The Fife branch of the SOC is one steeped in history with our first meeting chaired by Miss Evelyn Baxter (one of the founding members of the SOC), although at that time it was known as the ‘St Andrews’ branch.Being based in a University town, we are always delighted to welcome students along to our talks or outings. Car sharing is possible if you do not have your own transport, please get in touch with us to arrange.
Evening talks programme
Supper Room of St Andrews Town Hall (at the corner of South Street & Queen’s Gardens), KY16 9TA (click here for a map of the venue and surrounding area).
On the following Wednesdays at 7.30pm:
11 Mar 2015 “Dippers: A much loved bird at risk?”, with Peter Mawby
The Dipper is a familiar bird of fast-flowing rivers and streams but it is in decline across its range. What are the reasons for this decline and can it be reversed? Peter presents results from his 50-year study of the Dipper in the Yorkshire Dales.
Peter Mawby’s interest in ornithology began in his school days and he has been licensed to ring birds for over 50 years. Whilst still at school he was part of one of the first expeditions to visit South-East Iceland to study the breeding distribution of the Great Skua. Subsequently he organised and led his own expeditions to the Shetland and Faroe Islands and was awarded a grant whilst an undergraduate at Cambridge University to extend his studies to Arctic Scandinavia. He is currently researching the environmental impact of changing patterns of agriculture on riparian birds of the Western Dales.
08 Apr 2015 AGM & Members’ Night
Paul Taylor 01334 828925
Field trips normally take place on the weekend following each indoor meeting. The normal pattern is to alternate between Saturday and Sunday outings, and between half-day and full day trips, to cater for members’ differing preferences and other commitments. Outings continue during May and June, when there are no indoor meetings, and there is usually a long weekend trip around the end of May. Beginner and experienced birdwatchers are welcome both at indoor meetings and on field trips.
Sat 14 Mar Coast of Fife (Rob Armstrong 01334 850962)
24-27 Apr Speyside weekend (Rob Armstrong)
Sun 24 May *PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE* Early morning warbler walk at Killiecrankie (David Heeley)
Sat 13 Jun Isle of May (Elizabeth Adams 01333 450267)
Paul Taylor 01334 828925 or the leader
About the branch
Position vacant. Please contact Paul Taylor meantime.
Chair and representative of branch on SOC Council:
Rob Armstrong, Les Hatton, Elizabeth Adams , Howard Chapma, John Irwin
Isle of May recorder:
Birdwatching in Fife
Planning a trip to the Isle of May? Read our guide to Birding the Isle of May here
Bird recording in this area
Visit the Fife recording area page for details of the latest bird report, back issues, species considered locally and for Local Recorder contact information.
Fife SOC funds Mallard nesting project
In a collaborative project, the Fife branch of the SOC has funded the construction and siting of 16 Mallard nesting tubes at various sites on the Eden estuary in Fife. Find out more here.
The Fife Branch newsletter
The branch produces four editions of our newsletter annually, which is emailed out to members and is available to download by clicking on the issues below (PDF format):
If you would like to join our newsletter mailing list, then please contact Paul Taylor. Articles, letter, reports and photographs (in jpeg or tiff format) for publication in the branch newsletter are always warmly welcomed!
New Fife Bird Atlas
The updating of the Fife Bird Atlas, which was published in 2003 using data gathered in the 1990s (and for which a CD is still available if anyone should want one), is nearing completion. Using data from Bird Atlas 2007-11 and additional data up to 2013, the maps are ready and the text almost complete. Although this new work was originally only planned as a winter atlas, maps for this season only being shown on a small scale in the previous atlas, sufficient data have been gathered to allow both seasons to be mapped on a tetrad grid. The new breeding status maps will allow comparison with those in the first atlas, thereby indicating changes that have occurred in the intervening 10-15 years. In addition, two other maps will be shown for most species where appropriate. These are maps of abundance and distribution in both winter and breeding season, using the timed counts that were part of the data gathering. These data were not available for the first atlas and throw new light on where birds are most abundant across the region. The book will not be a complete avifauna, but rather an atlas of wintering and breeding birds in Fife. At present, a publication date is not yet known but a pre-publication offer will be available. Any enquiries should be directed to Norman Elkins.