Edinburgh University Ornithological Society - BirdSoc

Edinburgh University Ornithological Society - BirdSoc

Hello bird lovers! We're a new society at the uni, for anyone who enjoys birdwatching, twitching...

Operating as usual


🔥 We are very excited to announce that on Wednesday the 28th of February we will be going to the Collection Centre of the National Museum of Scotland, where the curator in charge of the bird collection has very kindly offered to show us around. The visit will start at 15:45 and end at 18:00, and it will be in the The National Museums Collection Centre in Granton (not the one by Chambers Street in the city centre). We are expected to have a full list of who is coming by the 16th of February.
🦅 The Bird Collection in the National Museum of Scotland includes more than a hundred thousand bird specimens and other items from a wide variety of species found around the world. This is not available for the public on display anywhere on the museum and you can only see it by organised visits like the one we will be having on the 28th. The organiser has talked to us about showing us different specimens from the UK and beyond including raptors like Golden Eagles!
⚠️ Please fill in the form below if you are planning to come. There is a limited amount of spaces available and we will do this on a first come, first served basis. We believe this will be an amazing experience! Hope to see many of you there!



Double Bill: Cramond Island and River Almond 🏝️🦦🌅

Join us as we venture onto Cramond Island (https://maps.app.goo.gl/NEz83SGygnwndwYh9) and beyond on Saturday the 3rd of February, from 12 noon to 3pm Meet us at the Queensferry Bus Stop QE (https://maps.app.goo.gl/Aid9k3qAcMBaUmaM6) for 11:20am to get the 47 bus to Cramond Place by midday. Alternatively, meet us at Cramond Beach (https://maps.app.goo.gl/ttU5JAfgEKEhTgpD8) for 12:15!

Hey there again, folks! Following the super successful trip to Blackford Pond and the Hermitage of Braid, we’re super excited to announce our trip to Cramond Island, just on the outskirts of Edinburgh! Come with us to explore the island whilst tides are low, before crossing back over to the mainland to walk along the mouth of River Almond! and soak up the expansive views of the Firth of Forth! Expect great looks at plenty of shorebirds at low tide, such as Ringed Plover (https://ebird.org/species/corplo/L948891), Curlew (https://ebird.org/species/eurcur/L948891), and Sanderling (https://ebird.org/species/sander/L948891), plus the possibility for a Kingfisher (https://ebird.org/species/comkin1/L948891) along River Almond! And, as always, anyone and everyone is welcome – our super friendly committee members will be happy to help with any questions, and will be able to provide binoculars for those that need them.

It’s set to be an overcast day with a temperature of 7ºC, but it can be quite windy along the coast, so bring plenty of layers just in case! We can’t wait to catch you all there! :]


Give Birdwatching at Blackford Hill a go! ⛰️🪶🌬️

📅A first-of-the-year outing at Blackford Hill (https://maps.app.goo.gl/7eVgXG6cAj8cvwhGA) on *Saturday the 20th of January, from 10am to midday*. Meet us at the east end of Blackford Pond(https://maps.app.goo.gl/R8Q8ykRXEPHPrcp77) for 10am !

🦢Welcome back, everyone ! Semester 2 is upon us, and we’re super excited to share that our first walk of the new year will be a visit to Blackford Hill; a perfect site to hold our give-it-a-go-week outing! Whether you’re an experienced ‘birder’ or have never gone to look for birds before, this trip will be a great way to both learn more about Edinburgh’s winter wildlife at a beautiful site and an opportunity to share in the experience of nature. Don’t worry if you don’t have binoculars or haven’t used them before, as we will be providing pairs for use on the walk for those that need them! As always, our lovely committee members will be happy to help with any questions you might have throughout the day, whether it be birds or anything else!

🦆We’ll start by doing a loop of Blackford Pond to search for waterfowl, such as the resident Little Grebe (https://ebird.org/species/litgre1/L5779034), before walking up the hill itself to look for winter foraging birds, such as the energetic flocks of stunning Redwing (https://ebird.org/species/redwin/L4936837) searching for winter berries, whilst taking in the spectacular views of Edinburgh and the surrounding area!

☂️*Light rain* is expected early Saturday morning, so, although it might not be raining, it may be decently slippery, and as such walking boots are recommended! Additionally, the 6ºC temperature will be closer to 1ºC from windchill, so bring plenty of layers, a warm drink, and join us for a memorable start to the new year! :)

(Public toilets are available by Hermitage of Braid house)


Musselburgh Walk 🌅🦢🦦

📢We're really pumped to announce that our first outing to Musselburgh of the year will be happening this Sunday! This area of reclaimed mudflats starts at the River Esk mouth, where the Firth of Forth feeds into the coastline, with great habitat diversity! Musselburgh is my favourite site in Edinburgh, and is a fantastic place for both new and experienced birders to see many seabirds and waders, and even our society mascot: Velvet Scoter. Scopes will be brought along too, as they’ll enable us to get great views of typically distantly seen bird species!

