Birdwatchers are set to flock to Elgin for an annual conference in March.
Each spring, the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (SOC) and the British Trust for Ornithology BTO) organise a one-day conference, attracting over 200 bird enthusiasts from around the country.
This year, the event it is being hosted by the Moray branch of the SOC (Moray Bird Club) and will be held in Elgin Town Hall on Saturday 21 March.
VisitScotland has designated 2020 as The Year of Coasts and Waters and the conference takes up that theme with the title Northern Seas and Coasts.
The programme of talks will provide thought-providing insights into a range of issues affecting the northern marine environment and, specifically, seabirds. As well as providing an overview, the programme will also include talks on specific species of interest, such as Curlews, Arctic Skuas and Greenshanks.
Local experts Roy Dennis and Martin Cook will be speaking about Fair Isle and Spey Bay respectively and will be exploring the topical issue of the effect of plastics on seabirds as well as looking at the state of cetaceans in the northern seas, all illustrated with superb photography.
For those attending the conference, there will be the opportunity to join one of five organised field trips taking place the following day – a chance to get out and enjoy the area’s local bird life.
David Law, chairman of Moray Bird Club, said: ‘This will be an excellent day with superb presentations covering a wide range of topics and delivered by experts. The event is aimed at bringing together professionals and enthusiasts alike from across Scotland and beyond to celebrate and learn more about the challenges that face birds in our northern waters.’
For programme information and to book a place, visit https://www.the-soc.org.uk/get-involved/scottish-birdwatchers-conference
Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (SOC) is Scotland’s bird club with branches throughout the country. As well as publishing a quarterly journal, Scottish Birds, and offering regional programmes of talks and outings for members, the charity supports the network of local bird recorders who keep track of bird sightings in their area.
Moray Bird Club is the local branch of the SOC. It holds monthly meetings in Elgin Museum hall from September to April and organises outings throughout the year. The recorder for Moray and Nairn is Martin Cook who also manages an excellent website: www.birdsinmorayandnairn.org
British Trust for Ornithology is devoted to scientific research on birds and also organises national surveys, which keep track of variations in bird populations.