You can find out about our Caithness branch below.
With the ongoing uncertainty on when face-to-face indoor meetings will be able to resume, due to Covid-19, SOC branches will continue with virtual meetings, via Zoom, until April 2022. This is in order to ensure the safety of our members and speakers, and to allow us to plan an online programme of talks that we can be confident of delivering, regardless of where things might stand in relation to the pandemic.
For instructions on how to use Zoom, please click here.
Caithness branch talks are normally held on Wednesdays, but while Covid-19 restrictions remain, the branch will hold virtual meetings in conjunction with Highland and Orkney branches, who normally meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays respectively. Meetings will therefore be held on varying days of the week until indoor sessions resume.
The following days at 7.30pm:
Tue 07 Dec Darrell Stevens – Peatland restoration and Forsinard Reserve
Wed 15 Dec In-person quiz at Castletown Heritage Centre
Tue 11 Jan Colin Leslie - Birds and other wildlife of Scotland’s forests
Tue 01 Feb Hywel Maggs - Cranes breeding in Scotland
Tue 01 Mar Sara Frost - The wildlife of St Kilda and the Scottish Hebrides
Wed 06 Apr AGM & speaker to be announced (it is hoped to hold this as an indoor meeting)
Thu 14 Apr Kate Clarke - Speyside wader survey
Once indoor meetings resume, they will be held at Castletown Heritage Centre, Harbour Road, Castletown, Caithness, KW14 8TG
No outings are currently planned.
Members who've consented to Local Branch news and events e-communications from SOC, are sent a reminder about forthcoming talks (with more information on the speaker and subject where possible), usually a week or so in advance of the meeting. If you don’t already receive these alerts and would like to, please make sure you've completed a Mailing List Consent Form to allow the Club to contact you. If you've already completed a form, check your junk/spam/clutter folders to make sure our emails aren't landing there. Still nothing? Contact Headquarters as we may not have a correct or up to date email address on file for you.
2020-21 Branch Accounts and Chair's Report
Bird recording in Caithness
Visit the Caithness recording area page for details of the latest bird report, back issues, species considered locally and for Local Recorder contact information.
Birds of Caithness including the Breeding & Wintering Atlas 2007 – 2012
REVISED EDITION - THE BOOK!
The ‘Birds of Caithness’ DVD was published in December 2015 by Caithness SOC. It is the distillation of over 200 years of observations documenting the fascinating birdlife of the county. The 458 page document is formatted to allow for viewing either as double-page spreads on the web or as high-resolution pdfs. To find out more about the publication, click here.
Caithness SOC were then delighted to announce the publication of a revised edition of The ‘Birds of Caithness’, in book form! This hard-backed book is a 458pp and A4 in size, with dust jacket.
The atlas’ new format includes amended maps and revised texts. Unfortunately this is now sold out however watch this space for more info coming soon!
Over the past few years there has been an increase in the number of injured birds brought into Highland Council’s Ranger Service and the local veterinary surgery in Thurso. At present there is no facility on mainland Scotland (north) where birds can be held until fit enough for their release or for transporting to a sanctuary that can provide longer term care. To overcome this problem the Caithness Branch of the SOC have successfully raised money and have built the aviary. We would like to thank the following for helping us to make it happen.
Aviary – breakdown of funding:
Sponsored hill walk £103
Norfrost and Merrimas £59
Sponsored birdwatch £40
Surgery collecting box £29
Sinclair’s books £10
Donations to R.S. and interest £65
Loch of Mey hide
The hide is open all year for public use (apart from 31st December). It provides excellent views of wildfowl and waders, and is suitable for wheelchair access. It is situated on the north Caithness coast, west of the village of Mey. The signposted track starts opposite the road leading to Harrow harbour near the village of Scarfskerry. Parking is available at the old ruin.
The hide and footpath were funded by: Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise, Leader, Scottish Natural Heritage, BT Countryside for All, SOC, East Sutherland Bird Club, RSPB, Northern Studies, Highland Council and The Castle Arms Hotel.