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:

09 Feb 2016 –  John Savory – The Carrifran Wildwood story and colonisation by woodland birds there

John’s talk will describe the history of the Borders Forest Trust, its acquisition of the Carrifran Valley (and other properties) in the Moffat Hills, the native woodland restoration planting programme there since 2000, and the regular bird surveys that have been conducted there and at an adjacent unplanted valley since 1998.  This has provided a unique opportunity for measuring the effect of rewilding of an upland woodland habitat on the local avifauna.

After John graduated in Zoology (BSc) at Aberdeen University in 1967, he did PhD research at Banchory on the feeding ecology of red grouse.  He then did 25 years as a poultry scientist at the Roslin Institute, and then poultry behaviour and welfare research and teaching at the Scottish Agricultural College for 6 years before retiring in 2003.  Since then John has done weekly volunteering at the Borders Forest Trust’s Carrifran Wildwood project in the Moffat Hills, and am the biological recorder on its Steering Group.  He also does occasional work in the SOC’s archive and is on the Library Committee.

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 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 315 4541, 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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