You can find out about our Caithness branch below. 


We're delighted to share details of the meetings season (September 2024 - April 2025) 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 ad workshop booking information, where applicable), you must be signed up to the Branch News & Events - Talks & Workshops mailing list.



Wed 4 Sep
Leah Kelly, RSPB – Hen Harrier survey 2023 results 

Wed 18 Sep       
Jonathan Meiburg – The Caracaras would like to meet you: introducing the world’s smartest and strangest birds of prey (online) 

Tue 1 Oct
Speaker TBC – Seaducks, divers and grebes (online) 

Wed 16 Oct        Dave Parish, NatureScot – Stepping up efforts to save Scotland’s critically endangered Chough (online) 

Wed 6 Nov
Carl Mitchell – On top of the world... journeys of our Pink-footed Geese 

Wed 20 Nov       Ian Thomson, RSPB – Ending raptor persecution on Scotland’s grouse moors? (online) 

Tue 3 Dec
Stephen Welch – Gulls (online) 

Wed 4 Dec
Quiz night

Dates for January-April 2025 will be announced in due course.



Nina O'Hanlon on 07810 300392 or send Nina an email.

Venue for indoor meetings:

Castletown Heritage Centre, Harbour Road, Castletown, Caithness, KW14 8TG (click here to view a map of the venue and surrounding area)


Excursion details will be sent to SOC Caithness 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.


Nina O'Hanlon on 07810 300392 or send Nina an email.

Branch Committee


Nina O'Hanlon, 07810 300392


Donald Omand

Vice Chairs:

Julian Smith


Donald Clarke

Caithness recorder:

Sinclair Manson

Other Information

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.

2020-21 Branch Accounts and Chair's Report

Click here to download a copy of the 2020-21 Branch Accounts and here for the 2020-21 Chair's Report.

Social media:

Find Caithness Birds on Twitter and Facebook

Bird recording in Caithness

Visit the Caithness recording area page for details of the latest bird report, back issues, species considered locally and for Local Recorder contact information.

Birds of Caithness including the Breeding & Wintering Atlas 2007 – 2012


The ‘Birds of Caithness’ DVD was published in December 2015 by Caithness SOC.  It is the distillation of over 200 years of observations documenting the fascinating birdlife of the county.  The 458 page document is formatted to allow for viewing either as double-page spreads on the web or as high-resolution pdfs. To find out more about the publication, click here.

Caithness SOC were then delighted to announce the publication of a revised edition of The ‘Birds of Caithness’, in book form! This hard-backed book is a 458pp and A4 in size, with dust jacket.

The atlas’ new format includes amended maps and revised texts. Unfortunately this is now sold out however watch this space for more info coming soon!

Thurso Aviary

Over the past few years there has been an increase in the number of injured birds brought into Highland Council’s Ranger Service and the local veterinary surgery in Thurso. At present there is no facility on mainland Scotland (north) where birds can be held until fit enough for their release or for transporting to a sanctuary that can provide longer term care. To overcome this problem the Caithness Branch of the SOC have successfully raised money and have built the aviary. We would like to thank the following for helping us to make it happen.

Aviary – breakdown of funding:
Lottery £1656
Rotary £100
CWS £450
Sponsored hill walk £103
Norfrost and Merrimas £59
Sponsored birdwatch £40
Surgery collecting box £29
Sinclair’s books £10
Donations to R.S. and interest £65

Mary Legg


Loch of Mey hide

The hide is open all year for public use (apart from 31st December). It provides excellent views of wildfowl and waders, and is suitable for wheelchair access. It is situated on the north Caithness coast, west of the village of Mey. The signposted track starts opposite the road leading to Harrow harbour near the village of Scarfskerry. Parking is available at the old ruin.

The hide and footpath were funded by: Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise, Leader, Scottish Natural Heritage, BT Countryside for All, SOC, East Sutherland Bird Club, RSPB, Northern Studies, Highland Council and The Castle Arms Hotel.