📍The trip will be on Sunday the 1st of October, 2-5pm. Meet us at the Princes Street Stop PD (what3words: ///tries.stone.toast) at 12:45 to get the 113 to Musselburgh High Street. Alternatively, meet us at Musselburgh High Street opposite Costa Coffee (what3words: ///train.regard.kite) for before 2pm.

🦆Some of the highlight species we may see include: Long-tailed Duck, Red-throated Diver, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Eider, and possibly even King Eider! Keep your eyes peeled for potential Otters in the River Esk mouth! 🦦

⛅The weather is forecasted to be approximately 16 degrees (feels like 13) and sunny, with 17mph SW winds, so pretty comfortable! Bring lunch, snacks, and maybe a layer or two! We look forward to birding with you all!

🚍Alternative bus routes from Princes Stop PD:
• 26 at 13:07 arriving at Musselburgh High Street at 13:56
• 44 at 13:07 arriving at Musselburgh High Street at 13:51
• 124 at 13:08 arriving at Musselburgh High Street at 13:49
• 13 at 13:23 arriving at Musselburgh High Street at 14:03 (earlier recommended)

Photos from Edinburgh University Ornithological Society - BirdSoc's post 05/09/2023

Introducing our committee for 2023! We are all super excited to see where this year takes us.


We're back! Feeling stressed near the end of the semester and need a break? Expecting to see some birds in this exciting season? Join us for a casual birding walk around Blackford Hill and Hermitage of Braid.

Meet us at 10 am on the 7th of May. Location of the meeting point: https://goo.gl/maps/BxLqRAMHNT5qfVuU6


Thank you very much everyone that was there today!!! Hope you had as much fun as me. Anko loved all the attention and cuddles 🥰

I think we could organise a watercolour and gouache workshop!!! Malu is happy to talk about how she uses watercolour and if there is anyone happy to walk the rest through how they use gouache (we know a few of our members like this medium!!) we could all get a lot out of it!!!

In the meantime, here is some general information you may find useful:

- Quick and simple tree watercolor tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFMi4VA6O6I
- A brilliant basic tutorials for beginners on how to use the watercolors in general. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fgkwcym4j4.
- Wet on dry technique in watercolor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=338aXj4Bqgs
- Wet on wet technique in watercolor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU_IUaa-7W0

If anyone is interested in a good value for money course, I highly recommend the Aaron Blaise watercolor course. I did it 3 years ago and it really helped me improve my use of watercolor. Is only 5$!!!! https://creatureartteacher.com/product/watercolor-painting-with-aaron-blaise/

Please feel free to join our discord or our dedicated WhatsApp group (DM us and will send you the links to each one), post any questions you have about art-crafts-creation, we are a friendly team and all about coming together to enjoy this, no judgement.


Hello Birder Artists!!
Who would be into an informal get together on Friday at the meadows? 1pm onwards weather permitting.
The plan is very simple: we can just sprawl on the grass and draw whatever we want and/or chat about what we want to learn to draw. Bring whatever supply you feel like using, there will be pencils and paper as well!

Follow updates on the event via the WhatssApp group (DM us and we will send you the link)


It seems the love for nature and the love for art come hand in hand, and many of our members have artistic streaks!! That is why we have decided to create a space for you to share your bird-related creations.

Join our BirdSoc Art Buddies WhatsApp (DM us and we will send you a joining link) to get updates on any art related activities.
We will be running workshops, art tips, and informal get-togethers at the meadows when is sunny or indoor if it is not.

Join our Discord (DM us and we will give you the link) and share your creations.
Look for our dedicated channel #📷photos-art-and-bird-adjacent-stuff, and share away!!!

Photos from Edinburgh University Ornithological Society - BirdSoc's post 22/03/2023

Hi, everyone! We are planning to hold our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 7th April on Zoom.

New committee members of the next academic year will be elected. Some of the roles that are open for candidates include President, Trip Coordinator, Social / Events Coordinator and Training Officer. We can also create new roles to accommodate anyone who is willing to join the committee.

If you want to run for any of the positions, feel free to message us or contact us through our email: [email protected].

Photos from Edinburgh University Ornithological Society - BirdSoc's post 07/03/2023

Join us on a 3 day trip to Aviemore in April!!!

Photos from Edinburgh University Ornithological Society - BirdSoc's post 03/03/2023

Join us for a talk with Steph Loew, BirdLife Mata’s Conservation Officer, who will tell us all about Malta’s avian fauna and the notorious wildlife crime which threatens the island’s species. She will also talk about what you can do to help!

25 million birds are estimated to be killed every year across the Mediterranean. As the only EU country that opens a hunting season in spring, Malta is a part of this enormous decimation of the world’s birds.

The talk will be held online but we will meet up in person to watch it together in room 11.01 in 40 George Square.

Remember to buy a membership on EUSA before signing up to our events!

Sign up link: https://forms.gle/PJZtMJKGS8wA1m1n7


Our next trip is this Sunday 26th February! Hound Point is a great place to observe many species of seabirds and waders just outside Edinburgh. Being a coastal spot, there is also a chance of seeing grey seals and harbour porpoises which frequent the Forth estuary.

