Lothian branch

Red-necked Grebe © Jacqui Herrington

Red-necked Grebe © Jacqui Herrington


Lothian is currently the largest SOC branch, with over 500 members from across the region. We hold monthly meetings and field trips throughout most of the year. We also have a discussion group, where we consider local conservation issues and organise survey work.


Evening talks programme


The Guide Hall, 33 Melville Street, Edinburgh, except those two meetings marked with an asterisk, which are at Waterston House, Aberlady.


The following Tuesdays at 7.30pm.

14 Oct 2014        Phil Taylor, RSPB Scotland’s Seabird Officer. Title to be announced (Aberlady)*  (CHANGE FROM ADVERTISED)

Scotland is a world leading place for seabirds. On colonies like the Bass Rock, Ailsa Craig, St Kilda and the Isle of May, over 5 million seabirds breed around our coast every year. The numbers of these birds has changed considerably since we started recording them in the late 1970s, but since around 2000, many of the species have suffered really dramatic declines, seemingly as a result of changes in their prey. RSPB is working to protect and recover these seabirds and this presentation will give an overview of some of that work. Recent advances include protected areas at sea, improved fisheries practices and better control against non-native predators in their colonies. 

11 Nov 2014        Jenny Lennon – Aberdeen Red Kites: Past, present and future

09 Dec 2014        Members’ Night and John Anderson  – The Falkland Islands

13 Jan 2015         Clive Walton – Mark and recapture: Bird ringing in Lothian and beyond

10 Feb 2015        Mark Newell – Seabird studies on the Isle of May: Spreading our wings after 40 years

10 Mar 2015       Peter Mawby – Dippers: A much loved bird at risk? (Aberlady)*

14 Apr 2015        AGM, Members’ Night & George Smith – Peregrines and PIT tags: A study of Peregrine demography in South Scotland

* NB: Oct & Mar meetings held at Waterston House, Aberlady


Doreen Main
01620 844532


Branch outings

These take place in most months of the year; usually on a Saturday or Sunday. They are full-day trips, so please bring a packed lunch and stout footwear.  Transport is on a car-share basis.

Sun 12 Oct         Lindisfarne (David Atkins)

Sun 9 Nov           Slamannan/Kinneil Kerse (James Bray)

Sun 14 Dec        Aberlady Bay & Christmas lunch at Craigielaw Golf Club (Stephen Hunter & Keith Macgregor)

Sun 18 Jan         Blackness/Linlithgow (John Hamilton)

Sun 15 Feb        Tyninghame (Doreen & James Main)

Sun 22 Mar       Anstruther/Ruddon’s Point (Tom Gillies)

Sun 19 Apr        Borders area (James Main)

Thu 7 May          Dawn chorus, Gosford (Cherle Smith)

Sun 14 Jun         Northumberland coast & Coquet Island (David Atkins)


Gillian Herbert, 0131 337 0767, or SOC HQ, for details.


About the branch

Branch committee


Doreen Main, Seatoller, Broadgait, Gullane, EH31 2DH, Tel 01620 844532

Chair and representative of the branch on SOC Council:

James Main


Richard Leslie


Stephen Hunter

Committee members:

Gillian Herbert (outings), Marjorie Adams, Morag King, John MacLean, Cherle Smith

Lothian recorder:

Stephen Welch


Useful information:

Birdwatching in the Lothians

Click here for our guide to Birding the Lothians and here to visit Ian Andrew’s website Birdwatching sites in the Lothians

Click here to download the SOC’s free guide: Birdwatching on the East Lothian coast

Bird recording in the Lothians

Visit the Lothian recording area page for details of the latest bird report, back issues, species considered locally and the latest Lothian Bird Records Committee decisions and for Local Recorder contact information.

Volunteering at Waterston House

Waterston House, SOC headquarters, is located in Lothian region, on the outskirts of Aberlady village. Please visit our volunteering page for more information.

Lothian Bird Bulletin

Click here to download Lothian Branch’s newsletter (most recent & back-issues).

Image to go alongside SE Scotland Atlas infoSouth-East Scotland Bird Atlas

Lothian and Borders regions have joined forces to run a local Bird Atlas project in parallel with the national 2007-11 Bird Atlas. For more details, including information on how to take part and preliminary species maps, see the South-East Scotland Bird Atlas website at www.the-soc.org.uk/se-atlas.

Lothian Discussion Group

The group meets at Waterston House on the first Wednesday of each month, from September to April, to discuss topical ornithological-related items, share survey results and plan upcoming survey work.

Meetings start at 7:30pm. Contact Mark Holling for more information.

2010 Edinburgh Film Festival

In June 2010 we were invited to join the stars on the red carpet at the world premiere of Pelican Blood, a film about sex, violence, and twitching! Below is a snapshot of the event!


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