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:

11 Feb 2015 “Tibetan travels”, with Stan da Prato

A journey from the mountains of Sichuan onto the Tibetan plateau in October/November 2013 looking at the many birds and some of the exciting animals that live there.

An Honorary member, editor of Scottish Birds and a past President of the SOC, Stan da Prato used to be heavily involved with ringing and continues to be involved with seabird and songbird monitoring.         


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


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 18 Jan Musselburgh (Paul Taylor 01334 828925)

13-16 Feb Islay weekend (David Heeley 01337 841160)

Sat 14 Mar Coast of Fife (Rob Armstrong 01334 850962)

24-27 Apr Speyside weekend (Rob Armstrong)

Sat 9 May 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

Branch committee


Position vacant. Please contact Paul Taylor meantime.

Chair and representative of branch on SOC Council:

Paul Taylor


Position vacant


Elizabeth Irwin

Committee members:

Rob Armstrong, Les Hatton, Elizabeth Adams , Howard Chapma, John Irwin

Fife recorder:

Malcolm Ware

Isle of May recorder:

Iain English

Useful information:

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.

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!


The Fife Winter Atlas

Updating of the Fife Bird Atlas (published in 2003) is currently in progress, using data gathered for BirdAtlas 2007-11. Fieldwork for a winter tetrad atlas is ongoing and records from less well covered tetrads for winter are welcome, both past records from 2011/12 and also for the next winter of 2012/13. This will enhance the winter data of the previous atlas, which was gathered at a 5km square level. Although a repeat of the breeding atlas is not envisaged, further breeding records at tetrad level for the 2012 breeding season will also be welcome, again in the less well-covered areas (ie away from the usual hotspots). Breeding status codes should be added to all records, which should be submitted on the BirdTrack or BirdAtlas websites. Records in 10km squares NT29, NO30, NO40 and NO50 will be particularly welcome. Anyone wishing to target any of these tetrads should get in touch with Norman Elkins . Sufficient records will then be available to allow meaningful comparisons with the previous atlas. Already there have been worrying and major contractions in the distribution of some species such as Green Woodpecker, Lapwing and Grey Partridge.

The Fife Bird Atlas Fund

The Fife Bird Atlas was published in 2003 by the Fife Ornithological Atlas Group (FOAG). FOAG has now established The Fife Bird fifeAtlas Fund, which can provide grants and loans to assist with non-professional projects involving surveying, monitoring, study, education and/or conservation.

Young Birders CTA

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