Highland branch

Slavonian Grebe © Keith Barnes

Slavonian Grebe © Keith Barnes

The Highland branch of the SOC covers a large geographical area of Scotland, with regular meetings and outings centred around Inverness.

Evening talks programme

Talks feature birdlife and other flora and fauna from almost anywhere in the world but, as we are fortunate to have a significant presence of wildlife and environmental organisations in the region, presentations on studies or projects involving birdlife in the Highland feature regularly. There is ample time at intervals to meet fellow members and discuss shared interests.


Culloden Library, Keppoch Road, Culloden, Inverness, IV2 7LL (click here for a map of the venue and surrounding area).


The following Tuesdays at 7.30pm:

02 Feb 2016 – ‘The migrations and status of the Purple Sandpiper in Britain and Ireland’ with Ron Summers

Ron’s talk summarises how small scale studies by amateur bird watchers have gradually elucidated the complexities of the migration patterns of the Purple Sandpiper, and described how the fortunes of this bird are changing. 

Ron Summers is a Conservation Scientist at RSPB and, over the past 25 years, has been involved in studies of a range of Highland birds and particularly pinewood species.  He is from Dundee, and attained a BSc in Zoology and PhD after studying at St Andrews and Aberdeen Universities.  Further bird studies have taken him to the University of Cape Town, Goose Green in the Falkland Islands, and the Norfolk coast before joining the RSPB in Inverness.  Throughout these studies he has maintained a long-running interest in Purple Sandpipers. 

01 Mar 2016 –  Ray Murray – Twenty years on: The SE Scotland Atlas
12 Apr 2016 –  AGM & Martin Benson: Broadford Bay / Skye birds


Kathy Bonniface

01808 511740

Branch outings

There are two outdoor trips per month over the branch outing season – a full day outing on a Saturday or Sunday and a Thursday morning outing. On our outdoor trips, the aim is not just to see the largest number of birds, but to find and watch and enjoy. We think the pleasure comes from birdwatching with like-minded people, learning identification skills, enjoying the splendid sights and taking delighted in the unexpected find. If this whets your appetite and you feel you would enjoy these field trips, then you’d be most welcome to come along.

Meet at:

Meet at 9.00am (9.15am Thursdays) at Inverness Retail Park, near Burger King.  Weekend excursions are full day, Thursdays are usually mornings only. Please contact the trip leader for other meeting place options.

Thurs 28 January 2016
Local birding

Sun 7 February 2016
Conon and Cromarty Firth (Simon Cohen, 01349 865531)

Thurs 18 February 2016
Local birding

Sat 5 March 2016
East into Moray (Al McNee, 01463 220493)

Thurs 17 March 2016
Local biding

Sun 17 April 2016
Shieldaig and Kishorn (Alex Joss, 01463 221661)

Thurs 28 April 2016
Local briding

Friday 27 – Monday 30 May 2016, “Durness and beyond”, lead by Peter Stronach
To book a place (allocated on a first come, first served basis, contact Kathy Bonniface on 01808 511740.


Kathy Bonniface, 01808 511740, or the leader.


About the branch

Branch committee


Kathy Bonniface , Alt Dubh, North End, Tomatin, IV13 7YP, Tel 01808 511740


David Bain


Lynda Graham

Committee members:

David Galloway, Alastair McNee, Carol Miller, Pete Gordon, Alex Joss

Representative of the branch on SOC Council and Editor of Highland Bird News:

David Bain

Highland recorder:

Pete Gordon

Outer Hebrides recorder:

Ian Ricketts


Useful information:

Birdwatching in the area

Click here for our guide to Birdwatching in Easter Ross

Click here for our guide to Birdwatching the Longman outflow and Inverness area

Click here for our guide to Birding in North-west Scotland

Planning a trip to the Outer Hebrides? Click here for a list of recommended sites to visit

Click here for our guide to Birdwatching in Sutherland

Bird recording in this area

Visit the Highland recording area page for details of the latest bird report, back issues, species considered locally and for Local Recorder contact information.

Highland Bird News

The branch issues a quarterly newsletter, Highland Bird News, to members. Click on the links below to download current and back issues (PDF files).

Issue 125 – Aug 2015

Issue 124 – Jan 2015

Issue 123 – Aug 2014

Issue 122 – Mar 2014

Issue 121 – Aug 2013

Issue 120 – Apr 2013

Issue 119 – Jan 2013

Issue 118 – Aug 2012

Issue 117 – Mar 2012

Issue 116 – Aug 2011

Issue 115 – Mar 2011

Issue 114 – Dec 2009

Issue 113 – Oct 2009

Issue 112 – Apr 2009

Issue 111 – Dec 2008

Issue 110 – Sep 2008

Issue 109 – Feb 2008

Issue 108 – Nov 2007

Issue 107 – Sep 2007

Issue 106 – Apr 2007

Issue 105 – Feb 2007

Issue 104 – Dec 2006

Issue 103 – Oct 2006


Highland Bird Report Gazetteer

SOC Highland branch has produced a gazetteer, listing over 2000 site names referred to in the Highland Bird Report and their grid references. This can be downloaded from the Highland recording area page.

Young Birders CTA

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