• Scotland's Bird Club



You can find out about our Lothian branch below. 

  • Talks

    We're delighted to share details of the meetings season (September 2023 - April 2024) for members to enjoy. The full list, which will be held as a hybrid (online/in-person) programme, will be added to the website in due course. 

    More information about each meeting will be emailed to members around a week in advance of the event. To receive these emails (including Zoom joining instructions and workshop booking information, where applicable), you must be signed up to the Branch News & Events - Talks & Workshops mailing list.



    Tuesday 12 December 2023
    Roy Atkins – Estonia: birds and mammals in an unspoilt land, followed by The Endemics of Dreamland (two talks of 30 minutes each, in-person)

    Roy Atkins has been guiding for Speyside Wildlife for over 20 years. We’re heading to Northern Europe in part one of tonight’s programme, and part two takes a light-hearted look at the species on Roy’s ‘dream-list’, and the crazy problems this has led to.

    Wednesday 13 December 2023
    Prof. Debbie Pain – Lead from ammunition: A toxic problem affecting birds and other animals (online). For further information, please click here.     

    Tuesday 9 January 2024
    Frances Simpson – Nature Prescriptions (in-person)

    Nature Prescriptions began as a partnership between RSPB Scotland and NHS Shetland and expanded into Edinburgh. Frances Simpson, RSPB’s Scotland’s Nature and Wellbeing Manager, discusses the relationship between human health and the health of nature.

    Wednesday 17 January 2024
    Q & A with Prof. Tim Birkhead & Prof. Neil Metcalfe – The Great Auk (online). For further information, please click here

    Tuesday 13 Feburary 2024
    Dr. Alejandro Onrubia – Bird migration through the Strait of Gibraltar (online)

    The Strait is one of the most important sites for migratory birds in the world. Each year, half a million storks and birds of prey, almost a million seabirds, and around 30 million small migrants cross this natural bottleneck. Migration expert Dr. Alejandro Onrubia examines how population changes and variations in migratory patterns have affected this spectacular passage.

    Wednesday 21 February 2024
    Ros Green, Claudia Tapia & speaker TBA – Tracking birds' movements (online). For further information, please click here.

    Tuesday 12 March 2024
    Maggie Sheddan – Seabirds of the East Lothian coast workshop (*NB this will be held at Waterston House, Aberlady). Booking required - places limited

    Wednesday 20 March 2024
    Dr. Phil Atkinson, Dr. Jude Lane & speaker TBA (NatureScot) – Avian flu (online). For further information, please click here.

    Tuesday 9 April 2024
    Simon Wotton/Dr. Leah Kelly (TBC) – Results of the 2023 Hen Harrier Survey (in-person)

    Once widespread in the UK, the long-suffering Hen Harrier has fallen victim to habitat loss, land use change, and persecution. The sixth national Hen Harrier Survey is hot off the press, and our guest speaker consider the results. How is the species fairing in Scotland and the rest of the UK, and what has changed since the first survey of 1988-89?

    Wednesday 17 April 2024
    Helen Aiton, Michal Jezierski & Kevin and Mike Sinclair – SOC Endowment Fund Projects (online). For further information, please click here.



    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., mobile 07769 704821

    Venue for in-person meetings:

    The Cornerstone Centre, St John's Church, Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ (click here for a map of the venue and surrounding area). *12 March meeting only venue: SOC, Waterston House, Aberlady, EH32 0PY.

  • Outings

    Details of outings will be sent by email a week to ten days in advance to those branch members who have signed up for communications (click here if you haven't already done so). Details will also be available at indoor meetings. If you have any questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Sun 17 Dec           
    Kilspindie & Gosford House; Christmas Lunch at Craigielaw Golf Club


    David Parmee (Tel: 07769 704821, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


  • Branch Committee


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    Chair and representative of the branch on SOC Council:

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    Position vacant


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    Committee members:

    Andrew Matthews, Alec Sibbald, Mike Thornton, Gill Parmee

    Lothian recorder:

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  • Other Information

    Lothian is currently the largest SOC branch, with over 1000 members from across the region. We hold monthly talks between September and April and field trips throughout most of the year. We also have a discussion group, where we consider local conservation issues and organise survey work, see below for details.

    East Lothian Winter Atlas 2020-21

    Lothian SOC Discussion Group coordinated what had been intended to be a one-season winter atlas of East Lothian (for further information, click here). Owing to Covid-19 restrictions during the survey period, it is intended that some further fieldwork will take place in the 2021-22 winter (November to February). Plans will be discussed at meetings of the Discussion Group when they recommence in September, and details will be posted here in due course.

    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.

    Branch newsletter

    Lothian Bird E-Bulletin is periodically emailed to branch members and includes details of branch talks, outings and activities locally as well as summaries of recent outings and other branch-related news. Read the latest issue here.

    AGM minutes, Chairman's Report and Annual Accounts:

    Please click on the links below:

    Lothian branch AGM Minutes 2022-23

    Lothian branch SOC Chairman's report 2022-23 

    Lothian branch accounts 2022-23

    Discussion group:

    Lothian Discussion Group meets September to April, on the first Wednesday evening of the month to plan local survey fieldwork and review results, discuss atlas work and other activities. Meetings are held at 7.30pm in Waterston House. These are open to all SOC members. For more information on the group please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Mark Holling.

    Social media:


    Birdwatching in the Lothians

    Click here for our guide to Birding the Lothians.

    Click here to download the SOC’s free guide: Birdwatching on the East Lothian coast

    Bird recording in the Lothians

    Visit the Lothian recording area page for details of the latest bird report, back issues, species considered locally and the latest Lothian Bird Records Committee decisions and for Local Recorder contact information.

    Volunteering at Waterston House

    Waterston House, SOC headquarters, is located in Lothian region, on the outskirts of Aberlady village. Please visit our volunteering page for more information.

    Lothian Bird Bulletin Archive

    Click here to download archive issues of Lothian Branch newsletter.

    South-East Scotland Bird Atlas

    Find out more here


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.