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:    

12 Oct 2016    
Chris Waltho –  Specs in Chukotka    

In 2013 Chris spent four weeks studying Spectacled Eiders in Chukotka in Arctic Russia. This talk focuses upon the nesting characteristics of Spectacled Eiders but also includes a wide range of tundra nesting waterbirds there.

Chris is a former President of the SOC and past chairman of the Clyde Branch, serving in Club management roles for 22 years. He has been studying Eider (primarily in the Firth of Clyde) for over forty years, wrote the Common Eider account for the Birds of Scotland and has co-written the Poyser monograph on the Common Eider. He is a member of the Wetlands International/IUCN Duck Specialists Group and has spoken about his research at international conferences from Alaska to Iceland, Finland and Russia.

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

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 & Ray Murray – Twenty years on: The SE Scotland Atlas


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 18 Sep 2016
Kinghorn area for Skuas among other seabirds (Jean Stewart 01334 475763)

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 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.

Young Birders CTA

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