LAUNCHING MARCH 2019:

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  • Gulls by Laurie Campbell

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    [title] => Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) on the Clyde Estuary
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The national WeBS is organised by the BTO, and in Scotland coordinated by the SOC. In the Clyde area we have had excellent coverage for many years, but recently there has been a marked decline due to a shortage of volunteer counters. The most important site urgently in need of new counters is the Clyde Estuary, which requires a team of at least 12 regular volunteers and several reserve counters. The Clyde Branch has been coordinating monthly bird counts of the estuary for the past 45 years, with a break only in 1978 due to shortage of volunteers in that year. Two of our current team of volunteers have been counting throughout that entire period!

This month the count takes place this coming Sunday, 7th December. Three regular counters have indicated being unavailable, which has left us short of stand-in counters on two sectors of the estuary – West Ferry to Newark Castle, and Port Glasgow to Gourock Bay. If you are interested in helping out at short notice for Sunday’s count, or willing to join the team either as a regular or stand-in volunteer, please contact the Clyde area organiser, John Clark on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

John can provide helpful guidance on how best to survey individual sectors, and the count methodology. He can also arrange for you to shadow an existing counter to gain experience. We are also looking for additional volunteers to take on a number of freshwater sites. Adopting a regular patch can be an enjoyable and very rewarding experience, as well as making an important ‘citizen science’ contribution to the conservation of our local wild bird populations.

For more information on the Wetland Bird Survey see  http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/webs.

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The national WeBS is organised by the BTO, and in Scotland coordinated by the SOC. In the Clyde area we have had excellent coverage for many years, but recently there has been a marked decline due to a shortage of volunteer counters. The most important site urgently in need of new counters is the Clyde Estuary, which requires a team of at least 12 regular volunteers and several reserve counters. The Clyde Branch has been coordinating monthly bird counts of the estuary for the past 45 years, with a break only in 1978 due to shortage of volunteers in that year. Two of our current team of volunteers have been counting throughout that entire period!

This month the count takes place this coming Sunday, 7th December. Three regular counters have indicated being unavailable, which has left us short of stand-in counters on two sectors of the estuary – West Ferry to Newark Castle, and Port Glasgow to Gourock Bay. If you are interested in helping out at short notice for Sunday’s count, or willing to join the team either as a regular or stand-in volunteer, please contact the Clyde area organiser, John Clark on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

John can provide helpful guidance on how best to survey individual sectors, and the count methodology. He can also arrange for you to shadow an existing counter to gain experience. We are also looking for additional volunteers to take on a number of freshwater sites. Adopting a regular patch can be an enjoyable and very rewarding experience, as well as making an important ‘citizen science’ contribution to the conservation of our local wild bird populations.

For more information on the Wetland Bird Survey see  http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/webs.

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    [title] => New member of Scottish Birds Records Committee (SBRC) announced
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    [introtext] => 
David Parnaby – a new member of SBRC

Scottish Birds Records Committee (SRBC) welcomes David Parnaby as new member of SBRC, replacing Mark Chapman for the Northern Isles region. David brings much experience to the committee, being the current warden of Fair Isle Bird Observatory, and previously having worked at the RSPB Loch of Strathbeg reserve in North-east Scotland.

SBRC would like to acknowledge its gratitude to Mark for his work over the period of his tenure. Mark has contributed a great deal to SBRC, and we wish him well.

Chris McInerny, on behalf of SBRC

 

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David Parnaby – a new member of SBRC

Scottish Birds Records Committee (SRBC) welcomes David Parnaby as new member of SBRC, replacing Mark Chapman for the Northern Isles region. David brings much experience to the committee, being the current warden of Fair Isle Bird Observatory, and previously having worked at the RSPB Loch of Strathbeg reserve in North-east Scotland.

SBRC would like to acknowledge its gratitude to Mark for his work over the period of his tenure. Mark has contributed a great deal to SBRC, and we wish him well.

Chris McInerny, on behalf of SBRC

 

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    [title] => St. Andrews University PhD students speak at Fife SOC meeting
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    [introtext] => 

How do tits communicate predatory threats? What happens to ‘our’ summer birds when they leave our shores? Where do they go and what do they get up to?

These were the questions posed by three post-graduate St Andrews University students when they explained their research to members at the Fife SOC meeting on Wednesday September 10th.

