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 Feb 2017       
Amanda Trask – Choughs of Islay

Red-billed choughs have suffered a historic decline in the UK, and in particular in Scotland there are currently less than 60 breeding pairs, on only two islands in the Hebrides – Islay and Colonsay. Determining the causes of this decline is therefore a conservation priority, so that effective management strategies can be designed. In this talk, Amanda will discuss what we know so far about potential causes of the decline and also talk about the recent occurrence of blindness affecting Chough nestlings. She will also discuss the conservation management strategies currently in place, and potential future strategies.

Amanda has recently completed my PhD on the conservation of Red-billed Choughs in Scotland at the University of Aberdeen. She has broad research interests in ecology, evolution and conservation. In particular, she is interested in the genetic and demographic processes underlying population declines in the wild.

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

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 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.

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