Scottish Ornithologists' Club

The Scottish Ornithologists' Club (SOC) is a Scottish ornithological body, founded in March 1936 at the premises of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. As of 2008, the SOC has 2,200 members. The Club runs the Scottish Birds Records Committee, which maintains a list of birds recorded in Scotland. In 2007, the club was awarded the Silver Medal by the Zoological Society of London.[1]

Scottish Ornithologists' Club
Logo of the Scottish Ornithologists' Club

Waterston House

The SOC has its headquarters at Waterston House in Aberlady, East Lothian. The building overlooks Aberlady Bay and the Aberlady Local Nature Reserve, the first LNR in the United Kingdom. The building is named after George Waterston (1911–1980), an ornithologist and conservationist who was Director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in Scotland. It is said to house the most comprehensive ornithological library in Scotland, with over 3,500 volumes.

Waterston House's art gallery space is named after Donald Watson (1918–2005), a wildlife artist, who was President of the SOC.


Waterston House

Waterston House Gallery

Interior of Waterston House

Scottish Ornithologists Club

Waterston House


BirdTrack is an online citizen science website, operated by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) on behalf of a partnership of the BTO, the RSPB, BirdWatch Ireland, SOC, and the Welsh Ornithological Society (Welsh: Cymdeithas Adaryddol Cymru).[2][3]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "BirdTrack partners". British Trust for Ornithology. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Bird Track". National Biodiversity Network. Retrieved 25 April 2016.

External links


Aberlady (Scots: Aiberleddy, Gaelic: Obar Lobhaite) is a coastal village in the Scottish council area of East Lothian. The parish of Aberlady takes its name from this village, and had a population of 1,514 at the 2011 Census.

Aberlady Bay

Aberlady Bay in East Lothian, Scotland lies between Aberlady and Gullane.

In 1952, Aberlady Bay became the UK's first Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and is served by the East Lothian Council Rangers.

The Scottish Ornithologists' Club has Waterston House as its headquarters at Aberlady, with panoramic views of the bay.

Aberlady Bay is part of the John Muir Way, a long distance footpath from Fisherrow (Musselburgh) to Dunglass. It is also the East Lothian Section of the transnational North Sea Trail, a path network connecting seven countries and 26 areas.

Bearded reedling

The bearded reedling (Panurus biarmicus) is a small, sexually dimorphic reed-bed passerine bird. It is frequently known as the bearded tit, due to some similarities to the long-tailed tit, or the bearded parrotbill. It is the only species in the family Panuridae.


BirdTrack is an online citizen science website, operated by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) on behalf of a partnership of the BTO, the RSPB, BirdWatch Ireland, the Scottish Ornithologists' Club and the Welsh Ornithological Society (Welsh: Cymdeithas Adaryddol Cymru). It is also available though mobile apps.BirdTrack allows birdwatchers to record the names and numbers of birds seen in a specified location anywhere in the world. It acts as a log for those wishing to maintain lists of their own sightings, but also feeds data into various scientific surveys, is used for research and conservation purposes, and generates maps for public consumption. The maps are rendered using OpenStreetMap data.BirdTrack is part of WorldBirds, a global initiative to record bird sightings.In October 2014, data from BirdTrack was used as evidence in the conviction of a gamekeeper for illegally killing ten Common Buzzards and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk.

BirdWatch Ireland

BirdWatch Ireland (BWI) is a voluntary conservation organisation devoted to the conservation and protection of wild birds and their habitats in Ireland. It was formerly known as the Irish Wildbird Conservancy (IWC). Irish Wildbird Conservancy was founded in 1968, among others by Major Robert (Robin) Ruttledge, an Irish ornithologist who became its first president.BWI has over 15,000 active members and supporters, and a network of 30 branches actively promoting the importance of birds and habitats, and general conservation issues. It publishes the annual journal Irish Birds and the quarterly magazine Wings. It manages a number of nature reserves including Little Skellig.BirdWatch Ireland is a member of the Irish Environmental Network, the Sustainable Water Network (SWAN), Environmental (Ecological) NGOs Core Funding Ltd (EENGO), Working and Educating for Biodiversity (WEB) and the Irish Uplands Forum (IUF). They also work closely with the Irish National Biodiversity Data Centre in providing wildlife monitoring data.

British Trust for Ornithology

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is an organisation founded in 1932 for the study of birds in the British Isles.

Donald Watson (artist)

Donald Watson (28 June 1918 – 7 November 2005) was a Scottish ornithologist and a wildlife artist.

