Orkney branch


Yesnaby in a storm © Eric Meek

Evening talks programme



The following Thursdays at 7.30pm.

05 Feb 2015        “Seabird studies on the Isle of May:  Spreading our wings after 40 years”, with Mark Newell

A summary of the seabirds and seabird work on the Isle of May, (a National Nature Reserve lying 5 miles off the Fife coast), over the last 40 years with a general background to the isle and its other wildlife. Mark will also provide an overview of expanding their work to take in other seabird colonies along the east coast. 

Mark Newell has worked as a seabird ecologist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh since November 2004. His role is to undertake and manage the long-term seabird fieldwork that is carried out on the Isle of May.  It involves ringing and studying a range of species throughout the breeding season with particular interest in their productivity, long-term survival and diet.  Prior to starting at CEH he worked as a Wildlife Tour Guide specialising in trips to Scottish islands. He also has also carried out short term contracts on a wide range of ornithological projects for Scottish Natural Heritage, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Fair Isle Bird Observatory, Shetland and the University of Plymouth.


05 Mar 2015       ”Breeding waders of the Uist machair: Land use and predators, past, present and future”, with John Calladine

The west coast habitats of the Uists hold concentrations of breeding waders that are exceptional in Scottish, British and wider European contexts. Observed declines in wader populations on South Uist and Benbecula since the 1980s were argued to be largely due to predation of clutches by introduced hedgehogs. This argument, supported by evidence from the effects of their experimental removal, led to an ongoing programme of hedgehog removal. Concern remained however that breeding populations of some waders did not show signs of recovery that might be expected in response to hedgehog control. This talk will present some of the findings of recent work investigating associations of changes in breeding wader densities with land uses and new work on the full suite of predators affecting machair waders. Future implications for conservation will be discussed. 

John Calladine has had a lifelong interest birds and natural history and has worked in ecological research and conservation for over 30 years. John is currently a Senior Research Ecologist with BTO Scotland, based at Stirling University, with particular interests in the impacts of land uses on bird populations and distribution.


Jane Cleaver, SOC Headquarters
01875 871 330

Branch outings

No outings planned


About the branch

Branch committee:

Secretary and representative of the branch on SOC Council:

Position vacant


Position vacant

Vice- Chair:

Position vacant


Position vacant

Orkney recorder:

Jim Williams


Useful information:

Birdwatching in Orkney

Click here for our guide to Birding North Ronaldsay

Bird recording in Orkney

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

Young Birders CTA

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