You can find out about our Highland branch below.
While social distancing remains in place due to Covid-19, SOC Council has decided that all face-to-face indoor branch meetings should be postponed until the end of our 2020/21 winter talks programme in April 2021, when the situation will be reviewed. This is in order to ensure the safety of our members and speakers.
However, we are pleased to announce that the branch will be running some virtual meetings, via Zoom, and we hope that you will be able to join us.
For instructions on how to use Zoom, please click here.
Highland branch talks are normally held on Tuesdays, but while Covid-19 restrictions remain, the branch will hold virtual meetings in conjunction with Caithness and Orkney branches, who normally meet on Wednesdays and Thursdays respectively. Meetings will therefore be held on varying days of the week until indoor sessions resume.
On the following days at 7.30pm:
Thu 5 Nov 2020 David Jardine - Three craws sat upon a wall: Choughs of Colonsay
Tue 1 Dec 2020 Bob Swann - Chasting Scotland's Dragons, followed by Saving Branta
Wed 6 Jan 2021 Al McNee - Scottish Birding 400
Thu 4 Feb 2021 Speaker to be announced
Tue 2 Mar 2021 Speaker to be announced
Tue 13 Apr 2021 AGM & Ben Darvill - Birdsong and Birdtrack
Once indoor meetings resume, they will be held at Culloden Library, Keppoch Road, Culloden, Inverness, IV2 7LL (click here for a map of the venue and surrounding area). Please note that the cost is £3 for members and £5 for non-members.
*UPDATE - following the new 6 person / 2 household rules in Scotland in place from 14 September 2020, all branch outings are on hold until further notice*
For guidance on how branches are managing outings in relation to Covid-19, please click here.
There are two outdoor trips per month over the branch outing season – a full day outing on a Saturday or Sunday and a Thursday morning outing. On our outdoor trips, the aim is not just to see the largest number of birds, but to find and watch and enjoy. We think the pleasure comes from birdwatching with like-minded people, learning identification skills, enjoying the splendid sights and taking delighted in the unexpected find. If this whets your appetite and you feel you would enjoy these field trips, then you’d be most welcome to come along.
Weekend excursions are full day, Thursdays are usually mornings only. Thursday outings will be led by a committee member.
Sun 11 Oct
Dornoch Firth and Easter Ross Migration (Dean McAskill). Meet Dornoch Airstrip 10am
Thurs 22 Oct
Weekday Birding. Moray Coast (Pete Gordon). Meet West of The Maltings, Burghead 10am
Sat 7 Nov
Whiteness (Jonathan Clarke). Meet at Fort George car park 9.30am
Thurs 19 Nov
Black Isle (Sue Seright). Meet at N Kessock by slipway toilets 9.30am
Sun 6 Dec
Beginners’ Birding Guided Walk (Sue Sykes). Meet at Old Station, Nethybridge 10am
Thurs 17 Dec
Weekday Birding (Sue Seright). Meeting place and time to be confirmed
Sat 9 Jan
Bird Race (Carol Miller and Sue Seright). Meeting place and time to be confirmed
Thurs 21 Jan
Weekday Birding (Alister Clunas) - to be confirmed
Sun 7 Feb
Strathspey Outing (John Poyner). Meet at Loch Garten Car Park at 10am
Thurs 18 Feb
Weekday Birding (Al McNee) - to be confirmed
Sun 7 Mar
Day trip to Moray Coast (Mary Galloway) - to be confirmed
Thurs 18 Mar
The Loch District South of Inverness (Alex Joss). Meeting place and time to be confirmed
Sun 18 April
Lochaber Outing (Tony Laidler). Meet at Neptune’s Staircase car park 10am
Thurs 29 April
Dawn Chorus with Birdsong Identification (Simon Cohen) - to be confirmed
Sun 9 May
Gairloch and Poolewe - to be confirmed
Sat 22 May
Evening Meet at Loch Ruthven followed by a social - to be confirmed
Jon Clarke, Alastair McNee, Alex Joss, Bob McMillan, John Poyner and Susan Seright
Committee member & Representative of the branch on SOC Council:
Outer Hebrides recorder:
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.
Highland Birds http://www.highlandbirds.scot/ is a website run by and for members of Highland branch, as well as visitors to the region. The site provides information on where to go birding in the region. There is a recording page showing how to submit your records, as well as a gallery of previous rarities and information on how to to purchase the Highland Bird Report.
Birdwatching in the area
The Highland Branch website, Highland Birds, should be your first port of call for information on where to birdwatch across the Highland region. Likewise, if you're planning a trip to Skye and surrounding areas on the mainland, Skye Birds website is also a one stop shop for everything to do with birds and birding in the area!
Bird recording in this area
Visit the Highland recording area page for details of the latest bird report, back issues, species considered locally and for Local Recorder contact information.
Highland Bird News- Archive
Click here to view archive issues of the branch's local newsletter, Highland Bird News.
Highland Bird Report Gazetteer
SOC Highland branch has produced a gazetteer, listing almost 2600 site names referred to in the Highland Bird Report and their grid references. This can be downloaded from the Highland recording area page.