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:    

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

John will be describing the history of the Borders Forest Trust and its acquisition of the Carrifran Valley and other properties in the Moffat Hills. He’ll tell us more about the native woodland restoration planting programme, which has been in place there for the last 16 years, and the regular bird surveys which have been carried out at the wood and at an adjacent unplanted valley since 1998. This has provided a unique opportunity for measuring the effect of rewilding of an upland woodland habitat on the local avifauna.

After graduating in Zoology (BSc) at Aberdeen University in 1967, John did PhD research at Banchory on the feeding ecology of red grouse. He then did 25 years as a poultry scientist at the Roslin Institute, and then poultry behaviour and welfare research and teaching at the Scottish Agricultural College for 6 years before retiring in 2003. Since then John has done weekly volunteering at the Carrifran Wildwood story and is the biological recorder on its Steering Group. He also does occasional work in the SOC’s archive and is on the Library Committee.

12 Apr 2017
AGM & Members’ Night


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.

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

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

Download the young Birder Application form - Word Doc
Download the training course application form - PDF
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