We will be meeting outside Waverly Mall at 11.15am to get the 43 to South Queensferry. Feel free to hop on the bus at earlier/later stops if it is more convenient for you.

As always, remember to wrap up warm and bring snacks/hot drinks.


We are hosting a movie night!!

Fly Away Home is a heartwarming movie based on a true story about a father and daughter who attempt to lead a flock of Canada geese on their migration.

Meet us at 50 George Square THIS MONDAY 20th in the screening room G.04 at 6pm. Snacks will be provided!



🪶 Come along to the BTO's student identification workshops where you can develop your bird ID both visually, and by sound! The BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) is a UK charity that focuses in understanding birds and their population changes through their own scientific research with help from volunteers and citizen science projects.
Their workshops are very engaing and entertaining, so no matter your level of experience, you will definitely learn something new and have good fun!

⏰ The events are on the 21st and 28th February from 7pm-8.45pm.

📍 We will be hosting a group viewing in a university venue (room tbc) but you can also join from home. Whether you are joining us in person, or from your own home, please sign up using the following link. This is so that the BTO can get attendance numbers for their event.
Link: https://www.bto.org/civicrm/event/register?id=1364&reset=1


Welcome back from the holiday season!!! Keep an eye out for our January events and join us for some fun 🦅🦉🦆🐥

Bird race: This is a super fun day of trying to see as many bird species as possible in a team of 3 for some friendly competition. Sign up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-Kb_DqTd1GwbKSm4tWq49aLxWlisOJrf8OrhTE34PJs/edit

For those unable to commit to a whole day, practice your wetland bird ID skills at Blackford Pond for the monthly WEBS survey. More details on what this is are on the sign up link here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1IISIFszzRFOxlc-6qxWBeXkSb4iMs8xS27KR87n0rLc/edit

And finally, come along to our pub quiz to challenge your inner bird nerd: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1RP1vyEi5Yf6VXWZC06z83SCWcjEJ3FWFAWYh908mMTA/edit

Christmas Dinner interest 29/11/2022

We are feeling festive and would love to share it with you all! If you are interested in joining us for a BirdSoc Christmas Dinner, please use the sign in below to let us know preferences and availability.

Christmas Dinner interest We would like to gauge interest for a BirdSoc Christmas dinner and peoples' preferences/availability. Anyone is welcome!!


Due to the lack of sign ins, we will be cancelling our Pub Quizz tomorrow. Is a very busy time of the year for us fellow students, we are sending good vibes to everyone and best of luck with exams and assignments.

Our Musselburgh day trip this Sunday is still standing. Remember than all work and no rest is also bad for you, so join us for a little break in nature!!!

Photos from The Scottish Ornithologists' Club's post 21/11/2022

Keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming events, we will be sharing more details on each soon!!


We will be waiting for you tonight, come meet the owls!!! 7:00 pm, room 2.05 of the Appleton Tower Building. This is an open doors even, free of charge and everyone is welcome.


Join a night of beer pong tournament with the University’s biology-related societies!

Tickets are £2.50 for members of any of the collaborating societies and £5 for non-members.

Here is the link for the tickets/membership for Biosoc: https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/shop?activity_id=62

Here’s the link for our (ESRA) membership: https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/activities/view/ESRA

DM for any questions 🙂

University of Edinburgh Biology Society - Biosoc
Edinburgh University Ornithological Society - BirdSoc
University of Edinburgh Conservation Biology Society - ConserveSoc


We are teaming up with the university's biological societies for a night of fun!!!

Tickets are £2.50 and can be bought here: https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/shop?activity_id=62

Make sure you are a member of any of the following societies as this is a member's only event!
You can buy a BirdSoc membership on here: https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/shop?activity_id=258

University of Edinburgh Biology Society - Biosoc
University of Edinburgh Conservation Biology Society - ConserveSoc
BioEng Edinburgh
Edinburgh Scientific Researchers Association
Edinburgh Mycology Society


Remember our day trip to Musselburgh is tomorrow!!! We will be meeting outside the Royal Commonwealth Pool at 12:00h. See you there!!!


Don't miss out on our upcoming events!!


Thank you all for coming to our opening event! It’s was great to meet you all over some good winter birding at Duddingston Loch, followed by pizza and a pint. A single Whooper dropping in and calling was the highlight, along with a nice selection of water birds.

See you at the next event!


Meet the committee... Pt. 3/3 🐦

Phoebe is our treasurer; currently studying 3rd year Evolutionary Biology and new to the birb world! She is passionate about the conservation of such, and wants to make ornithological conservation, research and birding more accessible for those without much prior experience!

🍃🦢 ALSO... Don't forget that our first event, a walk around Holyrood park followed by the Pub is tomorrow!! Meet at 15:00 by the roundabouts at the Po***ck hall entrance to the park (18 Holyrood Park Rd)

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to message! 😊


Meet the committee pt. 2… here’s our Secretary, Sorrel. Birder and trainee ringer, 2nd year Ecological and Environmental Sciences student who's passionate about conservation and spreading the love of birds!

Plus don't forget about our opening event this Sunday afternoon (3rd Nov)! For details please see the event on this page

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