Lothian branch

© Iain Leach www.iainleachphotography.com

© Iain Leach www.iainleachphotography.com

Lothian is currently the largest SOC branch, with over 1000 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 (click here for a map of the venue and surrounding area), except those two meetings marked with an asterisk, which are at Waterston House, Aberlady.


The following Tuesdays at 7.30pm:

08 Dec 2015 –  Members’ Night and Alan Brown – Birding the Western Pacific: Albatrosses to Alcids
12 Jan 2016 –  Lynn & Keith Youngs –  An introduction to the birds of Asia
09 Feb 2016 –  John Savory – The Carrifran Wildwood story and colonisation by woodland birds there
08 Mar 2016 –  John Calladine – Breeding waders of the Uist machair: Land use and predators, past, present and future*
12 Apr 2016 –  AGM, Members’ Night & Richard Leslie – Andes to Amazon: A member’s birding trip

* NB: Oct & Mar meetings held at Waterston House, Aberlady. Space limited. Advance booking essential (01620 844532)


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 15 November 2015 *CHANGE TO OUTING DETAILS*
As you may know the Forth Road Bridge will be closed on Sunday 15 November.  As a result of this and the serious traffic delays likely, it has been decided to abandon our proposed visit to RSPB Loch Leven.

Instead the outing will be a Leaders’ Choice (Tom and Margaret Gillies).  We will meet at Thorntonloch Car Park (Map Ref NT 745752), which is off the A1 beyond Torness Power Station (if coming south) at 10 am.  We will then work our way back along the coast depending on sightings possibly ending up at Musselburgh Lagoons (High Tide around 4pm).  There are toilets at Thorntonloch and other sites.

Walking will be mostly on flat surfaces – boots are recommended.  Bring a packed lunch.

Anyone wishing to join the outing should contact Gillian Herbert to book and arrange car sharing.

Contacts: Gillian Herbert 07751072801

On the day: Tom Gillies 07434000505, James & Doreen Main 07791127044

Sun 13 December 2015
Aberlady Bay / Gosford and lunch at Craigielaw Golf Club (Stephen Hunter & Sid Morgan)

Sun 17 January 2016
Musselburgh sea wall & lagoons (Richard Leslie)

Sun 21 February 2016
Scone Palace & Tay reed beds (Tom & Margaret Gillies)

Sun 20 March 2016
Kinneil Kerse & Linlithgow Loch (Marjorie Adams & Sid Morgan

Sun 17 April 2016
Tentsmuir Forest & Morton Lochs (David Atkins)

Thurs 12 May 2016
East Lothian coast (Doreen & James Main)

Sun 22 May 2016
Lothian uplands (Stephen Hunter)



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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