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
01 Dec 2014 “An excursion to Shetland”, with David Palmar
David Palmar has been taking photos since the age of 15, and before he retired was first a Geography teacher then a Computing teacher.
He is a well-known Glasgow bird photographer and runs a photographic website www.photoscot.co.uk.
With his wife he has been to almost every inhabited island in Shetland, which is a top birding destination.
This diverse island group stretches from Sumburgh Head in the south to Muckle Flugga in the north, and from Foula in the west to Out Skerries in the east.
This illustrated talk will cover some aspects of seabirds, moorland birds and otters as well as scenery and some geology and rare plants.
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 email@example.com.
Weekly Summary 9 – 15 November 2014
Sunday A Bittern observed twice at the Millbank Burn, Barr Loch, RSPB Lochwinnoch (NS3457), before flying off to the south end, also still a ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier hunting in the aream A female/immature Black Redstart at Lochcraig Reservoir, south of Newton Mearns NS528509.
An adult Mediterranean Gull west past Dumbarton Rock at 1500 hrs; nearby, a Greenshank at the mouth of the River Leven. Seven Jack Snipe (one of which had been ringed in 23/10/12) and 60 Snipe at Windlaw Marsh, near Carmunnock NS603580. The drake Wood Duck of unknown origin still on Banton Loch (Townhead Reservoir). A ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier hunting between Elvanfoot and Leadhills. A Nuthatch calling in Dougalston Estate, Milngavie. Ten Slavonian Grebes and 22 Red-throated Divers off Ardmore Point. Monday A female/immature Black Redstart still at Lochcraig Reservoir, south of Newton Mearns NS528509, feeding in the overflow channel below the water tower, also a pair of Stonechats. A Brent Goose in a pool beside the BT relay station in the Shiskine Valley, Arran. Eight Barnacle Geese with Pink-footed Geese in a field east of Drymen, also a Bar-headed Goose of unknown origin with Pink-footed Geese behind Drymen Primary School.
A drake Scaup at Carrick Golf Course (Midross), Loch Lomond. An exceptional flock of 70 Tree Sparrows with 30 Reed Buntings, 30 Yellowhammers, 97 Stock Doves and 250 Skylarks in a stubble field at Town of Inchinnan Farm. Tuesday A female/immature Black Redstart still at Lochcraig Reservoir, south of Newton Mearns NS528509, mainly near the tower and surrounding area from early morning to dusk. A Greenshank on the River Cart at Colin’s Isle, Renfrew. Brief passage noted over Glebe Farm, Kirk o’ Shotts, near Salsburgh at 0900 hrs consisting of two Crossbills, four Bramblings. 40 Goldfinches, 30 Greenfinches and 44 Fieldfares. Wednesday 12 November
A female/immature Black Redstart still at Lochcraig Reservoir, south of Newton Mearns NS528509, mainly near the tower and surrounding area. A Slavonian Grebe (for its second day) at RSPB Baron’s Haugh.
A ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier again at the south end of Barr Loch, RSPB Lochwinnoch.
A Woodcock flushed at Top Wood, Linn Park, Glasgow. A Peregrine caught again on camera on top of the Erskine Bridge at dusk. A Waxwing and two Bramblings with a flock of Fieldfares at Cnoc na Dail car park, between Brodick and Lamash, Arran. Thursday A female/immature Black Redstart still at Lochcraig Reservoir, south of Newton Mearns NS528509, mainly near the tower, also a Brambling at South Moorhouse Farrm. A Slavonian Grebe still at RSPB Baron’s Haugh. 30 Tree Sparrrows at East Millichen Farm. Friday A juvenile White-tailed Eagle again at Watermeetings near Elvanfoot NS954133. Four Jack Snipe, a Short-eared Owl and a pair of Stonechats at Harelaw Reservoir near Barrhead NS4859. Saturday A Green Sandpiper flying upstream past Lower Carbarns Farm at 0915.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.