Their fascinating (and beautifully presented) talks gave new insights into the behaviour of our familiar birds – many of whom are in decline. To give a flavour of their research, Emma Blackburn told us that the tiny Whinchat flies 6000 km in less than three weeks, including a fast non-stop flight over the Sahara Desert. Sam Ivande told us that many birds wintering in Nigeria aren’t too worried about their habitat and will often stop at the first available patch of scrub, while Nora Carlson entertained us with her robotic Buzzard and the sounds of the unique ‘squeak’ call that Great Tits use to let other birds know a Sparrowhawk is on the prowl.

The next meeting of the branch will be at St Andrews Town Hall on Wednesday 8th October when Innes Sim will talk about Ring Ouzels.

All are welcome. Please visit the Fife branch page on the website for further information and contact details.

Elizabeth Irwin
SOC Fife Branch Treasurer

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How do tits communicate predatory threats? What happens to ‘our’ summer birds when they leave our shores? Where do they go and what do they get up to?

These were the questions posed by three post-graduate St Andrews University students when they explained their research to members at the Fife SOC meeting on Wednesday September 10th.

Their fascinating (and beautifully presented) talks gave new insights into the behaviour of our familiar birds – many of whom are in decline. To give a flavour of their research, Emma Blackburn told us that the tiny Whinchat flies 6000 km in less than three weeks, including a fast non-stop flight over the Sahara Desert. Sam Ivande told us that many birds wintering in Nigeria aren’t too worried about their habitat and will often stop at the first available patch of scrub, while Nora Carlson entertained us with her robotic Buzzard and the sounds of the unique ‘squeak’ call that Great Tits use to let other birds know a Sparrowhawk is on the prowl.

The next meeting of the branch will be at St Andrews Town Hall on Wednesday 8th October when Innes Sim will talk about Ring Ouzels.

All are welcome. Please visit the Fife branch page on the website for further information and contact details.

Elizabeth Irwin
SOC Fife Branch Treasurer

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    [title] => 2014 Summer Migrant Arrival Table - updated 4 July
    [alias] => 472014-summer-migrant-arrival-table-updated-4-july
    [introtext] => 

The 2014 Summer Migrants Arrival table, brought to you by Birdline Scotland, is available to view on the website.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed records once again this year for use in the migrant table. Special thanks to the local recorders who helped out, their contribution has been invaluable as always.

Latest update: Friday 4th July

2014 sees the 10th year of one of the most popular features on the SOC website, the table of summer migrant arrival dates in Scotland.

Your help is invaluable in ensuring  the table is as current and accurate as possible in relation to early arrival dates. It is hoped that the table will be updated as regularly as possible, potentially more than once a day during busy periods. All the updated tables for previous years are available to view on the summer migrant page.

To submit sightings for inclusion please phone the Birdline Scotland hotline number on 01292 611994 (24 hour answerphone service) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The SOC’s network of Local Recorders have previously made use of these records for inclusion in local bird reports so it has proved to be an invaluable resource, as well as one of great interest, as it allows comparison of arrival dates between different years.

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The 2014 Summer Migrants Arrival table, brought to you by Birdline Scotland, is available to view on the website.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed records once again this year for use in the migrant table. Special thanks to the local recorders who helped out, their contribution has been invaluable as always.

Latest update: Friday 4th July

2014 sees the 10th year of one of the most popular features on the SOC website, the table of summer migrant arrival dates in Scotland.

Your help is invaluable in ensuring  the table is as current and accurate as possible in relation to early arrival dates. It is hoped that the table will be updated as regularly as possible, potentially more than once a day during busy periods. All the updated tables for previous years are available to view on the summer migrant page.

To submit sightings for inclusion please phone the Birdline Scotland hotline number on 01292 611994 (24 hour answerphone service) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The SOC’s network of Local Recorders have previously made use of these records for inclusion in local bird reports so it has proved to be an invaluable resource, as well as one of great interest, as it allows comparison of arrival dates between different years.

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New SOC pin badge

A new SOC pin badge is now available (actual size c. 25mm x 23mm). Thanks to artist Chris Rose for allowing us to use his artwork as the basis for the badge!

Badges can be purchased from Waterston House at the RRP of £1 (plus £1.50 p&p per order, if required) and come September, will be available at some local branch meets. Plus we’ll also have a badges for sale at any events we have a stand at!

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New SOC pin badge

A new SOC pin badge is now available (actual size c. 25mm x 23mm). Thanks to artist Chris Rose for allowing us to use his artwork as the basis for the badge!

Badges can be purchased from Waterston House at the RRP of £1 (plus £1.50 p&p per order, if required) and come September, will be available at some local branch meets. Plus we’ll also have a badges for sale at any events we have a stand at!

