You can find out about our Stewarty branch below.
We're delighted to share details of the meetings season (September 2023 - April 2024) for members to enjoy. This year's programme will be a held as a hybrid (online/in-person) programme.
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.
All of the online talks start at 7.30pm.
Some of the in-person meetings will be held in the morning, making it easier for members to attend when driving long distances on twisty country roads, often in bad winter weather:
- 11 April in-person meetings: evenings at 7.30pm
- 9 November, 7 December, 11 January, 15 February and 14 March in-person meetings: mornings at 10.30am
Thursday 7 December 2023
Chris Rollie – Donald Watson's birds in a changing landscape (in-person, NB 10.30am)
The landscape of Scotland has changed profoundly over the last half century. Donald Watson, the late celebrated bird artist and author, lived and worked in Galloway for over 50 years. Illustrated by his paintings, this talk examines the land use changes around his home county and their impact on the landscape and birds within it.
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 11 January 2024
Barbara Mearns – Birds, butterflies and moths: The hunters and the hunted (in-person, NB 10.30am)
Renowned local naturalist, writer, poet and photographer Barbara Mearns discusses the local bird species that eat butterflies and moths, and the strategies the butterflies and moths have evolved to avoid becoming bird food. Barbara also considers how we can address the 50% decline in Scottish moth numbers in the last 25 years.
Wednesday 17 January 2024
Q & A with Prof. Tim Birkhead & Prof. Neil Metcalfe – The Great Auk (online). For further information, please click here.
Thursday 15 February 2024
Stan da Prato – Warbler identification by sight and sound Workshop (in-person, NB 10.30am). Booking required - places limited
Stan da Prato will help you to identify the warbler species that breed in Scotland. We’ll listen to their songs and calls, and learn a little about how they live and their migrations.
Wednesday 21 February 2024
Ros Green, Claudia Tapia & speaker TBA – Tracking birds' movements (online). For further information, please click here.
Thursday 14 March 2024
David Pickett – A wilder, wetter Caerlaverock (in-person, NB 10.30am)
WWT Caerlaverock Site Manager David Pickett has been managing nature reserves and working in the countryside for 38 years, 26 of them in Scotland. How are the WWT developing the management of the reserve to increase wetlands and biodiversity - on large and small scales - in the face of a changing climate.
Wednesday 20 March 2024
Dr. Phil Atkinson, Dr. Jude Lane & speaker TBA (NatureScot) – Avian flu (online). For further information, please click here.
Thursday 11 April 2024
AGM and Simon Wotton/Dr. Leah Kelly (TBC) – AGM and 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.
01644 420 280
Venue for indoor meetings:
Village Hall, Balmaclellan DG7 3QE (two miles east of New Galloway - click here for a map of the surrounding area)
In an attempt to suit as many of our well-scattered members as possible, who live from west of Newton Stewart to east of Castle Douglas, the outings are evenly split between the east and west of the region and also between the start of the week and the end.
Due to our unpredictable Galloway weather members should always check the day before to confirm that the outing is taking place as planned. If an outing is cancelled it is always hoped to arrange an alternative date. We would especially like to welcome beginners on these outings. See below for Secretary contact details.
Details of excursions will be sent to SOC Stewartry branch members by email, if you have signed up for these (or click here if you haven't already done so).
Further outings will be announced in due course.
Chair and representative of the branch on SOC Council:
David Henshilwood, Val Smith, Jon Warren
Dumfries and Galloway recorder:
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.
Birdwatching in Dumfries and Galloway:
Click here for a list of recommended sites to visit and to download a free, full-colour birdwatching guide produced by D&G Council Ranger Service.
Bird recording in Stewartry:
Visit the Dumfries & Galloway recording area page for details of the latest bird report, back issues, species considered locally and for Local Recorder contact information.