Fife branch


Velvet Scoter © John Anderson

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:    

09 Nov 2016        
Claire Smith – Auk ringing on the Shiant islands

The Shiants are home to vast auk populations which were first formally surveyed in the late 1960s. Unfortunately the islands have also supported large numbers of rats which impact on these as well as preventing colonisation by Storm Petrels and Manx Shearwaters. The Shiants Auk ringing group has been ringing and monitoring the seabirds annually since 2006 and RSPB carried out a rat eradication in 2015. Claire’s talk will cover the work she undertook with the group last year and provide an update on the eradication.

Claire has worked for RSPB for 10 years on Capercaillie, managing the East Scotland Sea Eagle project and she is now Senior Conservation officer for Fife & Perthshire. Prior to working for RSPB, Claire worked on seabirds on Rum & Handa and for English Nature in SW England, as well as spending time in N Australia working on pheasant coucals. Claire has a particular interest in Raptors and Seabirds having spent time on the seabird group committee and  she’s the current chair of Tayside Raptor Study Group.

14 Dec 2016        
Members’ Night

11 Jan 2017         
Will Cresswell – Migration: The big picture

08 Feb 2017       
Amanda Trask – Choughs of Islay

08 Mar 2017       
John Savory – The Carrifran Wildwood story and colonisation by woodland birds there

12 Apr 2017
AGM & To be announced


Caroline Gordon, tel: 01592 750230


Branch outings

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 22 Oct 2016
Angus coast for autumn migrants and waders (Dave Heeley 01337 841160)

Sat 12 Nov 2016
Baron’s Haugh/Lochwinnoch for Water Rail and Whooper Swans (Paul Taylor 01334 828925)

Sun 29 Jan 2017
Outhead/Guardbridge for Brent Geese, sea ducks and waders (Elizabeth & John Irwin 01334 850244)

10-12 Feb 2017
Caerlaverock/Mersehead for Barnacle Geese, Whooper Swans and waders (Caroline Gordon)

Sun 19 Mar 2017
Post-conference outing to Ruddon’s Point for divers and sea ducks (leader to be confirmed)

Sat 22 Apr 2017
The Hirsel, Coldstream for Nuthatch and summer migrants (Paul Taylor)

Sat 17 Jun 2017
Drumochter for Dotterel, Ptarmigan and Golden Plover (Rob Armstrong 01334 850962)

Sun 13 Aug 2017
Aberlady for autumn migrants, Curlew Sandpiper and waders (Paul Taylor)


Caroline Gordon, tel: 01592 750230 or the leader

About the branch

Branch committee


Caroline Gordon, tel: 01592 750230

Chair and representative of branch on SOC Council:

Paul Taylor

Vice-chair and Treasurer:

Elizabeth Irwin

Committee members:

Rob Armstrong, Elizabeth Adams, Howard Chapman, John Irwin and Andrew Riches

Fife recorder:

Malcolm Ware

Isle of May recorder:

Iain English

Useful information:

Minutes from the 2016 Fife Branch AGM

Click here to download a copy of the minutes from the recent Fife Branch AGM.

Birdwatching in Fife

Click here for our guide to Birdwatching in Fife and here for our guide to Birdwatching the Fife coast.

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.


The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Fife

Fife Atlas coverNorman Elkins, Jim Reid and Allan W. Brown

Published by the Fife Ornithological Atlas Group and the SOC.

Publication date 26 Aug 2016

This large format, hardback book brings up to date an earlier publication published in 2003, the Fife Bird Atlas (and for which a CD is still available if anyone should want one – please contact The current breeding and wintering status of birds in Fife is illustrated by 400 fine-scale maps. In addition to maps of breeding status, the abundance of species in both seasons and distribution in winter are mapped for the first time. Copiously illustrated with 240 photographs, mostly by John Anderson, Fife’s celebrated bird photographer, the volume runs to approximately 380 pages.  Click here to find out more and for details of how to purchase a copy.


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.

Young Birders CTA

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