnock.
Four Jack Snipe at Cathkin Marsh SWT Reserve, near East Kilbride.
Still three Scaup (two drakes) on Castle Semple Loch.
14 Whooper Swans on Lochcraig Reservoir, near Newton Mearns.

Short-eared Owl, Ian Fulton

Short-eared Owl, Ian Fulton

Monday 16 November
16 Greenland White-fronted Geese at Ring Point, RSPB Loch Lomond with three Pintail and 32 Whooper Swans on Wards Pond, also a ringtail Hen Harrier hunting between Twenty Acres and Low Mains.
Five Jack Snipe with 85 Snipe at Greenhead Pond, Wishaw.
A ringtail Hen Harrier hunting over the fields to the east of Peaton Hill Nature Reserve, Coulport.
Three Scaup (two drakes) continue on Castle Semple Loch.
A male Merlin flew across the M8 at Erskine.
Ten Whooper Swans south over Langside at 1000 hrs.

Tuesday 17 November
Still two Short-eared Owls hunting near Bogside Farm, Langbank at 1030 hrs,  also a pair of Stonechats in the rough ground near the cairn there.
A Jack Snipe at Craigmarloch Marsh, Kilmacolm.
A Hen Harrier and a Green Sandpiper at Douglas Estate.
Only one drake Scaup on Castle Semple Loch, also a good inland count of 86 Goldeneye.
A male Blackcap in a Grahamston Place, Paisley garden is a reminder that the Grapevine welcomes all records of wintering Blackcaps.

Wednesday 18 November
Still one drake Scaup on Castle Semple Loch, also now 96 Goldeneye.
In a flooded field off A726 at NS509615, five Whooper Swans, also 48 Canada Geese and 111 Mallards.
Two Jays at feeders in a Gartloch Village, Glasgow garden.

Thursday 19 November
Still one drake Scaup on Castle Semple Loch.
Five Whooper Swans on Hogganfield Loch, also a drake Gadwall and, unusually inland, a 1st-winter drake Red-breasted Merganser.

Red-breasted Merganser, Lang Stewart

Red-breasted Merganser, Lang Stewart

Friday 20 November
Still at least two Short-eared Owls hunting over the moorland above Bogside Farm, Langbank, best viewed from the cairn at NS372720.
A Short-eared Owl hunting on Fereneze Hills, Barrhead at NS4859; earlier a Long-eared Owl flushed from its day time roost  to the east of Harelaw Reservoir, Barrhead.
A ringtail Hen Harrier hunting at the south end of Barr Loch, RSPB Lochwinnoch, also ten Whooper Swans there.
25 Whooper Swans south over Linn Park, Glasgow in the morning.
Still a Red-breasted Merganser on Hogganfield Loch.
A Stock Dove has returned for the winter to a suburban garden at Hillfoot Drive, Bearsden.
Two Short-eared Owls still in the Cathkin Marsh/South Cathkin landfill area.

Saturday 21 November
Still three Short-eared Owls hunting and showing well near Bogside Farm, Langbank.
Two Green Sandpipers on River Clyde at Carbarns.
A Short-eared Owl  and a ringtail Hen Harrier hunting at the south end of Barr Loch, RSPB Lochwinnoch; nearby, four Gadwall on Aird Meadow.
A male Brambling at the feeders in a Mugdock village garden, also a Nuthatch regularly.
A Woodcock at Cathkin Marsh SWT Reserve, East Kilbride, also still two Stonechats.
A Red-breasted Merganser still on Hogganfield Loch.
A Jay at the feeders in a Gartloch Village, Glasgow garden.
Seven Whooper Swans on Gryfe Reservoir.

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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