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For the first time ever, the birdlife of Clackmannanshire has been systematically recorded to produce an ornithological atlas for the County. The Birds of Clackmannanshire, published by the Central Scotland Branch of the SOC, is the culmination of several years of dedicated fieldwork....

New landmark book on County’s birdlife published

For the first time ever, the birdlife of Clackmannanshire has been systematically recorded to produce an ornithological atlas for the County. The Birds of Clackmannanshire, published by the Central Scotland Branch of the SOC, is the culmination of several years of dedicated fieldwork by numerous volunteers mapping the breeding and wintering distribution of the ‘Wee County’s’ diverse birdlife. The 236-page landmark book should prove an essential reference tool for council planners and environment bodies; with species mapped at the relatively fine scale of a kilometre square, the results will allow for the precise targeting of conservation action and will act as a baseline for monitoring future changes in bird populations locally. Edited by Neil Bielby, Keith Broomfield and John Grainger, the authors hope the book will inspire and encourage readers to take a greater interest in the county’s birds, most usefully by becoming involved in recording and conservation efforts locally.

“Clackmannanshire has a fantastic array of birds and other wildlife, thanks to an incredibly varied landscape over a very small area. It is hoped that this book will play an important role in helping conserve vital habitats in Clackmannanshire and also enhance our overall understanding and enjoyment of the county’s birds and other wildlife” said co-editor, Neil Bielby

Readers should also enjoy viewing the high-class imagery and art work that embellishes the text throughout. Eleven of the finest bird illustrators working in Scotland today were involved in the project, alongside several photographers. The Birds of Clackmannanshire retails at £15, with any profits from sales of the publication going to support the Central branch of  the SOC. Copies of the book can be purchased by contacting Neil Bielby at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The Birds of Clackmannanshire received financial support from The Birds of Scotland Fund, a grants scheme administered by the Club to provide financial support to ornithological publications and special projects in Scotland.

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For the first time ever, the birdlife of Clackmannanshire has been systematically recorded to produce an ornithological atlas for the County. The Birds of Clackmannanshire, published by the Central Scotland Branch of the SOC, is the culmination of several years of dedicated fieldwork....

New landmark book on County’s birdlife published

For the first time ever, the birdlife of Clackmannanshire has been systematically recorded to produce an ornithological atlas for the County. The Birds of Clackmannanshire, published by the Central Scotland Branch of the SOC, is the culmination of several years of dedicated fieldwork by numerous volunteers mapping the breeding and wintering distribution of the ‘Wee County’s’ diverse birdlife. The 236-page landmark book should prove an essential reference tool for council planners and environment bodies; with species mapped at the relatively fine scale of a kilometre square, the results will allow for the precise targeting of conservation action and will act as a baseline for monitoring future changes in bird populations locally. Edited by Neil Bielby, Keith Broomfield and John Grainger, the authors hope the book will inspire and encourage readers to take a greater interest in the county’s birds, most usefully by becoming involved in recording and conservation efforts locally.

“Clackmannanshire has a fantastic array of birds and other wildlife, thanks to an incredibly varied landscape over a very small area. It is hoped that this book will play an important role in helping conserve vital habitats in Clackmannanshire and also enhance our overall understanding and enjoyment of the county’s birds and other wildlife” said co-editor, Neil Bielby

Readers should also enjoy viewing the high-class imagery and art work that embellishes the text throughout. Eleven of the finest bird illustrators working in Scotland today were involved in the project, alongside several photographers. The Birds of Clackmannanshire retails at £15, with any profits from sales of the publication going to support the Central branch of  the SOC. Copies of the book can be purchased by contacting Neil Bielby at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The Birds of Clackmannanshire received financial support from The Birds of Scotland Fund, a grants scheme administered by the Club to provide financial support to ornithological publications and special projects in Scotland.

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30 January 2015

We’re thrilled to confirm that the SOC, in partnership with the Isle of May Bird Observatory, will be running...


04 December 2014

The national WeBS is organised by the BTO, and in Scotland coordinated by the SOC. In the Clyde area we have had...

27 October 2014
David Parnaby – a new member of SBRC

Scottish Birds Records Committee (SRBC) welcomes David Parnaby as new member...

12 September 2014

How do tits communicate predatory threats? What happens to ‘our’ summer birds when they leave our shores? Where do...

04 July 2014

The 2014 Summer Migrants Arrival table, brought to you by Birdline Scotland, is available to view on the...

02 July 2014
New SOC pin badge

A new SOC pin badge is now available (actual size c. 25mm x 23mm). Thanks to artist Chris...

17 January 2014

For the first time ever, the birdlife of Clackmannanshire has been systematically recorded to produce an...

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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.