Headquarters organises a programme of events throughout the year. Find out more about these events below.
Club members benefit from discounts on events - see individual events for details. Not a member yet? Find out more about membership.
Bird ID Guided Walks
"Thank you for giving me a really great experience of getting out and listening for birds. My binocular skills improved and I am continuing to practice. It was so illuminating and enjoyable, and a privilege to have access to your knowledge and skills. It was exactly what I was looking for", Kate Allan, Musselburgh, June 2019
"Thank you for your excellent service. I look forward to more walks in the near future, Scott is a great guide and teacher", John Weir, Scottish Borders, September 2021
“Really great Aberlady walk with Scott, he is so helpful to those who are less experienced, yet his wealth of knowledge means even experts can learn from him”, Will Howarth, North Berwick, September 2021
"Thank you VERY much for a really enjoyable and hugely informative Sunday morning despite the Arctic temperatures. I have listened much more carefully on my daily walks and am managing to identify much more than I could before", Jane McCormack, East Lothian, January 2022
If you’re commonly left wondering what bird species has just flown overhead (and would like to find out), or you just want to brush up on your ID skills, then our Bird ID Guided Walks course could be for you!
Courses take the form of a series of guided walks, led by SOC Local Bird Recorder (Perth & Kinross) and expert bird ID skills trainer, Scott Paterson, to various sites in and around the Lothians and Central belt. Each course lasts approximately 2-3 hours in duration - a great way to get started and make some new friends at the same time!
Meanwhile, support is also available on our new closed (private) Facebook Group, where you can share your bird observations with like-minded others who are just getting started or looking to improve their bird knowledge. The platform is monitored by staff and volunteers, who will be on hand to answer any bird ID or behaviour queries. To join the group, simply click here or search for ‘Birdwatching for Beginners’ on Facebook.
Art exhibitions in the Donald Watson Art Gallery
The Gallery at Waterston House shows a year-round programme of exhibitions from some of the UK’s top wildlife artists.
A new exhibition runs every two months, showing contemporary landscapes, wildlife art and illustrations, in a variety of media from painting and drawing, to prints, sculpture and photography. To join our mailing lists to receive details of art exhibitions and related talks and workshops, click here.
The gallery is open Thursdays - Sundays, 10am - 5pm. Entry is free and open to all.
Every autumn, up to 30,000 Pink-footed geese descend on Aberlady Bay Local Nature Reserve as part of their annual winter migration. It’s one of Scotland’s most spectacular wildlife events and Waterston House, SOC Headquarters, offers a front row view of the spectacle.
In late afternoon towards the end of September / early October, we hold our annual Goosewatch events where you can learn about the migration of the geese from Iceland and Greenland, to their wintering grounds here in Scotland. After a short illustrated talk from the East Lothian Council Ranger Service, you’ll have the opportunity to watch the breathtaking spectacle of thousands of geese (usually 15,000+) flying in to their night time roost on Aberlady Bay.
Details of our Goosewatch events and booking information will be advertised on our Events page when available.
Optics Day – binoculars & telescope demonstrations
In addition to the optical equipment available all year round, we also host two Optics Days, usually in May and October, but we may hold other ad hoc demos throughout the year. Details are published on our Events page and on Facebook. Please note that if there isn’t a visible listing for Optics Day on the page, this means that the dates have yet to be fixed and you should check back soon for more info, or contact us. These events give you access to the latest models and the opportunity to chat to staff from Viking Optical Ltd for further expert advice. Please get in touch with us in advance if there is a particular model you would like to try on the day. Entry is free and booking may be required - details on how to do this will be included in the event listing.