Evening talks are held in the Wynd Centre, Paisley, on the first Thursday of every month from September to April at 7.30pm. Talks last about 1 hour covering a variety of topics from birds and bats to fungi and fossils. Members also have the opportunity to share their wildlife sightings and news. See below for details of our winter programme.
Anyone is welcome to come along and if they enjoy the talk they can become a member on the night.
Tea/coffee and biscuits are available after the talk for which a small donation is appreciated. Disposable cups are provided but we encourage members to bring their own reusable cups if they are happy to do so.
Please note that no lectures programme has been held during 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 because of the pandemic.
We will be resuming our evening talks in September 2022 and programme details will be posted here once they are confirmed.
Details of previous years’ talks programmes can be found on the Past talks programmes page.
1 September 2022
Pterosaur Discovery on Skye
Natalia Jagielska, Researcher, University of Edinburgh
The recent discovery of a large pterosaur on the Isle of Skye shook the paleontological world. Dearc Sgiathanach had an estimated wingspan of 2.5 metres, the largest pterosaur yet discovered, and the skeleton is preserved in excellent condition. The discovery fills a gap in the Middle Jurassic and makes Scotland a potential fossil hotspot. Natalia will talk us through the discovery, and hopefully bring us some of her illustrations of Dearc.
6 October 2022
Glow-worms in Scotland, illuminating research
Charlotte Martin, Scottish Glow-worms
Lampyris noctiluca the Common Glow-worm is very little known in Scotland and even less well recorded. Charlotte Martin, self-confessed glow-worm obsessive, has been surveying for them across Scotland and conducting research which is increasing our understanding of Scottish populations. Charlotte will enlighten us on their lifecycle, ecology and her findings so far.
3 November 2022
Changes in auk numbers on Ailsa Craig after rat eradication
Dr. Bernie Zonfrillo,
University of Glasgow
The talk reviews the situation regarding Auks on Ailsa Craig (before Avian Influenza). Rat eradication began in 1990 and rats were successfully exterminated by the end of that year. Initially the Puffin, historically numerous, was targeted as a species for re-colonisation. However this proved very slow, but eventually it did happen after 10 years, however other changes took place more rapidly and these will be revealed.
Bernie’s interest in Ailsa Craig began as a young boy and annual trips evolved into long-term studies, which included Gannet ringing, studies of seabird growth rates, diets and general ecological aspects of Ailsa wildlife, including birds, animals, insects and plants.
1 December 2022
Botanical Forays in and around Renfrewshire
Returning to Lochwinnoch after many years in the ‘Big Smoke’ of London, Jim has been rediscovering childhood haunts and local botanical sites. Guided by Keith Watson’s Flora of Renfrewshire, he has explored bogs and burns, SINCs and SSSIs to hunt out the botanical treasures they have to offer and will share with us the gems he has found.
5 January 2023
The Western Isles – Birding on the Edge
Positioned at the north-west extremity of the British Isles, the Hebridean islands of South Uist, North Uist and Benbecula are ideally situated to attract a wide variety of birds from many different parts of the Northern Hemisphere. In the Spring, the rush of migrants northwards is always likely to throw up a few surprises. In Autumn it’s possible to see a Siberian warbler in the same field of view as a North American wader. Add to this the fact that these islands also support a wide range of breeding birds which have vanished from many parts of the Scottish mainland.
Angus’ first visit to this part of the world was in the summer of 1974 and he’s been lucky enough to make repeated trips in Spring and Autumn. This talk will trace a typical year in the Uists, from April through to October, as well as looking at some of the current changes to the landscape through human activity.
2 February 2023
The Young Ornithologist’s Dream
Rebecca is an Ecological Consultant at the start of her career with a love for Ornithology (of course) and wildlife photography. Ever since carrying out fieldwork for her dissertation on the humble House Sparrow in 2017, her love and passion for Ornithology has grown exponentially.
This talk offers a glimpse into Rebecca’s birding lifestyle, where she will share her exciting encounters within Scotland and abroad. This includes her fieldwork for bird monitoring projects with the BTO and raptor study group.
2 March 2023
Details to follow.
6 April 2023
40 years as a Natural History Curator
Richard Sutcliffe, former Natural History Curator at Glasgow Museums
Glasgow Museums has an extensive natural history collection of geological,
botanical and zoological specimens. Richard will talk about how he first got interested in museums and natural history and
his time as the Natural History Curator and Research Manager at Glasgow Museums.
He’ll describe some of the highlights he experienced along the way and show some
of his favourite specimens from the museum’s collection.