George Waterston

George Waterston OBE FRSE FZS LLD (1911–1980) was a 20th-century Scottish stationer remembered as an ornithologist and conservationist.

He founded the Inverleith Field Club in 1929 and co-founded what was the Midlothian Ornithologists' Club and is now the Scottish Ornithologists' Club. He was their President, Secretary, Treasurer and Hon. President at various times.

He was also one of the founders of the Scottish Arctic Club with its Waterston Arctic Library, now held by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

He was Director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Scotland.

George Waterston Memorial Centre and Museum

The George Waterston Memorial Centre and Museum is a local museum in Fair Isle, Scotland.

George Waterston OBE (1911–1980), the former Scottish Director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, was a much-loved figure who had a massive and positive influence on Fair Isle. He bought the island after World War II and co-founded the Bird Observatory in 1948, giving the isle’s economy a much-needed boost. In 1955 the National Trust for Scotland succeeded him as landlord and helped islanders to stem emigration and revitalise the community.

Waterston’s memorial is a museum in the former Fair Isle School containing displays of Fair Isle's history from prehistoric times to the present.

The collection consists of archaeology, natural sciences, decorative and applied art, fine art, costume, textiles, coins and medals. Next to that it has presentations on social history, music, personalities, world cultures, weapons and war, and land transport and maritime. The museum also maintains an archive.

Kirkburn, Scottish Borders

Kirkburn is a village on the B7062, close to Peebles and the River Tweed, in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland, at the edge of the Cardrona Forest.

Other places in the vicinity are Glen Ho, Glentress, Horsburgh Castle, Innerleithen, Kailzie, Kailzie Gardens, Kirkhope Law, Neidpath Castle and Nether Horsbrugh.

List of ornithological societies

The following is a list of regional ornithological societies.

Loch of Mey

Loch of Mey is a loch near the north coast of Caithness, Scotland, and one of the most northern water features of mainland Britain. It lies just to the south of Skarfskerry, and southwest of Harrow. Described as a "shallow ephemeral loch fringed by fen", due to its importance in facilitating wintering populations of whooper swan and greylag goose from Greenland and Iceland, it has formed part of the Caithness Lochs Ramsar Site since February 1998. Ornithologists of the Scottish Ornithologists Club have established a footpath and memorial hide dedicated to James MacIntyre, which was renovated in August 2005. The Burn of Horsegrow flows into the loch on its southeastern side.

Silver Medal (Zoological Society of London)

The Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London is "Awarded to a Fellow of the Society or any other person for contributions to the understanding and appreciation of zoology, including such activities as public education in natural history, and wildlife conservation."

It was first awarded in 1847.


The skuas are a group of predatory seabirds with about seven species forming the genus Stercorarius, the only genus in the family Stercorariidae. The three smaller skuas are called jaegers in American English.

The English word "skua" comes from the Faroese name for the great skua, skúgvur [ˈskɪkvʊɹ], with the island of Skúvoy renowned for its colony of that bird. The general Faroese term for skuas is kjógvi [ˈtʃɛkvɪ]. The word "jaeger" is derived from the German word Jäger, meaning "hunter". The genus name Stercorarius is Latin and means "of dung"; the food disgorged by other birds when pursued by skuas was once thought to be excrement.Skuas nest on the ground in temperate and Arctic regions, and are long-distance migrants. They have even been sighted at the South Pole.

Society of Wildlife Artists

The Society of Wildlife Artists is a British organisation for artists who paint or draw wildlife. It was founded in 1964. Its founder President was Sir Peter Scott, the current President of the society is British artist Harriet Mead.

The society was founded by Eric Ennion and Robert Gillmor. Other founder members were Donald Watson, a former President of the Scottish Ornithologists' Club artist James T.A. Osborne a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers, and artist Eileen Soper.

The Society holds an annual exhibition at the Federation of British Artists in the Mall Galleries, every September/ October.

Welsh Ornithological Society

The Welsh Ornithological Society (Welsh: Cymdeithas Adaryddol Cymru) is an organisation which promotes the study and conservation of birds in Wales. Each year it organises a conference and publishes two issues of the journal Welsh Birds, one of which contains the Welsh Bird Report. It was founded on 26 March 1988 at a conference in Aberystwyth. It now has about 250 members. The television presenter and author Iolo Williams has been the society's president since November 2009.The society runs the Welsh Records Panel which decides on the authenticity of records of rare birds in Wales. It considers records of species recorded five times or less each year and decisions are published in the report Scarce and rare birds in Wales. The body continues the work of the Welsh Records Advisory Group founded in 1967.

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