• Scotland's Bird Club



You can find out about our Moray branch below.

  • Talks

    We're delighted to share details of the meetings season (September 2023 - April 2024) for members to enjoy. This year's programme will be held as a hybrid (online/in-person) programme. 

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



    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.     

    Thursday 14 December 2023
    Karen Cunningham – Cranes and conservation: The return of cranes to North-East Scotland (in-person)

    Karen Cunningham is the RSPB’s Senior Conservation Officer for North-East Scotland and Shetland; she’ll be telling us about the return of Cranes to the North-East, and describing a typical breeding year, from arrival to departure. How is landscape scale conservation on lowland raised bogs benefiting the Cranes and other wetland species?

    Thursday 11 January 2024
    Andrew Painting – Mar Lodge Estate National Nature Reserve (in-person)

    Andrew Painting is the Conservation Officer at Mar Lodge Estate in the Cairngorms: the UK’s largest National Nature Reserve and home to 30% of the UK’s Red Listed breeding species. Andrew looks at conservation and rewilding on the estate, along with the challenges of raptor persecution and climate change.

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

    Thursday 8 February 2024
    Stuart Benn – Golden Eagles in the Highlands – past, present and future (in-person)

    Stuart Benn is one of the most experienced Golden Eagle workers in Scotland, having dedicated the last 30 years of his life to their conservation, working with the RSPB, and now spending his retirement doing the same. He describes their history and future in Scotland at a time when Golden Eagles are now more numerous than they have ever been in recorded history.

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

    Thursday 14 March 2024
    AGM and Members' Evening (in-person)

    After a brief AGM, we’ll present some short talks by branch members on local subjects. Entry is free, so if you’re new to the Club or to birdwatching in general, we hope you’ll come along to see what we’re all about.

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

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


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

    Venue for in-person meetings:

    Elgin Library, Cooper Park, Elgin IV30 1HS (click here to view a map of the venue and surrounding area).

    We hope that the branch provides an opportunity for those who share a common interest in birds to meet for regular social occasions. At our indoor meetings we usually have a speaker and the emphasis is on local birds and birding – with plenty of time to get to know those whose names we may recognise but faces we do not!

    In addition to evening meetings between autumn and spring, we have regular outings through the year, and offer the opportunity for club members to get involved in some surveys of our local birds.  All are welcome to attend these activities, including non-members of the Club. If you are not yet an SOC member and are interested in finding out more information about joining, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our Join us page. 

  • Outings

    Details of planned outings will be sent to SOC Moray branch members by email, if you have signed up for this (or click here if you haven't already done so).

    Further outings will be announced in due course.


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

  • Branch Committee


    Martin Cook


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


    Frank Ritchie

    Representative of the branch on SOC Council:

    Richard Somers Cocks

    Committee members:

    David Law, Melvin Morrison, Richard Somers Cocks and Alastair Young

    Moray & Nairn recorder:

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

  • Other Information

    Talks and outings 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. A similar reminder service operates for outings. 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.


    Birds in Moray and Nairn is a comprehensive website operated by Martin. The site includes details of the latest sightings, forthcoming survey work (and how to get involved), branch meetings and outings, as well as giving users the option to view or print the latest and previous editions of the Moray & Nairn bird report – for free!


    The branch has recently brought out a newsletter, published every two to three months and including updates on local events and training opportunities as well as photographs and other interesting articles.  The most recent issue can be downloaded here (September 2022).  Back issues of the newsletter can be downloaded here.

    Minutes from the 2023 Moray Branch AGM:

    Click here to download a copy of the minutes from the recent Moray Branch AGM.

    Beginners Birdwatching courses:

    Organised by Martin, these courses run periodically. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info.

    Bird recording in this area

    Visit the Moray & Nairn recording area page. A guide to different aspects of bird recording in the area can also be found at . 

    The Breeding Birds of North-East Scotland

    Click here to read about this atlas, which covers Moray, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City.


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.