• Scotland's Bird Club



You can find out about our Caithness branch below. 

  • Talks

    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.

    An invitation with a link to the Zoom meeting will be sent out to the branch's members a few days before the event via email. To receive this notice, please ensure that you are on the appropriate mailing list held by HQ. If you are unsure, you can check your mailing list preferences by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or if you know you do not receive branch notices but would like to, you can sign up here (please note these will only be sent to SOC members).

    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


    Nina O'Hanlon on 07810 300392 or send Nina an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    Once indoor meetings resume, they will be held at Castletown Heritage Centre, Harbour Road, Castletown, Caithness, KW14 8TG

  • Outings

    No outings are currently planned. 


    Nina O'Hanlon on 07810 300392 or send Nina an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Branch Committee


    Nina O'Hanlon


    Donald Omand

    Vice Chairs:

    Julian Smith


    Eric Maughan

    Caithness recorder:

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Other Information

    Talks reminders:

    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

    Click here to download a copy of the 2020-21 Branch Accounts and here for the 2020-21 Chair's Report.

    Social media:

    Find Caithness Birds on Twitter and Facebook

    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


    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!

    Thurso Aviary

    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:
    Lottery £1656
    Rotary £100
    CWS £450
    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

    Mary Legg


    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.


SOC brings together like-minded individuals with a passion for birds, nature and conservation through a programme of talks, outings, conferences and via the Club’s quarterly journal, Scottish Birds.